What Materials Are Used In Extrusions: The Ultimate Comparison Guide For Your Business

What Materials Are Used In Extrusions: The Ultimate Comparison Guide For Your Business

The world of extrusions is constantly growing and changing to meet business needs. With plastic, aluminium, and silicone as the most popular materials used in extrusions, it is vital to know which is right for your organisation. Which type of extrusion do you need?

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The types of extrusions: what are the materials used?

The wide range of materials used to create extrusions is extensive. You’ll find everything from ceramic and glass to composite and bioextrusions. However, there are three materials more commonly used:

  • Plastic extrusions
  • Silicone rubber extrusions
  • Metal extrusions, such as aluminium extrusions

Each material offers different levels of strength, durability, flexibility, and temperature resistance. This can vary depending on the raw materials used, as well as the extrusion process. There are some situations where extruded plastic would be more suitable than extruded silicone. But how do you know which extrusion is right for your business needs?

What do you need to know when you compare extrusions?

There are numerous factors to consider when choosing the right extruded material for your business. These are broken down into the following categories:

  • Material properties (strength, flexibility, hardness)
  • Resistance and conductivity (thermal conductivity, temperature and chemical resistance)
  • Expected lifespan (durability and longevity)
  • Environmental impact (recyclability, biodegradability)
  • Cost considerations (processing, raw materials, expenses, production costs)
  • Regulatory compliance (regulatory standards, compliance requirements, industry safety standards)

Which material is best suited for your needs? Our detailed breakdown can help.


Plastic extrusions

Plastic extrusions are commonly seen in the construction industry, although they can be used in other sectors. UPVC profiles are some of the most popular extruded plastics. The versatility of the plastic allows for custom profiles to suit both residential and commercial buildings.



Rubber extrusions

Silicone rubber extrusions are biocompatible and non-toxic, making them perfect for use in the medical industry, as well as other settings where airtight and watertight seals are vital.

Metal extrusions

Aluminium and other extruded metals are often used in the aerospace industry. They allow for the manufacturing of lightweight structural components with high strength-to-weight ratios, ensuring a light aircraft with a strong structure.



Plastic Extrusions

Silicone Rubber Extrusions

Metal Extrusions


Low to high (up to 4,000 psi)

Moderate to high (up to 1,500 psi)

High (up to 70,000 psi)


Highly flexible

Highly flexible



Soft to rigid (up to Rockwell hardness of 70)

Soft to firm (Shore A of up to 70A)

Hard (Rockwell hardness up to 95)

Temperature Resistance

Low to high (up to 160°C/320°F)

Low to high (-101°C/-150°F to 260°C/500°F).

Low to high (up to 660.3°C/1,221°F)

Chemical Resistance


Resistant to many

Susceptible to corrosion

Thermal Conductivity

Low, 0.23 W/(m·K)

Low to moderate, 0.33 W/(m·K)

High, 180 W/(m·K)


Moderate to high




Many plastics are recyclable. High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) has a global recycling rate of 9%


Highly recyclable. Aluminium has a global recycling rate of 60%


Some plastics are biodegradable. PLA (Polylactic Acid) is a bio-based, biodegradable plastic

Generally not biodegradable

Not biodegradable


Inexpensive. PVC extrusions cost between £1 and £5 per linear foot

Moderately expensive. Extruded silicone rubber costs between £5 and £15 per linear foot 

Moderately priced. Metal extrusions cost between £2 and £10 per linear foot

Regulatory Compliance

Variable, depending on the type of plastic used

Generally compliant

Generally compliant

Other Factors

Versatile, easy to process, and customisable

Biocompatible, excellent sealing properties

Lightweight, suitable for structural applications


Industry-specific considerations and extrusion advantages

The demands of each industry mean that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for extruded materials. The performance, durability, and safety of the final product might mean that there are certain circumstances where different extrusions just won’t deliver the desired results.

At Transam Extrusions, we understand the importance of getting the right plastic material for your needs. We are one of the UK’s leading plastic pipe and flexible PVC profile manufacturers and will work with you to find the right plastic extrusion for your needs. 

What materials are used in extrusions and how to choose the right one for your business

Transam Extrusions has over 30 years of experience in supplying clients with the plastic extrusions they need in the UK, Europe, and beyond. We are constantly developing out manufacturing process, expanding our material portfolio, and thinking of our environmental impact. This is why we use reclaimed cardboard boxes and bags for packing and recycle 98% of our material scrap on-site.

Plastic extrusions offer great flexibility, lifespan, and durability for your business. We can even recycle some extrusions and manufacture extruded plastic to regulatory standards. Find your perfect product with Transam Extrusions.

Shop the Transam Extrusions range today