Frequently Asked Questions

What is plastic extrusion?

Plastic extrusion is a process by which two dimensional shapes are produced from thermoplastic on a continuous basis. Pipe, tubing, sheet, solid shapes and profiles are typical extruded products. Any desired length part can be provided. In-line application of PSA tapes, labels, punching or notching are available on extruded parts

What are the typical plastic materials used in the Plastic extrusion process?

The common plastic materials used in the plastic extrusion process are:

  • Acrylic
  • ABS
  • Polystyrene
  • Polycarbonate
  • Polyethylene
  • Rigid and flexible PVC
  • Polyurethane
  • Polypropylene
  • TPR

What is your standard stock extrusion length?

Most stock extrusions are available in 96” lengths but we will also cut to size.

What quality control procedures are followed?

Each product shipment is documented for compliance to strictest quality control guidelines, in addition to the nuances of the specific production run. Quality control is the responsibility of all SeaGate employees and is monitored and recorded by Quality Assurance personnel on an hourly basis. We are routinely audited by major corporations for compliance to ISO standards and other recognized quality systems. The consistently high level of product quality is considered to be the primary reason for our significant growth in the last decade.

What is your typical lead times?

Stock parts can ship within 24 hours. Custom runs vary depending on raw material availability and current backlog, which is typically 2-3 weeks at most.

Can you run longer lengths?

Yes, we can always schedule a custom run to whatever length you need.

Do you have minimum order quantities?

Yes. The minimum order is $250.00.

Which material is best?

The goal in material selection is to determine which balance of physical properties best match the end use requirements of your plastic extrusion profile. One must consider many attributes such as environmental, use temperature, chemical exposure, flammability requirements, impact and the overall part function. Our team will work with you to select the optimum balance of material properties, function and cost.

Can you help with material selection or product development?

Yes we can. Our staff has many years experience in extrusion but we can provide some assistance to every industry that we serve.

Why should I use vinyl?

Vinyl compounds range from soft (low durometer) to very rigid providing the ability to meet most plastic extrusion profile requirements. With the addition of color concentrates, almost any color is achievable ranging from metallic to florescent. The compounds are inherently flame resistant with good chemical resistance. Weatherability can be achieved with the addition of ultraviolet inhibitors.

What is the difference between extrusion and injection molding?

Extrusion is a process where molten plastic is pushed through a two-dimensional die opening. After the molten plastic exits the die opening, it passes through a series of sizers or forms that hold the shape of the part as it cools. A puller or conveyor grips the cooled extrudate and moves it through the sizing equipment. The extrusion process is capable of producing two dimensional profiles or shapes that are continuous in length, yet can be either coiled or cut to length at the end of the process. Injection molding is a process where molten plastic is injected into one or more cavities in a three-dimensional mold. This mold opens and closes as parts are formed and purged from the mold cavity. Unlike extrusion, this process is capable of producing three-dimensional shapes.

What Industries do you serve?

As a manufacturer of custom plastic extrusion profiles, we serve many different industries. We work closely with our customers to provide the highest quality thermoplastic extrusions, whether for electronics, furniture, office furnishings, store fixtures, POP displays, industrial or one of several other served markets.

What is durometer?

Durometer is a measurement of the material's hardness and is measured with a sharp point being pressed into the material where the reading is noted on a dial gauge. The most common reading is based on a 15-second delay. Common scales are Shore A for flexible materials and Shore D for semi rigid compounds.

What is dual durometer?

Dual durometer, or co-extrusion, is the fusion of two or more materials of varying physical properties into a single extruded piece. An example would be a rigid part with flexible fingers that could be used as a gasket or cushion. Typically, the two materials are from the same family of polymers to ensure compatibility for adequate adhesion; however, in some instances dissimilar materials can be extruded together, providing adhesion can be obtained.

What are typical tooling costs?

Tool costs are included in the Engineering Development Charge, which consists of a portion of the total costs associated with developing a new product. Other items considered are the actual labor and material costs to develop "production ready" tooling. Consequently, there are many factors involved that prohibit a direct answer to the question. However, depending on the part complexity and raw materials, one could estimate the costs starting at less than $1,000.

What is a vacuum sizer?

Vacuum sizers, sometimes called vacuum calibrators, are an integral part of many plastic extrusion set-ups and specific to each the custom profile. The sizer determines the final part dimensions by using a vacuum to shape the molten plastic during the cooling process. While the initial cost may seem high, the sizer ensures repeatable product quality.

How do I get a quote?

You can get quotes in several ways: either e-mail your request by going to our request for quote page, or e-mail with attached specs and drawing; fax us the information including specs and drawing if possible; or call and we can discuss your needs and work up a quote from there.