Types of Plastics

- Depending on what type of plastic you will be using and what application these parameters will tell you what type of plastic manufacturer you will be using. While there are many different types of plastics, ultimately there are only two main categories that separate all plastics. Thermosets, and Thermoplastics. Thermosets can only be heated an formed once, this makes them non-recyclable. While thermoplastics can be re-heated and re-formed multiple times.

Recyclable Materials – If you are making a product from thermoplastics you may want to look into using recycled plastics. There are many plastic manufacturers that specialize in using lower grade plastics in their molds. Sometimes special equipment can be needed in using recycled plastics to deal with the inevitable contaminants. Be aware of the quality of recycled plastic you are purchasing as not all recycled plastic is created equal.

Type of Machinery – There are many different ways to manufacture plastics, some are fairly cheap and some can be very expensive. One of the cheapest methods of manufacturing plastics is using expanding foam, expanding foam is used a lot in sporting goods, and novelty hats, this process uses little or no energy by relying on a chemical reaction, and can be done quickly. Plastic injection molding requires sometimes large and expensive machinery, as well as a mold for the specific machine and some initial setup time. But once setup it can produce parts very quickly and efficiently. Blow molding is a popular process for hollow parts like bottles, the plastic is placed inside a mold and compressed air pushes the plastic to fit the mold. One other common plastic manufacturing process is called vacuum forming; this is for mainly flat items, such as plastic plates and bowls. This process takes a flat sheet of plastic and heats it until is flexible them a vacuum pulls the plastic against the mold and allows it to cool, the part is then cut from the sheet.

Where To Look – Forums can be a valuable place to find who others are using for their plastic manufacturing, as well as making sure that you are using the correct manufacturing process. While price is the biggest factor in finding a plastic manufacturer, other important things to consider when seeking bids are, quantity, quality, and turnaround time. These will factors will determine where you will want to begin your search. Staying within the US will usually ensure a good turnaround time, and the ability to ensure a good quality product.

Post Your Job - You can always post your job on manufacturing platform where businesses can post their manufacturing needs and manufacturers will bid on the job. There are a small handful of sites that can provide this type of platform.