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  Glossary
 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Band Heater:
A heating unit, normally electric-resistance type, which encircles the barrel of a screw-type molding or extruding machine to provide supplementary heat for resin melting.
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Blender:
A unit used to mix and meter resins and/or additives in proper proportions for a given plastics manufacturing job specification.
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Blow Molding:
A process by which compressed air is used to blow a hollow tube of plastic material inside a mold. Generally used for plastic bottles/containers.
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Blown Film:
An extrusion process in which melted resin passes through a ring-type die, is inflated into a tubular bubble, folded flat, and rolled. Plastic bags and sheet are the principle products of this process.
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Calendering:
A method of producing sheet and film, normally vinyl, by means of passing melted resin through a series of rollers which form the sheet/film under heat and pressure.
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Captive:
A manufacturing operation which produces to satisfy its own internal requirements as opposed to producing for outside customers.
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Cartridge Heater:
A tubular-type electric resistance unit inserted in a mold or die to provide mold / die heating.
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Casting:
A sheet or film making process by which a polymer syrup (generally acrylic) is cured either in batch ovens or continuously between heated stainless steel belts.
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Chiller:
A unit designed to provide cooling water to processing equipment or for space conditioning. In the plastics industry, normally used for mold temperature control or cooling of molded machine hydraulics.
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Coextrusion:
The process of extruding two or more different resins at one time into a single product.
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COM:
Cost of materials.
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Commercial:
A manufacturing operation which produces to order for outside customers as opposed to its own internal requirements.
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Co-Molding:
The process of molding two or more different resins at one time into a single product; for example, encapsulating a molded foam within a hard outer shell.
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Compounding:
Combining different resin types and/or additives into a specific plastic recipe.
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Compression Molding:
A process primarily used for molding thermosetting plastics under heat and pressure in a press, which normally has a vertical configuration.
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CTFS:
Central Thermal Fluid System in which electrically or fossil heated fluids (water, glycol, oil) are distributed to several different pieces of processing equipment, as opposed to dedicated thermal fluid systems which serve one machine only.
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Die:
A metal plate with a desired profile cut through it to allow passage of softened material, which assumes the shape of the opening as it emerges through the die in continuous lengths.
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Elastomer:
A material combining the physical properties of plastic and rubber.
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Extrusion:
The process of pushing melted resin through a die to produce continuous lengths of constant profile material.
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Feedstock:
Small molecules of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, etc., which serve as the basic building blocks of plastic formulations.
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Granulation:
Chopping up excess or scrap material (normally thermoplastic) into small pieces, which can be reprocessed in an extruder or molding machine.
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Mold:
A two-part unit featuring a hollowed-out center cavity corresponding to the desired shape of the finished product. Melted resin is introduced into the mold where it conforms to the cavity shape, solidifies, and is removed.
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Molding:
The process of forming a component within an enclosed cavity (see "mold").
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Monomer:
Another name for feedstock.
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Multi-Cavity:
Refers to a mold with more than one cavity. For example, an eight-cavity die will produce eight finished parts for each cycle of a molding machine, as opposed to a single cavity die which produces one part only.
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Non-Process:
Those aspects of a manufacturing facility which do not directly relate to the physical processing of a product. Lighting or HVAC would represent non-process energy applications.
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Outsourcing:
The contracting out by a manufacturer of production work which was previously accomplished in-house.
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Pellet:
A commonly used name for a small piece of dry plastic resin. Pellets are shipped in bags or bulk to the processor. Also known as beads.
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Polymer:
Long molecular chains of specific chemical composition, which become resins.
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Process:
Those aspects of a manufacturing operation that are directly related to the physical processing of a product. Heating of resins or cooling of finished parts would be examples of process energy applications.
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Reinforced Plastics:
Plastic materials that have been augmented with some sort of reinforcement material (such as fiberglass particles, fiber mats, or carbon strands, for example) for purposes of providing high strength and durability to the finished product.
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Resin:
The raw material from which the processor produces finished plastic parts. Thousands ofindividual resin formulations are available to the processor.
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Rotational Molding:
A process for the production of large hollow objects. Resins are heated and solidified within a closed mold, which is rotated on two axes to provide uniform distribution of resin on the mold walls.
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Screw:
A long shaft with flights placed in the barrel of an extruder or injection molding machine to move resin from hopper to die/mold, and help melt the resin through friction generated in the rotary action of the unit.
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Sheet Heating:
The application of heat for purposes of softening a sheet of plastic material prior to thermoforming.
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Shot:
A name commonly used for a precise amount of plastic melt injected into a mold during the injection molding process.
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Shoot and Ship:
A slang term for operations that are concerned primarily with rapid product output and turnaround as opposed to high-precision quality.
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Source Material:
The materials from which the basic building blocks, or monomers, for plastic polymer / resin formulations are extracted-most commonly petroleum products.
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Strip Heater:
A flat electric resistance heater normally set into the surface of a mold or die for temperature control.
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Thermal Fluid:
A heated liquid (oil, water, glycol, etc.) used to heat molds, rolls, or other process equipment employed in the manufacture of plastic products.
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Thermoforming:
A process of forming a heated, softened plastic sheet by means of drawing down by a vacuum (vacuum forming), pushing the sheet into a mold by compressed air or mechanical assist, or a combination of those methods.
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Thermoplastic:
A plastic that can be repeatedly melted and formed. Thermoplastics are solidified by cooling.
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Thermoset:
A plastic that can be melted and formed only once. Thermosets are solidified by heat and pressure.
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Transfer Molding:
Like compression molding, a process used primarily for production of thermosetting plastic components. Preheated material is placed in a chamber or pot, where it is distributed under pressure to several different molding cavities through channels (runners) cut into the mold.
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VOS:
Value of Shipments. The gross output in dollars of a particular company or industry.
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