Have you ever wondered how the plastic containers you use at home are made? That process is now possible thanks to two American brothers, John Wesley, and Isaiah, who patented the first injection molding machine. So what is injection molding? This is a manufacturing process where parts are produced by injecting materials into a mold. It is one of the primary processes used to produce plastic materials.
It can be performed by a variety of materials like glasses, metals, elastomers, thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers, and confections. However, the most common materials used include nylon PA, polycarbonate PC, polypropylene PP, and Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene ABS. What is Injection Moulding? This is one of the common queries in the manufacturing industry.
It is a very typical process since it is fast and can be used to produce several identical items from specific engineering components to a finished product. Through this process, it has become very easy to design products of various shapes and sizes leading to it replacing the use of traditional materials.
How does it work?
With high accuracy, the process can produce several parts within a short time. Plastic materials which are in the form of granules are softened by melting to enable them to be injected under pressure to fill a mold. It is first fed into a heated barrel and melted through the frictional action of a reciprocating screw barrel and heater bands.
After that, it is injected into a mold cavity via a nozzle.
This is where it cools and then hardens according to the structure of the cavity. To remove the part, the mold tool is first mounted on a movable platen. This is after it has solidified. This movable platen then opens, and the solidified part is ejected using ejector pins. Then the whole process repeats.
The product is first designed by an industrial engineer or designer, and then the process of making the molds is left to the mold maker. The mold maker makes them using either steel or aluminum. It is then precision-machined to make it look like the desired part. These parts wanted to be injection molded require being designed very carefully to make the molding process efficient.
All the parts involved, including the material of the mold, the material used for the part, the properties of the molding machine, and the desired shape and feature must be taken into consideration. This whole designing is what makes the whole process versatile.
Injection molding is most commonly used to produce plastic parts especially the ones that need to be manufactured in large quantities. These include automotive parts, some musical instruments, chairs and tables, storage containers, and many modern plastic materials we use.