Injection moulding is a versatile and cost-effective way to make plastic components. Part of the reason it’s so economical is that it cuts production time and is consistent and precise – so there’s little waste.
The Plastic Injection Moulding Process
The process begins with a mould that is specifically designed to produce the part that is required. Then small granules of plastic are fed into a holding vessel, heated up and injected through a nozzle into the mould. The moulds are put under extremely high pressure. The result is a high-quality product, quickly produced. The granules themselves come in different types and colours, depending on the requirements for the final product. Sometimes fillers are added to make the plastic less dense and therefore stronger.
This flexibility is a key advantage of plastic injection moulding compared to conventional parts production.
Advantages and Limitations of Injection Moulding
The use of plastics is currently the subject of much debate, but the use of recycled plastic in injection moulding is growing fast, as Injection World magazine reports. A massive trade show in Essen in the summer of 2018 will showcase the new machines and developments in this area.
As well as its flexibility, the speed of the injection moulding process is a major advantage. Businesses using plastic moulding in the UK, such as http://pnplastics.co.uk/, can achieve very high production throughputs with much faster turnaround times.
Because the injection moulded plastic is put under such high pressure, the plastic can be “printed” with patterns or information such as part numbers. After moulding, the parts or components are in a finished state and need very little further work, as opposed to other production methods where several finishing processes may be required before the product is ready.
One of the imitations of the injection moulding process is the initial cost of designing and making the mould. Obviously, the cost varies depending on how big and complex the mould needs to be. And the mould itself is metal – which means that if it needs to be modified, it’s sometimes necessary to start again with a new mould.
So it’s important to get the mould stage right – after that, the injection moulding process itself is very straightforward and easy.