The process of injection moulding, although nearly a century and a half old continues to provide consumers with an effectively endless array of possibilities in moulded plastic products and components.
Plastic moulding services contribute enormously to a huge number of industries, allowing designers and engineers to create products that are ever more useful and innovative.
The concepts behind plastic moulding are relatively simple. Heated plastics are injected into a premade mould and allowed to set in shape by cooling. However, technological developments of injection moulding machinery and design software mean that ever more intricate and complex operations are possible.
Innovations in the production of the thermo plastics and thermosetting polymers used in the plastic form moulding process also contribute to the versatility of the process. Plastics and polymers with different and unique properties can be considered in development and design phases to give engineers and designers greater options in terms of product features and capabilities.
Efficiencies in the design of moulds can also contribute significantly to potential savings in financial terms as well as creating savings in the length of production times. Specialist mould flow analysis software is able to model the flow of polymers through a described mould. This allows for any potential flaws or weaknesses in a proposed mould design to be detected in advance of actually fabricating the mould. More effective closure locations can be determined as well as detecting areas where warping may occur. Other considerations such as cooling can also be taken into account.
Other advanced moulded plastic techniques provide broader potential and variety of options for manufacturers. 2-Shot moulding is a process that allows two different polymers to be injected into the same mould within the same injection cycle. Specialist machines with two separate injection screws allow for more complex plastic products to be manufactured. Two separate colours may be combined or polymers with different properties can be brought together in the same product.
Insert moulding is another process that can create plastic products of greater variety. Products can have components made of other materials such as metal inserted during the moulding process. Items such as bold threads or reinforcing bars can be incorporated into the design.