Cooling Tower for the Plastics Industry


The plastics industry accounts for approximately $432 billion and more than one million jobs in the US. While plastics are made from natural materials, they need an industrial complex in order to be processed. This processing produces heat and plastics manufacturing facilities do a lot of processing. This is why choosing the right cooling tower for the plastic industry is so important.

Keep in mind that the production process also involves heating and cooling various thermoplastics in order to form it, which is why you need a way to handle all this heat. For all of this, you need an industrial cooling tower.

The method of use of cooling water and thermal efficiency will drastically impact the ecological equation of the process, especially when it comes to the manufacturing of plastic products.

What Are the Characteristics of Cooling Systems for Plastic Manufacturing?

When it comes to the plastics industry, the features that you’re looking for are:

  • Adequate conservative thermal ratings
  • Long life of construction
  • Reliability
  • Design (compactness)
  • Simplified maintenance

Most importantly, no towers are made specifically for the plastic industry. Therefore, what you’re looking for are towers that are designed for heavy industrial use. This way, you can rest assured that they have the necessary features for the job.

How Do Cooling Towers Fit this Process?

In order to understand how cooling towers fit this process, it’s essential that you try and learn more about the plastics manufacturing processes.  The most common plastic manufacturing processes are injection molding and extruding.

Immediately after it’s processed in extrusion for example, the plastic is usually in a semi-liquid (molten) state. In order to solidify and keep its shape and size (as well as be molded properly) the plastic in question needs to be cooled down. The plastic travels through a tank of water that cools the thermoplastics. Once the heat transfers to water, the water is then circulated towards the cooling tower. Cooling towers in the plastics industry can be open systems or a closed-loop/closed-circuit.

The role of a cooling tower here is pivotal, seeing as how the molding process depends heavily on the cooling whether it’s cooling the molds, dies, or the molded product. If you can’t maintain the right temperature, the plastic object (be it in tube form or anything else) just won’t come out the way it’s supposed to.

Now, seeing as how it plays a part in the production, the cost of the cooling tower can be broken down over the period of time that it’s in use (for the sake of calculating the operational budget). This means that the cost of maintenance and the lifecycle of construction affect your operational costs, and even your break-even point (of the investment).

The Best Cooling Towers for the Plastic Industry

With the list of requirements out of the way, here are the top two cooling systems that a plastics manufacturer should be interested in.

types of plastic industry cooling towers

One of the best ways to reduce the ecological impact is to pick an open cooling tower for the plastic industry. Open cooling towers are the most economical and use the least energy for the cooling duty.  The reasons to pick a particular tower are quite numerous. For selecting an HDPE Delta tower:

  • In terms of eco-friendliness, this tower requires less total HP, thus making it a greener option.
  • The warranty is 20 years, which is a huge boost to any potential maintenance and repair costs. Keep in mind that the casing warranty on galvanized steel towers can be as low as 1 year.
  • The tower itself is also a lot lighter, which makes the process of installation simpler and the construction requirements a lot lower.
  • Due to being made of corrosion-resistant materials and coatings, the downtime of these towers is, frankly, superior to most of their alternatives.

These four factors alone make HDPE plastic cooling towers a great choice for the majority of manufacturers. When chosen right, according to one case study for the plastic industry, it has the potential to drastically boost productivity and deliver a quick ROI.

plastic industry cooling tower

While necessary for some of the more demanding projects, closed-loop towers do require a higher initial investment, as well as come with higher lifecycle costs. These closed-loop systems have an open cooling tower plus a heat exchanger or an internal coil that allows the process side to be closed to any airborne contaminants. The factors to consider in selecting this system are:

  • They’re higher cost to install and operate using more horsepower.
  • They allow the process water to not be exposed to the air.
  • There’s a customizability option available. By adding plates, you can increase the future load of the heat exchanger. This is great for businesses that want to maintain a level of operational flexibility.
  • Stainless steel plates are far more accessible than an internal coil in the tower, which drastically simplifies the maintenance procedure.

Each of the above-listed features drastically improves the plastic manufacturing process cooling protection while adding cost  on the manufacturer.

Wrap Up

The choice of the right cooling system can make or break your manufacturing process. Therefore, picking the right cooling tower for the plastic industry can make a world of difference. You need something potent, cost-effective, and (ideally) green. So, the time to do your research and make sure to know what you’re looking for.

With both your budget and the requirements of your facility in the clear, you just can’t make the wrong choice. Still, in order to get a specialist’s opinion on the matter, you should get a quote today on our most popular systems for the plastics industry.

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From our low maintenance design to our manufacturing process to excellent customer service, we're sure you'll be pleased with our superior cooling towers, every step of the way. Get a quote