Plastics engineering is the process, design, development and manufacture of plastics products. A plastic is a polymeric material that is in a semi-liquid state, having the property of plasticity and exhibiting flow. Plastic machinery is the general term for all types of machinery and devices used in the plastics processing industry. The nature of plastic materials pose unique challenged to engineers. The mechanical properties of plastics are difficult to quantify and the plastic engineers have to design a product that meets certain specifications while keeping costs to a minimum.
The economics of the products that are worked with play an important role in plastics engineering. The cost of plastic materials range from the cheapest plastics used in mass-produced consumer product to the expensive specialty plastics. Some plastics are manufactured from re-cycled materials. However, the uses of these products in engineering applications are limited due to the consistency of formulation and their physical properties tendency to be less consistent.
Plastic engineers are trying to reduce the ecological footprint of their products. The most common practice for this is the Vinyloop process. This process guarantees that a product’s primary energy demand is 46 percent lower than conventional produced PVC. The global warming potential of this method is 39 percent lower than conventional methods.