One of the most widespread and effective solutions for the production of hollow plastic bodies is extrusion blow moulding.
We use this technology to produce our balls. But how do you turn polymer granules into balls?
Let us introduce you to the details of the production process!
Blow moulding: how does it work?
Blow moulding is an extrusion manufacturing technology during which a tubular preform is created from polymer granules. With the help of the mould and air blown into it through the blowing pin, the final plastic product can be created from the preform. But to understand the technology, we need to go deeper into the details.
Similar to other thermoplastic polymer processing technologies, the technology can be divided into three phases:
- making the polymer malleable,
- shape fixation.
The raw material can be any polymer that has a type of melt strength suitable for extrusion blow moulding. Most often, LDPE, HDPE, and PP polymers are processed with this technology.
At the start of production, the raw material, which is usually in the form of granules, must be fed into the extruder. The polymer then melts under the influence of heat. This is the phase when it becomes malleable. The molten polymer is transported towards the extruder mould by the screw in the extruder.
This part of the technology is similar to other extrusion technologies and injection moulding. The speciality of extrusion blow moulding is that the extruder tool is a crosshead. Therefore, turning the material flow from a horizontal to a vertical direction means the extruder produces a preform with the help of a tool at the end of the machine.
In the next step, the parison – which is in malleable form – takes the shape of the closed mould with the help of the air blown into the mould through the blow pin (formation). By cooling the mould the raw material can be quickly hardened, so that the finished product can easily be removed from the mould (shape fixing).
We further developed traditional extrusion blow moulding, as the production of balls requires special technological solutions. To serve our customers’ needs at the highest possible level, we continuously developed this over the past 60 years. Thanks to this, our playpen balls are award-winning in the commercial markets. Also, we are the top producer of cover and industrial balls. Using safe materials – LDPE, HDPE, PP and PVDF – as raw materials during production, makes us capable of offering the most suitable balls and solving multiple challenges.
We provide a large variety of sizes, ranging from the tiny 6.9 mm to the enormous 225 mm ball.
Besides blow moulding machines, we developed a machine where cover balls are filled with water automatically.
Leftover waste when manufacturing is a big no-no!
Our company’s corporate culture places a high value on environmental responsibility. So, we strive to produce as little waste as possible during production.
The plastic frame carrying the balls during production is not waste but a rather valuable raw material that we can reuse during production.
Although production in our highly advanced plant is nearly entirely automated, operators still do quality checks to guarantee premium quality. In addition, we randomly select playpen balls for quality checks and subject them to much more stress during testing than what they would normally encounter. We compress the balls cyclically 20,000 times to half of their original diameter. The balls will only pass this extreme test if they do not burst after 20,000 compressions.
That’s how we create our balls!
Balls are manufactured at the plant of EURO-MATIC in Hungary. They use equipment designed in-house, under professional conditions, and with the highest level of automation.