The Differences Between Extrusion and Rolling Plastics

There are two types of processes that can be used to shape raw plastic materials into a product, such as extrusion and rolling. Plastic extrusion can involve various steps, but it helps to create complex shapes while rolling. It’s mainly used to create sheets with specific thickness requirements. Knowing the differences can help you determine what process is best for your plastic manufacturing needs. At Clark Rubber & Plastic, our extrusion services can help you produce shapes and profiles with varying thicknesses, colors, hardness, and textures.

Plastic Extrusion

Extrusion helps the melting plastic through a die, which is a shaped opening. The shape of the die determines the shape of the extruded plastic. We can use extrusion to create various products, including pipes, tubes, sheets, and more. It can also create specific, complex shapes and long, continuous shapes. It is highly versatile and customizable, allowing for custom sizes, shapes, thicknesses, and textures. Extrusion can be fast, efficient, and consistent. 

The extrusion process can use highly specialized equipment. We recently added six new extrusion lines to our facility to accelerate our plastic operations and production. This helps us keep up with increased demand and quality requirements. It also makes us more capable of working within your timeline.

Plastic Rolling

This process involves inserting a plastic sheet or film between a series of rollers. These rollers reduce the thickness of the plastic until it meets the client’s desired specifications. The rollers can be textured or smooth, depending on the product requirements. It can also be used to create sheets with a smooth or specific texture. Rolling cannot create complex shapes.

Key Differences Between Extrusion and Rolling

Extrusion and rolling are both effective plastic manufacturing methods. The key differences between these processes can help you determine what process is best for your purposes. Here are a few differences between the two approaches:

Shape and Finish

Extrusion can create a wide variety of shapes. It is also more versatile for creating complex cross-sectional shapes, continuous shapes, and more. The texture and finish are customizable for various specifications. Rolling can create flat sheets, smooth or textured. The thickness and finish are often customizable. 

Speed and Efficiency

Plastic extrusion can be a fast and efficient process. This efficiency can also lead to cost savings. Rolling may be slower than extraction with lower efficiency. We optimize our production processes to increase efficiency and reduce waste as much as possible during extraction and rolling.


Extrusion can produce more waste than rolling because more plastic isn’t used after passing through the die. We mitigate this by feeding a precise amount of plastic into the die. We also help reduce waste by prioritizing efficient production processes and using sustainable practices. 

Use Clark Rubber & Plastic for Manufacturing 

Clark Rubber & Plastic manufactures rubber and plastic parts for various applications. We serve the automotive, medical, solar, appliance, and military industries. We use some of the most advanced equipment to complete plastic extrusion. If you have a project that requires plastic manufacturing services, contact us today.