PE Rattan

Synthetic Rattan Manufacturing Process - Extrusion Molding

PE Rattan is called as synthetic rattan, plastic rattan, artificial rattan. It is man-made material, and because of its prominent feature, it is widely applied in the outdoor furniture. Synthetic rattan is manufactured by extrusion molding , now let us learn about the details:

In the extrusion molding, with the extrusion action of the screw, the plasticized plastic is forced to pass through the mold to become a continuous product with a constant cross-section. And as for the Plastic Rattan, it’s actually the plastic line, which can be round, half moon, flat etc.

In this article, we will talk about the principle, equipment composition and process flow of extrusion molding and how it work in the production of the PE rattan.

Principle of Extrusion Molding

Extrusion molding - rattan manufacturing
Extrusion molding - rattan manufacturing

Extrusion principle

The plastic resin is mixed well according to the certain formular, then put enters the barrel from the hopper. Under the action of the screw rotation, it is forwarded to the feeding section through the frictional shearing effect of the inner wall of the barrel and the surface of the screw, where the loose solid is transported forward and compacted.

Extrusion molding screw - rattan manufacturing
Extrusion molding screw - rattan manufacturing

In the compression section, the depth of the screw groove becomes shallower, and further compaction occurs. At the same time, with the heating outside the barrel and the frictional shearing effect between the screw and the inner wall of the barrel, the material temperature rises and begins to melt, and the compression section ends. 

Then, the homogenization section makes the material uniform, and extrudes at a constant temperature, quantitative and constant pressure.

The melt is formed after reaching the machine head, and the product is obtained after setting.

Temperature and pressure are the main factors that determine the quality of rattan.

Extrusion products - rattan manufacturing
Extrusion products - rattan manufacturing

Extrusion equipment

The extrusion molding equipment mainly consists of an extrusion system, a transmission system and a heating and cooling system. 

And the Extrusion equipment is the main facility of one PE rattan manufacturer.

1. Extrusion system

The extrusion system includes screw, barrel, hopper, machine head, and mold. The plastic is plasticized into a uniform melt through the extrusion system while building the pressure, under this pressure the melt plastic is continuously extruded by the screw.

(1) Screw: It is the most important part of the extruder. It is directly related to the application range and productivity of the extruder. It is made of high-strength and corrosion-resistant alloy steel.

(2) Barrel: It is a metal cylinder, generally made of alloy steel with heat resistance, high compressive strength, strong wear resistance and corrosion resistance or composite steel pipe lined.

The barrel cooperates with the screw to realize the pulverization, softening, melting, plasticizing, exhausting and compacting of the plastic, and continuously and uniformly convey the melt plastic material to the molding system. Generally, the length of the barrel is 15 to 30 times its diameter, so that the plastic can be fully heated and fully plasticized.

(3) Hopper: The bottom of the hopper is equipped with a cut-off device to adjust and cut off the material flow. And the side of the hopper is equipped with a sight hole and a calibration metering device.

(4) Machine head and mold: The machine head is composed of an alloy steel inner sleeve and a carbon steel outer sleeve. And a forming mold is installed in the machine head. The function of the machine head is to convert the rotating plastic melt into parallel linear motion, evenly and smoothly introduce it into the mold sleeve, and provide the plastic the necessary molding pressure.

Extrusion process - rattan manufacturing
Extrusion process - rattan manufacturing

The plastic is plasticized and compacted in the barrel. Then, it flows into the forming mold of the machine head through the porous filter plate along a certain flow channel through the neck of the machine head. Next, the mold core and the mold sleeve are properly matched to form an annular gap with a continuously decreasing cross-section. And this allows the plastic melt to form a continuous dense tubular coating around the core wire. In order to ensure a reasonable plastic flow channel in the machine head and eliminate the dead angle of accumulated plastic, a shunt sleeve is often installed. Also, to eliminate the pressure fluctuation during plastic extrusion, a pressure equalizing ring is also installed. The machine head is also equipped with a mold correction and adjustment device, which is convenient for adjusting and correcting the concentricity of the mold core and the mold sleeve.

2. Transmission system

The function of the transmission system is to drive the screw and supply the torque and speed required by the screw during the extrusion process. It is usually composed of a motor, a reducer and a bearing.

3. Heating and cooling device

Heating and cooling are necessary conditions for the plastic extrusion process to proceed.

(1) Now the extruder usually uses electric heating, which is divided into resistance heating and induction heating. The heating sheet is installed in the body, the neck and the head of each part. The heating device externally heats the plastic in the barrel to heat it up to the temperature required for the process operation.

(2) The cooling device is set up to ensure that the plastic is in the temperature range required by the process. Specifically, it is to remove the excess heat generated by the shear friction of the screw rotation. So it can avoid the plastic decomposition, scorch or difficulty in shaping due to excessive temperature.
Barrel cooling is divided into two types: water cooling and air cooling. Generally, for the small and medium-sized extruders, air cooling is more appropriate. While for the large ones, water cooling or a combination of the two are more common.
The PE rattan manufacturing is applied with the water cooling by the water tank connected to mold exist.

4. The extrusion is amply applied in the plastic industry

Applicable resins: most thermoplastics, such as PVC, PS, ABS, PC, PE, PP, PA, PMMA, PET, PBT, TPE, TPU, etc.

Application areas: plastic films, nets, products with coating, pipes with a certain section and continuous length, plates, sheets, bars, packing tapes, monofilaments and profiles, etc. It can also be used for powder granulation, dyeing, resin blending, etc.

The manufacture of PE rattan is only one part of the application of the extrusion machine.



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