This article describes the extrusion process, which converts soft, plastic material into a particular form using an extruder, or screw conveyer. It discusses the two main types of plastic extruders, twin-screw and single-screw, estimation of extruder capacity, and design and operations (heating, cooling, downstream sizing, corrugating, and crossheading) of the screw, the most important component of any extruder. It discusses the shapes produced by screw extrusion and the types of extrusion products produced by extrusion processes, including blown-film extrusion, flat-film or sheet extrusion, chill-roll film extrusion, pipe or tube extrusion, wire and cable coverings, extrusion coating, and profile extrusion, and provides some discussion on multiple-screw extruders. The article describes the dimensional accuracy of extrusion products, and lists common defects that occur frequently in the extrusion process.
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