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Plastic Injection Molding

Injection molding is popular way to for manufacturers to shape or reshape certain products. It is a process that delivers a wide variety of different objects that is used on an everyday basis. It also serves to create stronger, more durable items.

The injection molding process is usually applied to plastic that is then shaped and formed into these items. It is especially popular in the industrial sphere because of its ability to shape recycled plastic materials into new items. Knowing how the plastic injection molding process works will give one a sound knowledge as to what can be expected, delivered, and how long such things will last.

What materials are used during plastic injection molding?

Many types of plastics can be used during the plastic injection molding process. Typically all polymers, thermoplastics, some thermosets and elastomers are used. These plastic elements are to be used in their raw form which is usually small pellets or a fine powder. One may also add a type of colourant which will determine the colour outcome of the product. Each material that is used will deliver a different product and lend different characteristics to it. Acrylic is usually used to produce bearings, gears, or handles. Cellulose acetate can be used to produce handles, or spectacle frames. Polycarbonate can produce things such as safety helmets, reflectors, and shields.

What equipment is used during plastic injection molding?

All injection molding machines are made up of the following basic components:

• Injection unit: this part is responsible for both the heating and the injecting of the material into the mold. It consists out of a hopper, a barrel, a ram injector, or reciprocating screw.

• Clamping unit: this is the part that will be responsible for securing the two halves of the mold before the melted plastic can be poured into it.

How does plastic injection molding work?

There are 4 basic steps to how plastic injection molding works. They are as follow.

1. Before the raw materials can be added to the machine, it must be made sure that the two halves of the mold are secured by the clamp. One half must be attached to the injection molding machine, and the other must be allowed to slide. The time it takes to secure these clamps may differ depending on the size of the machine – smaller machines will take less time, while larger machines will take more time.

2. After this is done the raw materials are added to the injection machine with the use of the hopper. During this process the materials are melted and injected into the molds very quickly to maintain the heat and high pressure.

3. The molten plastic is then cooled as soon as it makes contact with the mold. It will then harden into the shape that it should be. During this process, some shrinkage may occur, but additional materials added during the injection stage will be able to mask the shrinkage.

4. After enough time has passed, the cooled part is then ejected from the mold. The mold is opened by force as the plastic shrinks and gets stuck to the mold. A lubricant may be used here as an aide.
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