This Article is About
manufacturing process
electrical conductivity
porous surfaces
wind turbines
plastic manufacturing
electrical wires
desired outcome
distinct advantage
raw materials
Plastic Sintering: The Manufacturing Process In The UK
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The significance of plastic sintering is that the product is creating from plastic in its powered form. This is a distinct advantage as manufacturers are able to create plastics quicker as there are fewer steps in their production but also the powdered form of the plastic is of higher purity and therefore will produce a plastic of higher quality. The plastic powder also does not need to reach its melting point before the particles begin to fuse together which makes this a favourite method of production for plastics with a particularly high melting point, such as tungsten. As well as the advantages in production, sintering can enhance the plastic’s incredibly high strength, thermal and electrical conductivity. For example, sintering has been known to produce wind turbines to casing for electrical wires. It can also be used to manipulate the surface area texture of the plastic varying from a smooth surface to rough and porous surfaces. Therefore sintering technologies can produce plastics with a range of different properties.

Sintering technologies is another method, like casting, that can be applied to a variety of raw materials including metal, glass fibres and ceramics. These materials can also be added to the plastic power during the earlier phase of sintering to create an even stronger product. Again, the plastic manufacturing company will decide which additives to introduce to the mix depending on the desired outcome of the client and what the resulting plastic will be used for.

The product is formed once the powdered form of the plastic and any additives, for example setting agents, colorants or even metals, are mixed together and left to set in a mould with the desired shape. This mould is heated and maintained at a continuous temperature to ensure the plastic powder heats uniformly. Additional heat is then applied directly to the mixture, again it is not essential to reach melting point, and the powdered particles begin to gain energy and fuse to one another via a process known as atomic diffusion. The powder is placed into the mould and machinery used in sintering to ensure the plastic powder completely fills every corner. This will produce the required structure. The mould is left for the plastic to cool slowly at room temperature until eventually one solidified object is produced.

Sintering technologies are complete when the product is then ready for the finishing touches, for example painting, waxing. Plastics with a porous surface are often created with the finishing touches in mind. A porous surface enables the paint or wax to adhere to the surface a lot easier and stronger.

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