Plastic injection molding is a fast and cost-effective way to make high volumes of the same plastic product or part. It is the most common plastic manufacturing process today and is used to manufacture a wide range of products and parts, from automotive parts to children’s toys. It may seem complex to someone who doesn’t work in the industry, but plastic injection molding is actually pretty straightforward and works much like a large hypodermic needle.
The first step in the plastic injection molding process is a thorough design by a skilled designer or engineer of a prototype, or a full scale model of the intended final product. Once the design is approved, the mold maker can begin work. The molds that are required for this process can be quite expensive due to their complexity and size. Molds are made of high quality steel and aluminum grades, and they must be able to withstand enormous pressure during the injection molding process.
During the injection molding process, operators feed plastic pellets into a machine that is equipped with a reciprocating screw. The screw is heated to melt the plastic pellets, which are then fed into a barrel. The barrel has heater bands that keep the melting temperature at a specific level to ensure no degradation of the material takes place within the barrel or in the mold. The melted plastic is then injected into the mold through a nozzle in the injection mold. Once the plastic has cooled inside the mold, mechanical provisions within the injection machine will work with the mechanical features built into the custom injection mold to eject the finished part.
Injection molding can be used to produce a variety of polymers, including thermoplastics and some thermosets. The most common plastics are polyethylene, polypropylene, ABS, and styrene, although other polymers such as polyurethanes can also be molded using this process. The choice of materials will depend on factors such as the strength and function of the plastic product or part, its cost, and environmental impact concerns.
Unlike thermoset materials, which are irreversibly shaped as they cure, thermoplastics can be reshaped and reheated repeatedly without degrading. This makes them very popular for products and parts that require repeated use. Injection molding can be done with a variety of different thicknesses and colors, as well as surface finishes. The experienced team at CBM is waiting to help you find the right solution for your project and your budget. Contact us today to get started! We offer short lead times and solid delivery dates. We strive for high quality, and our goal is to exceed your expectations. Our experts will guide you through the process from start to finish and help you achieve a quality, defect-free result. We can even provide you with a digital 3D model of your part or product to help make the process run as smooth as possible. We can’t wait to get started on your project!