How are plastics made step by step?

Where plastic is sourced from

This guide provides general information on the most common manufacturing processes for producing plastic parts, as well as recommendations to help you choose the best option for your application.How to choose the right plastics manufacturing processConsider the following factors when choosing a manufacturing process for your product:

Volume/cost: What is the total or annual volume of parts you plan to manufacture? Some manufacturing processes have high upfront costs for tooling and setup, but produce parts at an economical cost per part. On the other hand, low-volume manufacturing processes have low up-front costs, but due to slower cycle times, less automation and manual labor, the cost per part remains constant or decreases only slightly as volume increases.

Lead time: How fast do you need parts or finished products to be produced? Some processes create the first parts in less than 24 hours, while tooling and fixturing for certain high-volume production processes require months.

How plastic is made (for children)

Faced with a material with so many advantages, the challenge for the industry lies in proper waste management. Although plastic tends to be demonized, contrary to popular belief there are some materials that are considered more sustainable and yet are not.

An example of this can be found in glass, metal, wood and paper, which require a lot of energy to recycle. In this context, the manufacture and management of plastic waste is considered key to protecting the environment and moving towards a more sustainable future.

Plastic raw material

The invention of the first plastic originated as a result of a competition held in 1860. The American billiard ball manufacturer Phelan and Collarder offered a reward of $10,000 to anyone who could find a substitute for natural ivory.

In 1909 the Belgian-born American chemist Leo Hendrik Baekeland synthesized a polymer of great commercial interest. It was christened Bakelite and was the first fully synthetic plastic in history, the first of a series of synthetic resins. The <era of plastics> began. Throughout the 20th century, the use of plastic became popular and came to replace other materials in the domestic, industrial and commercial fields.

It consists of introducing granulated plastic into a cylinder, where it is heated. When the plastic softens sufficiently, a worm screw injects it at high pressure into a steel mold to give it shape.

There are many more molding techniques, extrusion, low pressure molding, foaming, casting…. but we have decided to put only the most used ones, besides they are much more complex than the summary that we offer here.

How plastic is manufactured

Biodegradable plastic or bioplastic is made from organic raw materials such as fruit scraps, cellulose or legumes and, when deposited with organic waste, it comes into contact with microorganisms that degrade it and eventually disappears completely. This is why many plastic bags and other everyday items are beginning to be labeled as “biodegradable”.

The most important ingredient when manufacturing bioplastics is starch. This is what will provide the same physicochemical properties that synthetic plastics have. Starch is obtained, for example, from cornstarch, known as a type of fine corn flour.

Without a doubt, making bioplastics at home is very simple. Invite your friends, neighbors or relatives to make this preparation and enjoy together a biodegradable material with countless uses. Don’t stop trying!