Injection molding process and in particular reinforced polymer composites has become an increasingly notable material used in structural engineering applications. It has also proved itself cost-effective in a number of field applications especially in cases where an alternative to metal is required.Its applications also include firearm and plastic arch support in running shoes.This article covers some of the basic terms and processes related to injection molding services.
Meaning and Application
Injection molding is a manufacturing process wherein objects are created by heating and molding plastic by physically injecting it in specific dyes or shapes. Injection molding services are generally used to manufacture products from thermoplastic or thermosetting plastic materials. This process uses cavity-based dyes, which are closed metal forms that compress the molten plastic into desired shapes.
Process and Material
Thermoplastic pellets or granules are special kinds of polymers that are molten with the help of heat. These pellets or liquefied plastic are then forcefully injected into a specifically shaped closed mold under high pressure. After providing sufficient cooling time, the mold is opened and the product is ready.
These molds are usually made of steel or aluminum and can even create plastic products
that have fine details or minute features. The material used for injection is usually thermoplastic and thermosetting plastic, which can be acquired from polymer manufacturers.
The former is somewhat similar to metal, that is, it can be easily melted and shaped or reshaped according to the requirement.The latter is more rigid and is a one-time setting material. Composite plastics are used for manufacturing milk bottles, plastic cartons, disposable plastic plates, etc., which are recyclable; while thermosetting is used to produce computer hardware and automobile parts.
Molds can be created by two methods: Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) and Computer Numerical Control (CNC). The former is a traditional method, wherein the mould is created physically, whereas the latter is controlled by a computer and is completely mechanized.
Industries use the EDM method to create moulds that are difficult to be produced mechanically. This process uses pre-hardened molds that are made from physical methods like drilling and milling.
CNC makes use of motorized tools that are controlled by the computer in order to create molds. It gained a lot of popularity in recent times, due to its error-free, quick and easy way of manufacturing dyes. Often, for larger orders or specific requirements, a combination of EDM and CNC is used.
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