Industry News

Custom Plastic Extrusion at ADM Cleveland

On March 27, 2017 | by Formtech | in Featured News, Industry News, Uncategorized

Advanced Design and Manufacturing (ADM) is coming to Cleveland, and so is Formtech Enterprises! The show spans Wednesday, March 29 and Thursday, March 30 at the Huntington Center. The doors open at 10:00 am on both Wednesday and Thursday. Industry leaders in this increasingly global market recognize the need to employ advanced manufacturing and automation in the production of their products. Companies are seeking cost effective ways to improve their products, speed up manufacturing, and provide more value for their end customers. The flexibility of custom plastic profile extrusion provides exceptional opportunities to enhance appearance, improve performance & functionality, speed up assembly, and provide increased value.

Examples of dual and tri-extruded custom profile extrusions by Formtech

Dual and Tri-Extruded Profiles by Formtech

Custom profile extrusions, in single-durometer, dual-durometer or even tri-durometer (three materials, one profile) add versatility and functionality to the end product, and Formtech provides custom extruded products and profiles to a wide variety of markets using these technologies.

Custom color matching, in-line fabrication, profile embossing & texturing, adhesive & film application and custom assembly are all core competencies Formtech provides to help our customers enhance their products.

Formtech extrudes custom profile extrusions from many thermoplastic materials, including:

  • ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
  • Foamed PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
  • Acrylic
  • Butyrate
  • Flexible PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) (also referred to as FPVC)
  • Polycarbonate (PC)
  • Polyethylene (PE) (including HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, and MDPE)
  • PPE/Polystyrene (PS) blends
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polystyrene (PS) (including HIPS)
  • Polyurethane (TPU)
  • Recycled Plastic Materials
  • Rigid PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) (also referred to as RPVC)
  • Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR, TPE)
  • Wood Plastic Composite (WPC), including PVC based WPC
  • Other Composite Blends

Formtech Enterprises will be attending the ADM Cleveland show! President Amy Reynallt and Vice President of Business Development Herb Hutchison will be at the show, and will have information available about the company, and samples of our stainable wood plastic composite surface finish options. Will you be attending the show this year? Reach out to Herb by text or phone at 614-531-9954 or email hhutchison@formtech.com to set up a meeting at ADM Cleveland.

Time to Find Another Building Material?

On March 22, 2017 | by Formtech | in Featured News, Industry News, Uncategorized

With a better forecast for housing starts in 2017 and uncertainty over the expiration of a trade agreement that governed imports and exports of lumber between the United States and Canada, lumber prices have posted significant increases to start the year. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the price of lumber has risen dramatically in recent weeks, with some wood products increasing more than 30 percent. For instance, framing lumber increased in price by 15% in just three weeks between January 27th and February 17th.  This situation appears to be compounded with softwood futures, which have increased 12 percent for March deliveries.

With the increases to wood prices, and the volatility of the market due to expired trade agreements, perhaps it is time to look at alternative materials as replacements for wood. Formtech Enterprises is a leading custom profile extrusion company, with expertise in both Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) and Foamed Rigid PVC processes and materials.

Wood plastic composite materials combine the properties of the thermoplastic material used in the compound with the properties of wood.  Listed below are some key characteristics of wood plastic composite products by Formtech:

Wood Plastic Composite Patio Door Surround Extrusion by Formtech Enterprises

Wood Plastic Composite Extrusion by Formtech

* WPC custom extruded profiles provide the natural look of wood with the performance of vinyl

* WPC custom extruded profiles are resistance to rot, termite infestation, or decay

* WPC custom extruded profiles can be embossed with a wood grained pattern to enhance the appearance and natural look

* WPC custom extruded profiles offer increased stiffness over other thermoplastic materials, including ABS, PVC, Styrene and Polycarbonate

* WPC extrusions can incorporate hollow sections in the profile to reduce mass, costs and weight of the custom extruded profile

* WPC custom extruded profiles have significantly reduced thermal expansion or contraction compared to PVC and other extrusion compounds

* WPC custom extruded profiles can be dual and even tri extruded to form cap layers for weatherable colors (including popular dark colors) and flexible PVC gripping legs for sealing

* WPC custom extruded profiles are paintable and stainable using common paints and gel stains

* WPC custom extruded profiles offer higher heat distortion temperatures compared to traditional PVC extrusions

Another option to reduce dependence on wood is foamed, or cellular, PVC custom extruded products. Formtech has the experience to produce cellular PVC extrusions using either Celuka or Free Foam techniques to match requirements of the application. Foam rigid PVC profiles are ideal for applications that require light weight parts with strength and durability. Foam rigid PVC extrusions have a smooth exterior surface, and an inner cell structure that reduces weight while improving performance. Listed below are some key characteristics of Celuka or Free Foam PVC extruded products by Formtech:

Rigid PVC Foam Extrusion by Formtech

  • Rigid PVC foam extruded profiles can be formulated to be lighter than wood
  • Unlike wood products, rigid PVC foam extruded profiles will not rot
  • Unlike wood products, rigid PVC foam extruded profiles are insect resistant
  • Rigid PVC foam extruded profiles can be mitered, cut and drilled using common wood working and construction equipment
  • Rigid PVC foam extruded profiles will not absorb water like wood
  • Rigid PVC foam extruded profiles can offer a reduction in weight over non-foamed, traditional plastic extruded profiles
  • Rigid PVC foam compounds can be formulated to be UV resistant
  • Rigid PVC foam extruded profiles can be heated and formed into arches, curved panels, and various architectural shapes in a variety of industries including fenestration, office furniture, wood furniture and others
  • Rigid PVC foam custom extrusions readily accept screws, and have amazing screw retention
  • Rigid PVC foam extrusions can be glued with commercially available PVC cement
  • Rigid PVC foam extruded profiles offer consistent color throughout the cross section of the profile.

