In order to create plastic parts, manufacturers utilize a process called injection molding. Through this process, you can create items in a variety of sizes and levels of complexity. You can do this with the help of an injection molding machine, a mold, and raw plastic. The process involves melting the plastic until it can be injected into the mold. Here, it solidifies. Want to know more about the process? This guide will walk you through it.
What Types of Items Can You Make through Injection Molding?
The process of injection molding allows you to create a variety of thin-walled parts. A common application is plastic housing used with different kitchen appliances, electronics, and even power tools. Injection molding also goes hand in hand with containers, toys, and medical devices.
The Process of Injection Molding
The process of injection molding begins with clamping. In this step, the mold is clamped shut. The two halves of the mold attach to the machine. The clamp allows one half of the mold to slide a bit while also keeping the mold closed enough for the mold to work.
The next step is the actual injection of the plastic material. This material typically begins in pellet form. Through pressure and heat, the plastic melts. The machine then injects the plastic into the mold. The amount of time this takes will depend on the volume of material injected, the pressure of the injection, and the power of the injection.
Cooling is the next step in the process. As soon as the hot plastic enters the mold, it begins to cool off. As this happens, the mold solidifies and may shrink a bit. Once enough time has passed, the mold may be opened.
Finally, the ejection of the new, cooled part occurs. A mechanism will push the mold out with force to work against possible adhesion that can occur during the cooling process. In some cases, you may opt to use a release agent for the mold for this reason.
After the process, there may still be work to be done. You may need to trim your part with the cutters, especially if excess material or adhesion has occurred. Sometimes, this extra material can be recycled and ground down into pellets for reuse.
Injection molding has been an especially important process, especially in recent years as plastics become more popular options for manufacturing. It is certainly worth considering in your manufacturing process. Go to websites on plastic injection molding to learn more.