Creating uniformity is vital in the production of plastic products. To achieve this uniformity, resins and other materials can be blended in a process that combines them in a thorough and automated manner, and in predetermined proportions.
Operators on the shop floor can gain valuable experience on material blending, material property testing, using additives to achieve desired properties and many other skills to become proficient in the blending process.
The blending of materials is done before production. There are two primary types of blending: metering the materials into the blend by quantity, known as volumetric blending; or blending by weight, known as gravimetric blending.
The individual ingredients of the blend are integrated through dosing, which may be performed by a stand-alone feeder positioned at the processing machine. Dosing can also be positioned within an automated blender. The process can be performed by weight or volume. Feeders are also available for pellet-by-pellet dosing, giving precising dosing for special production and batching needs.
On the shop floor, a worker can blend basic resins as well as any colors or additives by following a recipe to create the raw material required for the process and product being made. Companies can save money by using this method rather than purchasing pre-mixed materials.
Some typical blending and dosing applications include coloring, stabilization and consumption of regrind.
Blending can be done before or after the drying process. Equipment that blends material after the drying process can blanket the material compartments and mixing chamber with dry air to prevent moisture from coming back during the blending process.
Blending also can offer consistent processing results with improved dispersion of low volume additives.
For more information on blending, visit these links on dosing vs. blending, low volume vs. high volume blending, liquid dosing and maintenance.