With over 30 years of experience extruding wood plastic composite and cellular PVC compounds, Formtech can help you determine if these materials represent a viable solution for you.  We can also customize blends of the wood plastic composite in order to help achieve the performance characteristics desired for your application, or vary the density (weight) of a foamed PVC compound to suit the specific application.

No matter your application, it is critical to select the correct material, which will ultimately affect how your product functions it its application.   Let Formtech help you determine if a wood plastic composite or foamed PVC extrusion is a solution for you!

Custom Extruded to your Specifications

Formtech Enterprises manufactures custom extruded profiles to your specifications.  We start the process by listening…. we want to understand your needs. Once we understand your requirements, we will offer design input based on design for manufacturability. We have experienced sales and engineering associates to help you in this process.

Your need, our experience, your solution. Call us today at (330) 688-2171 or click here to fill out a contact request form and we will call you today.

Since 1970, Formtech Enterprises, Inc. has been manufacturing high quality, industry leading custom profile extrusions, and the Truline innovative vinyl sheet piling product. With extrusion facilities in Fairview, PA and Bogart, GA, Formtech is strategically positioned to service a very large geographical market, as well as customers with multiple manufacturing locations. Capabilities include single, dual and triple durometer extrusion in a wide variety of different thermoplastic compounds. Specialty compounds include clear materials, foamed rigid PVC and wood plastic composites (WPC). Additional capabilities include both in-line and out-of-line fabrication, custom color matching, in-line embossing, and tool design/construction.

How Long Will Material Cost Increases Last?

On March 21, 2017 | by Formtech | in Featured News, Industry News, Uncategorized

Since the beginning of February, we’ve seen cost increases for polystyrene, PVC (including PVC based WPC), polyethylene, polypropylene, ABS, and PET.  As a result, the costs of plastic extrusions have increased as well.  PVC resin prices per Plastics News

For those with experience buy plastics resins and compounds, though, we know that costs of plastic materials are like a roller coaster; increases often follow decreases that follow increases, and so on.   As shown in the graph, PVC costs in 2016 had many ebbs and flows, with a decrease in February, April, June, and December, which followed increases in March, May, July, and November.  (Note: This data is based on Plastics News’s resin prices for pipe grade, small volume, PVC and does not represent specific compound or resin prices).

Due to the fluctuations, it often leads our customers to ask, how long will material cost increases last?

While we can’t answer the question definitely, spot feedstock price, plastic resin demand (both in the US and worldwide), and the overall economy can help give us some clues as to when to expect decreases – or sometimes, even more increases.  Plastics Technology magazine reflects on the first quarter of 2017 and predicts the future in its article, Engineering Resin Prices Rise in the First Quarter.

Some cost stabilization, and possibly even reversals are expected later this year.  However, many factors, including further unplanned outages or growing demand could certainly create trends like we saw with PVC in 2016, where an increasing trend occurs, despite a pattern of fluctuation throughout the year.

Material Cost Update – March 2017

On March 10, 2017 | by Formtech | in Featured News, Industry News

Over the past several weeks, we’ve been talking about the increases to PVC, PP (polypropylene), and PE (polyethylene) costs, but additional materials are now making headlines.  Plastics News is reporting that ABS, PS (polystyrene), and PET prices have also increased since February 1.

ABS and PS, both materials that Formtech extrudes into custom plastic profiles, increased due to benzene prices increasing 25% since January.  Benzene is used to make the styrene monomer present in both materials.   As a result, both ABS and PS material costs have risen an average of 8 cents per pound, which are expected to lead to compound increases over the next two months.

Material Cost Update – February 2017

On March 3, 2017 | by Formtech | in Featured News, Industry News, Uncategorized

As mentioned earlier this month, PVC costs are on the rise!  We have begun receiving increases from PVC vendors that affect both rigid PVC (RPVC) and flexible PVC (FPVC) materials, with effective dates as early as March 1, 2017.  According to Plastics News, a current four cent hike in PVC costs is due to ethylene prices, which also resulted in PE costs increasing in February.  Component cost increases, paired with anticipated strong demand, will likely lead to additional PVC increases throughout 2017 as well.

In addition, polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) costs also increased in February, roughly 5 cents and 6.5 cents per pound respectively.  Like with PVC, these costs increases were also due to component material cost increases and demand.

Formtech will be sending additional information to current customers regarding these increases and if/how these increases will affect the costs of their current plastic profile extrusions.