Process of inflating a hot, hollow, thermoplastic preform or parison inside a closed mold so its shape conforms to that of the mold cavity. A wide variety of hollow parts, including plastic bottles, can be produced from many different plastics using this process.
Types of Blow molding
- Extrusion blow molding
In extrusion blow molding the parison is formed by forcing molten plastic through an annular orifice in a die that is part of the die head assembly. The orifice is formed by the space between the mandrel and the die. Extrusion may be directly from an extruder, or for large parts for which more material is needed than the extruder can continuously provide an accululator is used.
- Injection blow molding
Injection blow molding is a two stage process since the parison is produced in a separate operation. In the first process molten plastic is injected into a heated preform mold around a hollow mandrel blow tube or core rod. This is similar to insert injection molding. The workpiece for the second, blow molding, process is the preform-mandrel assembly. The preformed parison is placed in a larger mold cavity for blow molding. Between the preform production and blow blow molding processes a heated preform may be held in a temperature conditioning stage or a cooled preform re-heated. After blow molding the part is stripped from the core rod at an ejection station.
- Stretch blow molding
Stretch blow molding produces a part with biaxial molecular alignment. In the process a preform, or parison, elongated mechanically in the mold and than expanded radially in a blowing process. A desirable resulting molecular orientation yields a material with increased strength. This means that products that are strength-based designs can be produced using less material than if they were to be produced using simpler blow molding techniques.