Plastic injection molding is an evolving plastic industry sector; it’s the most common process used to manufacture plastic parts. The method of plastic injection molding is fast and can produce the same plastic product in large quantities and within a short period.
The most common materials used for plastic injection molding include thermoplastic, thermoset, elastomer, and sometimes metals. Some high-performance plastics can resist high temperatures, and they’re gradually substituting metals used in plastic manufacturing.
Plastic injection molding industry
Plastic injection molding is mainly used to manufacture plastic products ranging from toys to medical equipment. Many parts and products are made with plastic injection molding machines; plastics dominate many industries, like the aerospace and automotive industries. When you look around, there’s probably a plastic item/product made by a plastic injection molding machine.
The injection molding machine has evolved recently, including faster time to market. One of the best business strategies for plastic injection molders is to partner with tooling experts to decrease lead times.
How does the plastic injection molding process work?
The injection molding process is when plastic is melted in the plastic injection molding machine and then poured into a mold. The liquid material is left in the mold to cool and solidify before it’s released by opening the mold.
The result is a finished product that takes the shape and form of the mold. To make production easier, all parts involved in the plastic injection molding process must be designed carefully.
Before a product is produced using plastic injection molding machines, it’s first designed by an industrial engineer or professional designer. Then the mold is created by a mold maker – it’s mainly formed out of steel or aluminum. The toolmaker also considers these factors before making the tools: the materials used for the product, the product’s properties, the materials the mold consists of, and the features of the plastic injection molding machine.
How to speed up elastic injection molding?
The cycle time of the plastic injection molding process can be classified into injection time, cooling time, and resetting/changeover time. Reducing any of these times helps to reduce production costs. Also, mold changes help inventory to be reduced and meet up with market requirements.
Components of a Plastic Injection Molding Machine
Below are some of the components or parts of the injection molding machine, they include:
- Material hopper (this is the funnel into the barrel)
- Feed zone
- Screw-type plunger
- Injection chamber
- Stationary platen (often made of steel and holds part of the mold)
- Rotating screw
- Heating unit
- Movable platen (often made of steel and has part of the mold)
- Injection ram
- Clamping cylinder
All these components complement each other to speed up plastic injection molding and ensure the finished product is well.
The plastic injection molding machine is taking over the world. Almost every product you see around you results from plastic injection molding.
Although there are other types of manufacturing processes, the plastic injection molding process will continually be the best option.