Every day, in almost every aspect of your life, you'll find products which have been produced using injection molding. Be it a plastic coffee lid or a door handle, injection molding has been used to create everything from the mundane to the spectacular. Indeed, you've often come across dozens of objects which were produced by the technique so far today.
But what is injection molding, and how does it work? Let us explain.
Injection molding is one of the primary processes used to produce plastic goods across the world, with the other major method being extrusion molding. It's an extremely fast process, and is used to produce large numbers of physically identical items, running the gamut from kids toys all the way to medical equipment.
You'll struggle to find any sector which does not make use of parts produced using the method. The advantages of injection molding are many, but they primarily focus around the adaptability that the technique offers manufacturers.
The sheer flexibility in size and shape that the process offers means that a new level of design freedom has been made available, helping enable the replacement of materials like metal in the production of cars, weapons and more.
So, how does it work?
Granules of plastic (typically Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene ABS, Nylon PA, Polycarbonate PC or Polypropylene PP) are fed into a heated barrel, which melts them down using heated bands and the screwing action of a reciprocating screw barrel.
From there, the now melted plastic is injected through a nozzle into a mold cavity, pre-designed by a manufacturer to their exact specifications, where it is quickly cooled and hardens to the shape of the cavity. Because the mould tool is mounted on a movable plate, the solidified plastic part is ejected out by ejector puns.
Using this method, injection molding firms can produce tens of thousands of identical plastic parts every single day, making them a highly efficient and affordable way to produce goods.
Neverheless, it takes a significant amount of effort to design injection molded parts. The type of plastic you're using for the part, the desired shape of the molded object and the properties of the specific molding machine being used must be taken into account in order to effectively produce parts via injection molding.
So, there we have it! You're now familiar with the molding process. It's an of forgotten thing which has fundamentally altered countless aspects of our lives, and is poised to for centuries to come.