The Tri-Extrusion Process
Tri-extruded plastic comprises three different plastic materials or different colored plastics into one extruded plastic profile. In the standard extrusion process, raw thermoplastic is diverted around a screw and pushed through a die to create a custom profile and extruded out of the machine. The Tri-Extrusion Process is similar to the standard extrusion process, with the main difference being the number of plastic materials and extruders being used to form layered or encapsulated parts. When tri-extruding, the individual materials will retain their original properties, but they will be combined into a compound-material part.
With Tri-Extrusion, correct and complementing materials must be used. Certain plastic materials will not work with others due to improper adhesion. However, this can be solved by introducing another layer of material between the original two. Many plastics utilize vastly different melting temperatures, making them unsuitable to be used with plastics that have a large difference in melting temperature due to degradation in the lower melting temperature plastic. Potentially violent reactions can also occur if using PVC and acetals, so it is best to avoid joining the two.
The biggest advantage of utilizing tri-extrusion is the ability to add different finishes, colors, and materials to one extruded profile. With tri-extrusion, all of the operations are streamlined into one tri-extrusion machine. This adds increased productivity and efficiency. Time is not spent waiting for multiple pieces to be extruded separately and assembled. Cost is also cut down due to fewer facility resources needed to operate. Tri-extrusion adds additional functionality unavailable to regular standard extruded profiles as well. By utilizing different plastics, a profile can achieve increased stability, flexibility, or protection from heat or chemicals.
Tri-extrusion applications are widely used across many industries. Creating transparent sections within an extruded plastic profile is a popular use of tri-extrusion in lighting. Tri-extrusion is also great for adding flexible or softer materials within a rigid piece. This can be helpful when creating a profile that needs additional flexibility by creating hinges.
Reschcor is the industry’s leading supplier for quality, custom-engineered plastic extrusion manufacturing. We pride ourselves on our ability to create a custom solution for even the most challenging of problems. We utilize the highest level of care to assure that the features of all tri-extruded plastic profiles are accurate according to our customers’ product specifications. If you are looking to partner with a company that puts the customer first, contact Reschcor today so we can learn more about your company and understand how we can help your business succeed.