Addressing the Challenges of Processing Thermoplastic Resins
Thermoplastic processing involves transferring melted (viscous) materials with thermoplastic characteristics (soften when heated) into some form or mold and then cooling (solidifying) the materials for the purpose of making desired shapes. The first such thermoplastic material was invented by Alexander Parkes in 1855. Mr. Parkes’ material was the birth of many modern aesthetic and utility uses of plastics. Further development of new synthetic polymers goes hand in hand with the development of new processes to transform thermoplastic materials into desired shapes. All thermoplastic resins are melted and get solidified at lower temperatures, very often utilizing a cooled mold to transform the polymer melt into a desired shape.
The number of processes which have been developed to transform melted materials into desired shapes since Mr. Parkes’ first material is continuously increasing and goes along with the development of new polymers. A major driving force behind this trend is to replace metal or thermoset plastics, as thermoplastic materials can be reused and are lighter in weight. Although most forms of thermoplastic processing involve some type of extrusion, the processes go under a variety of names, have slightly different parameters, utilize different equipment and require different processing aids. The ever-expanding range of processes for forming and shaping† thermoplastic resins can present challenges to thermoplastic processors.
Our Lusin® brand of process aids for the thermoplastic industry started back in the 1950’s and we take a very different approach toward making products to serve the needs of all kinds of thermoplastic processes. Our products are developed to help improve processing efficiency, and therefore, reduce the costs of the final part being manufactured.
To address the broad range of thermoplastic processing needs we have developed products to for a wide variety of polymers in three main categories:
- Polyelfines (e.g. PP, PE, TPO)
- High temperature resins (e.g. PEEK, PSU, etc.)
- Engineered resins (e.g. ABS, HIPS, PS, PA, etc.)
Our full line of products, many which are also being NSF registered, are specifically aimed at helping thermoplastic molders improve their overall operating costs and increase efficiency. Our portfolio includes:
- Purge Compounds to clean and extend the useful life of screws, barrels, die sets and tooling. The use of purge compounds also increases overall efficiency and reduces costs by reducing scrap and machine/personnel downtime between color and/or material changeovers. To learn more about how our portfolio of industry leading purge compounds can be used to make your process more efficient and save you money read our main Purge Compounds page, watch our purging compounds video or contact us to speak with one of our thermoplastic industry experts.
- Mold Maintenance products to protect molding equipment and ultimately the significant investment in tooling. Our line-up consists of cleaners, lubricants and protective agents. To learn more about how our years of experience of working with thermoplastic processors can be leveraged to help your operation read our main Thermoplastics Operations Mold Maintenance page or speak with one of our thermoplastic industry experts by contacting us directly.
- Release Agents to maximize process efficiency, reduce scrap and provide final part surface finish that meets end customer requirements. To discover how Chem-Trend’s over fifty years of experience in developing the world’s leading release agents can be put to use to help your operation read our main Thermoplastics Release Agent page, watch our video on the topic or contact us directly.
If you use rotational molding to process thermoplastic resins then visit our main Rotational Molding page for more information on the specialized products developed to improve part quality and operational efficiency.