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We have provided below a glossary of terms commonly encountered in the plastics world.

| A - C | D - E | F - H | I - O | P - Q | R - S | T - Z|

Additives are materials that are added to a polymer to produce a desired change in material properties or characteristics. A wide variety of additives are currently used in thermoplastics, to expand or extend material properties, enhance processability, modify aesthetics, or increase environmental resistance. Additives enhance properties like flame retardancy and UV light stability.

Back Pressure
The applied hydraulic pressure used to restrict the shot size formation. Applied to the back of a melt accumulator or reciprocating screw. Used to control screw drift, mixing, and shot size adjustments. In molding, back pressure increases the temperature of the melt, and contributes to better mixing of colors and homogeneity of the material.

Cylinder that contains the screw and the heaters. Built to withstand pressure of 7,500-20,000 psi.

Barrel Heaters
Heaters that raise the barrel temperature in order to transform the thermoplastic material into a melt.

Blow Needles, Extrusion Blow Molding
Device used to pierce and inflate the parison, usually actuated by an air cylinder.

Blow Pressure, Extrusion Blow Molding
Dimension of bottle divided by the parison diameter. Bottles usually have many ratios. However, only the maximum ratio usually needs to be considered.

The process of extruding two or more materials through a single die with two or more orifices arranged so that the extrudates merge and weld together into a laminar structure before chilling.

A mixture of resin and the ingredients necessary to modify the resin to a form suitable for processing into finished articles.

The process of selection of additives and their incorporation into a polymer. Compounding is done to obtain desirable properties for particular uses. Modification of the polymer properties is done by ingredients such as polymeric resins, plasticizers, fillers, reinforcing agents, various stabilizers, lubricants, coloring agents, flame retardants, etc.

Compression Molding
A method of molding in which the molding material, generally preheated, is placed in an open heated mold cavity, the mold is closed with a top force, pressure is applied to force the material into contact with all mold areas, and heat and pressure are maintained until the molding material has cured. This process is most often used with thermoses.

Cooling Time
The elapsed time required for the melt to reach its Vicat softening temperature.

This term usually, but not always, denotes a polymer of two chemically distinct monomers.

Complete, repeating sequence of operations for injection molding a part.

Cycle Time
In a molding operation, cycle time is the time elapsing between a particular point in one cycle and the same point in the next cycle.





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