Every industry has commonly used terms and acronyms, and custom plastic profile extruders are no exception.  The extrusion industry tends to take these terms for granted, which can lead to confusion.  Below are some of the common terms explained.  

Extruders and Tooling

Think of extrusion in terms of an everyday product that almost everyone has seen – the extrusion of pasta using a pasta making machine. These devices make a wide variety of pasta noodle shapes, each using basic extrusion principles. In reality, whether you are making pasta or custom plastic profiles, the processes are very similar. Let’s look at 9 terms related to custom profile extrusion, all related to the extruder and the tool.

Downstream equipment

In this section, we are going to tackle the top 10 thermoplastic extrusion terms relating to ancillary or downstream equipment used to manufacture custom plastic profiles, tubing, and other hollow profiles.


In this section, we are going to address material terms you may hear extrusion suppliers talk about when they discuss plastic materials. Extrusion companies tend to specialize in a group of raw materials. Formtech specializes in the following thermoplastic materials.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene styrene), Acrylic (Polymethyl Methacrylate), ASA (Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate), Butyrate (Cellulose Acetate Butyrate), WPC (Wood Plastic Composites), PC (Polycarbonate), HDPE (High Density Polyethylene), LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene), LLDPE (Linear Low-Density Polyethylene), MDPE (Medium Density Polyethylene), PP (Polypropylene), PS (Polystyrene), Rigid PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride in a hardened form), Flexible PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride with plasticizers), TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber)


In this section, we are going to dive into processing terms you will likely hear a plastic extrusion supplier use when talking about the process.