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Your Simple Guide to Plastic Injection Molding

by Nice Rapid | Mar 19,2021 | Plastic Injection Molding

Do you need to make a custom part or product, but have no idea how you can get it done?

If it is in large quantities, then you should consider using plastic injection molding. This manufacturing technique is employed in many things that we used every day, from toys to the turbine blades of mean machines.

Do you want to know more about plastic injection molding and if this is the right manufacturing process for you? This simple guide will help.

What is plastic injection molding?

Plastic injection molding or sometimes spelled as moulding is a manufacturing process that uses a mold or matrix to shape liquid or any pliable material. In molding plastics, the material in powder or liquid form like polyethylene or polypropylene is placed in a hollow mold for the polymer to take into shape. With the help of heat and sometimes, pressure the product is created.

The Basics

Since the plastics injection process is straightforward, it is valuable in the mass production of plastic parts with complicated geometries. The process involves melting the plastic polymer granules and they're injecting them under pressure into the mold until it cools and solidifies. The thermoplastic polymers can be colored or integrated with other polymers.

You can find many things around that are made from plastic injection molding ranging from car parts to electronic casings, to kitchen appliances. The reason why this manufacturing process is popular is due to its many benefits. On top of it is the low cost per unit of parts when manufactured in high volume. It also offers high repeatability and design flexibility.

The only drawback of using plastic injection molding comes down to economics due to the high cost of investment required in the machine and tooling. Another is the slow turnaround time from design to production.

Benefits from Using Plastic Injection Molding

Plastic injection molding is undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing manufacturing techniques in the industry. It has outpaced the rest by growing about 1.5% per year and it is not stopping. There are many reasons why consumers prefer plastic products but let us explore the benefits of the injection molding process to companies first.

1. High volume production of parts. There is no other that can compete with injection mold in manufacturing millions of products in a short time. Once the mold is set and the machine is ready to run, the parts can be produced fast and at a low cost. Here the economies of scale rules and the huge investment of tooling will be negligible.

2. Wide range of materials. The amount of materials compatible with plastic injection molding is countless. This renders different properties to the parts. It can be further enhanced using additives to achieve the desired stiffness, strength, or resistance.

3. High productivity. The injection process can be as fast as 15 to 60 seconds, depending on the complexity of the design and its size. The traditional manufacturing process will not be able to do it this fast with the same geometry.

4. High repeatability and tolerances. The injection process is highly repeatable and can produce parts with great fidelity. The molds can stand after more than a hundred thousand cycles. It also has tight tolerances too that are comparable to CNC machining and 3D printing.

5. Excellent appearance. The major strength of injection molding lies in its ability to produce products with no extra finishing. It can create exact replicas with a high-quality surface finish. It can be treated with other finishes like bead blasting etc.

Plastic injection molding is one of the most important techniques in manufacturing parts and products.  It has allowed manufacturers to produce millions of quality products fast and at a low cost.

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