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How Recycled Plastics are Used for Blown Film Extrusion

The use of plastics and plastic polymers in consumer products has risen dramatically in the past several decades. While plastics have improved the lives of many, they create a ton of waste. Plastics dumped in a landfill will sit for hundreds of years, taking up space, before they degrade. If incinerated, burning plastics produce noxious fumes and emit high levels of carbon dioxide. All of these processes are bad for the environment. But fortunately, there are many high-tech, convenient, and bio-friendly ways to recycle and reuse plastic. Blown film extrusion is one of these biofriendly recycling processes.

 What is blown film extrusion?

Blown film extrusion is a process for turning plastic into film rolls that can then be turned into usable products. Some of the most common products that these plastics are turned into via the blown film extrusion process are plastic bags, pouches, plastic wrap, laminating film, and packaging film.

What happens during the blown film extrusion process?

This process begins with a polymer, usually polyethylene (PE), that is heated to a malleable state. It is then extruded through a die and inflated many times its original diameter to create a very thin film bubble. Once the bubble is created, it is flattened and treated through a series of rollers to create a flat plastic film, ready to be turned into one of the many blown film products we use today.

Can things go wrong during the film blowing process?

Yes, unfortunately, things can go wrong during the blown film extrusion. Making products out of blown plastic film isn’t just a manufacturing process. It is also an art and a science. A certain level of expertise and dedicated attention to detail are required to prevent seemingly small mistakes from turning into profit-killing catastrophes. For the most part, avoiding some of the most common mistakes, such as bubbles within the film roll, or variations in the film thickness, comes down to the design. Mistakes can be frequent and also costly, but they are fixable with the right tools.

At Pearl Technologies Inc, we’ve been designing and building custom made solutions for the blown film extrusion processes for many years. Our pre-nip chiller can prevent the film from running hot, and our spreader bar can eliminate wrinkling. Products from Pearl will improve the film quality and enable your company to produce a higher output while reducing time-consuming, expensive maintenance processes. Even though mistakes during the extrusion process can be common, they are fixable with the right design and attachments!

With ever-changing demands and the desire to create environmentally-friendly or biodegradable plastics, it’s increasingly harder to manage all the moving pieces of the blown film process. Pearl makes things easier by offering safe solutions so extruders can focus on the type of plastic rather than the quality of the film. This is why we continue to research and create various wear covers and products to aid with today’s plastic standards.


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