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Inflating plastics by the introduction of a gas typically puts a strain on the surfaces of the object. Any surface defects could lead to gas escaping, affecting the shape of the plastic.

Inflation is used to create hollow plastic shapes, typically with a combination of injection molding and blow molding. The plastic is melted into a preformed shape, then air is introduced, pushing the plastic out to fit the mold.

Successful molding depends upon an effective, defect-free preform or tube-shaped parison, followed by a controlled rate of inflation that does not burst the plastic. Often, two halves of the product are molded, then joined together, so repeatable product shapes are essential.

Surface defects can allow air to escape during the blow molding process, which may lead to a misshapen product. For optimum quality control, automated monitoring of the continuous production process is highly important.
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