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PLA Plastic Material: ALL You Need to Know in 2021

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Author : Chintec
Update time : 2021-01-15 20:02:40
PLA Plastic Material: ALL You Need to Know in 2021

The methods for processing PLA plastic are no different than those applied to other commercial polymers, such as PS and PET. Of special importance during industrial production is controlling PLA’s humidity: A high concentration of moisture can result in a failed piece. Additionally, production at high temperatures may result in PLA degradation.
 
Before the actual production, it is recommended to store PLA in its original package at ambient conditions. Pre-drying the material is also a good idea, given the fast moisture uptake of this thermoplastic.
 
Extrusion: The first step before any further processing of PLA. Heat must be applied to the granules of the plastic in order to make them flow under pressure. The process includes pumping, heating, mixing, and pressurizing. Read more about extrusion of thermoplastics.
Injection molding: A mass-production method producing extremely cheap pieces after the initial costs (molds) have been paid off. Yet, the use of injection molding for PLA production is limited, given its slow crystallization rate when compared to other thermoplastics.
Injection stretch blow molding: The manufacturing process is used mainly to produce hollow parts from different thermoplastics.
Read all about injection blow molding here.
Cast film and sheet: From protective food and textiles packaging, to credit cards cast films, this process typically involves the simultaneous extrusion of two or more materials to form a multilayered film.
Thermoforming: This process starts by heating the PLA to its softening point. The thermoplastic will be then stretched while holding in place until it solidifies to the target form.
3D printing: PLA is by far the most popular 3D printing filament! It’s easy to print with, boasts a competitive price and offers an extensive variety in the market.