Plastic has become an integral part of our daily lives, serving a multitude of purposes. From packaging materials, our kids’ toys, to various products, the plastics industry holds a significant position in the manufacturing sector. What might come as a surprise is the essential role that nitrogen plays in supporting this bustling industry.
How is Nitrogen used in Plastics Manufacturing?
Injection Molding: In the creation and molding of plastics, contact with oxygen can cause discoloration and oxidation. Nitrogen, being an inert and dry gas, displaces the oxygen present in the mold, ensuring the integrity and quality of the final product.
Gas Assist Injection Molding (GAIM): Gas assist injection molding involves complex steps to produce large or thick plastic parts. After partially filling the mold with polymer, high-pressure nitrogen is injected to prevent shrinkage during the drying stage. The polymer expands, effectively filling the entire mold without compromising its structural integrity during cooling.
Plastic Extrusion: Plastic extrusion is utilized to manufacture items like pipes, tubing, and weather stripping. Raw plastic material is melted and pressed through a die, forming a continuous tube shape. Nitrogen is employed to displace oxygen, preventing residue formation, and safeguarding both the equipment and the product.
Tank Blanketing: Before the molding process, molten plastic is stored in a tank. Gaseous nitrogen is used to blanket the tank, creating an oxygen-free environment, and protecting the polymer from oxidation. This process effectively purges the oxygen away from the plastic, ensuring its quality.
Discover More about Nitrogen Solutions for Plastics:
Nitrogen plays a crucial role in the plastics industry, contributing to the quality, strength, and appearance of plastic products. By displacing oxygen and creating inert environments, nitrogen helps maintain the integrity of polymers throughout the manufacturing process. For more information on nitrogen solutions tailored to plastics applications, visit Atlas Copco's website, and discover the possibilities.