What are blow molded containers? Before we answer this question, let’s consider some basics and a definition. Blow molding is a plastic parts manufacturing process whereby hollow plastic objects, such as jars and bottles, are shaped into a mold using air pressure. Blow molded plastics are made using blow molding machines, which are made of three parts: the extruder, accumulator die, and molds from which various containers are made.
The blowing molding extrusion melts down the plastics and forms it into a parsion, a round mass of molten glass which is formed by rolling immediately post-furnace heating. The result is a tubular shape with a hole in one end through which pressurized air is blown. The product is then clamped and compressed air is blown into the plastic container into the molded form. After cooling, the mold opens and releases the final product.
This is a common form of plastics manufacturing and the main benefits of such a process follows.
Blow Molding Benefits
Blow molding is not the only process from which plastics are made, but the benefits are many.
- Blow molding is cutting edge. Blow molding has revolutionized the industrial plastics market. The rapid manufacturing process which allows for high-volume production helps companies meet the immediate needs of consumers.
- Blow molding produces many different types of plastic containers. Most containers are used to hold liquid of some form. Each type of liquid requires a different type of container. For example, a gas container should look different than a water container. Blow molding manufacturing can make gas and water containers as well as car seats and flower pots. The diversity of containers produced is phenomenal.
- Blow molding is cost effective. The extrusion process uses lower pressure, which is cost effective for the manufacturer due to lower maintenance costs. It also reduces labor costs.
- Blow molding is more productive. Blow molding allows for greater production in shorter periods of time. The technology is universally used and with newer technologies, such as 3D, more product can be made more rapidly.
- Automation adds production value to blow molding. When the Japanese produced Placo X-Y machine was introduced, blow molding went three dimensional (3D). This process reduces excess polymer build up around the material which increases production speed and reduces quality control intervention.
- Blow molding incorporates other methods of production. The extrusion method mentioned earlier is similar to glass blowing (picture the traditional light bulb). However, there is also injection blow molding which is used to produce products in even greater quantities. This technology is still evolving but promises to further advance plastics manufacturing for many years to come.
Now you can answer the question: What are blow molded containers? You also have basic knowledge of the process, the products produced and the innovation driving this manufacturing process into the future.