The technology behind plastic moulding

The technology behind plastic mouldingWith the increased popularity of entrepreneurial TV programmes and funding incentives to encourage people to set up a small business and/or design a product then there is no surprise that manufacturers are seeing an influx of ‘inventors’ coming to them with their product ideas. One of the industry sectors that are experiencing this influx are injection moulding manufacturers.

The plastic injection moulding process has been comprehensively used for over 50 years and it is still one of the most popular manufacturing processes to date where both thermosetting and thermoplastic polymers can be used to manufacture a variety of products.

The injection moulding process is very simple. The plastic pellets are fed into a melted within the barrel of the moulding machine. At the end of the barrel is the machine moulds. The moulds consist of both moving and fixed platens which are clamped together under pressure at the beginning of the process. The molten plastic is now injected into the clamped mould, this is at high pressure. Once all the plastic has been injected into the mould, air is pumped under high pressure into the inside of the mould to ensure the plastic has uniformly covered the entire mould cavity. The plastic is then allowed to cool and solidify within the mould. The mould platens release and the mould tool is opened. The mould is then removed from the plastic injection machine with rods, a plate or blasts of air. This is a very rapid and reliable process.

The injection moulding process in pictures

  1. The plastic pellets are melted within the barrel of the moulding machine
  2. Plastic injection machine moulds consist of moving and fixed platens which are clamped together under pressure at the beginning of the process.

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  1. The molten plastic is now injected into the clamped mould, this is at high pressure.
  2. Once all the plastic has been injected into the mould air is pumped under high pressure into the inside of the mould to ensure the plastic has uniformly covered the entire mould cavity.

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  1. The plastic is allowed to cool and solidify within the mould.
  2. The mould platens release and the mould tool is opened.

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  1. The mould is then removed from the plastic injection machine with rods, a plate or blasts of air.

There are many benefits to choosing injection moulding to manufacture your products – production costs are very low due to the low cost of the polymer pellets and fast product turnover. It is also possible to produce very complex, detailed parts via injection moulding due to the high pressures exerted on the molten plastics. However, the creation of the specific mould is very costly. Therefore, to make your business viable large batch numbers are needed in production to ensure the mould tooling costs lower.

 

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