What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is the process of growing plants without soil. Plastics are used extensively in the hydroponics, aquaponics and agriculture industry. The six main types of hydroponic systems to consider are wicking, deep water culture (DWC), nutrient film technique (NFT), ebb and flow, aeroponics, and drip systems. At Intek Plastics we have the capability to supply custom plastic products for the hydroponics industry. We help our customers develop innovative products to compete in this rapidly changing market.
Intek is one of the world's leading - and most future-looking - plastic extrusion specialists. We have the expertise to give you a leg up in agriculture including, vertical and container farming, greenhouses, fodder systems, hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics, horticulture, NFT (nutrient film technique) and traditional growing methods.
What are the Benefits of Hydroponics?
- Produces high quality nutritious foods
- Eliminates soil and soil-borne pests
- Improved growth and yield
- Improved crop nutrition
- Quick turnover
- Conserves water
- Maximizes space
What plastics are safe for Hydroponics?
Choosing the correct type of plastic is crucial when considering your hydroponic operation. There are dangerous chemicals that could compromise the water, contaminate the plants and harm anyone who eats them if the wrong type of plastic is used.
Plastics are commonly used in hydroponics and aquaponics. Here are types of plastics deemed safe for use in hydroponics:
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) #3
- Widely utilized for its rigidity and durability, excellent solvent resistance and weatherability. A great material for long lasting agricultural trays that will be cleaned and reused over and over, available with a food-grade NSF capping layer to guarantee your plants are safe for consumption. Readily recyclable. Ask about our recycled options.
- Polypropylene (PP) #5
- Polypropylene, also referred to as the #5 plastic, is found in many food storage containers and is not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of disrupting hormones.
- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) #7
- Rigid and durable, but without the UV-stability afforded by the PVC. Will yellow and become brittle with long-term UV exposure, but will typically last for several years. Available with food-grade NSF capping layer. Ask about our recycled options.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polypropylene (PP), and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) are all deemed safe for use in hydroponics and are approved for indoor and greenhouse use.
At Intek, we believe in simplifying recycling as much as possible. Our food grade NSF cap layers allow for a reasonable price-point, but still allow recyclability because they are the same material as the rest of the tray, and provide a simple, single stream recycling solution for trays at the end of their useful life.
Indoor Vertical Farming
Indoor vertical farming and garden systems present significant challenges that traditional farming does not. Handling specific growing mediums, lighting conditions, and irrigation management are a few of the questions that plastic extrusions can help answer. From a simple wall garden to industrial rack systems, we can produce channels, housings, components, and all-in-one solutions that help simplify your supply chain and processes.
Our dedicated team of plastic extrusion specialists works with our customers from the beginning to guide each stage of the project:
- Material Selection
- Product Development
- Secondary Operations
- Whatever it takes to get you growing!
And our experience is your advantage. We’ve worked with some of the world’s best OEM’s in lighting, appliances, construction, and power management. We pride ourselves on comprehensive, yet simple solutions. Our goal is to deliver a product that sets you apart from the competition. We understand and use technology to your advantage:
- Co-extrusions - Two materials bonded together on a molecular level to create a unified product that can save time and money
- Capping - A form of co-extrusion that allows a less expensive base material (many times recycled material) to be covered with thin (more costly) outer layer. This outer layer could carry needed ratings, such as food safety (NSF), UV ratings, and appearance.
- Materials Selection - Intek offers a wide range of materials. We work with you to select the best, most cost-effective material for your project.
We’re excited to help develop your plastic extrusions for hydroponics operations. Whether racking systems, grow trays or gutters, or extruded lighting channels, contact us today to discuss your project needs.