What is plastic injection molding and how does it work?


With its reliable, high-quality performance, injection molding is one of the most common processes used to produce plastic components. Indeed, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the injection molded plastics market is expected to increase by 4.6% up to 2028.Get more news about https://www.xmake.com injection molding,you can vist our website!

Yet, despite its ability to produce high numbers of plastic components quickly, the injection molding process must be tightly controlled to maintain the quality of the final parts. This article will explain how injection molding works and how experienced manufacturers control the process to produce the best quality plastic components. We'll cover:Injection molding is a complex manufacturing process. Using a specialized hydraulic or electric machine, the process melts, injects and sets plastic into the shape of a metal mold that’s fitted into the machine.

This cost-effectiveness, efficiency and component quality are just some of the reasons why many industries choose to use injection molded parts for their products.

How does injection molding work?
Although on the face of it, the injection molding process may seem simple, there are many parameters which need to be tightly controlled to ensure the overall quality of the plastic components produced. Understanding the process and parameters in some depth will help manufacturers to identify plastic components producers who can provide the quality and consistency they need.
Step 1: selecting the right thermoplastic and mold
Before the actual process begins, it’s key that the right thermoplastics and molds are selected or created, as these are the essential elements that create and form the final components. Indeed, to make the right selection, manufacturers need to consider how the thermoplastic and mold interact together, as certain types of plastics might not be suitable for particular mold designs.

Each mold tool is made up of two parts: the cavity and the core. The cavity is a fixed part that the plastic is injected into, and the core is a moving part that fits into the cavity to help form the component’s final shape. Depending on requirements, mold tools can be designed to produce multiple or complex components. The repeated high pressures and temperatures that mold tools are put under mean they are typically made from steel or aluminum.
Step 2: feeding and melting the thermoplastic
Injection molding machines can be powered by either hydraulics or electricity. Increasingly, Essentra Components is replacing its hydraulic machines with electric-powered injection molding machines, showing significant cost and energy savings. At their most basic level, these machines consist of a feeder or ‘hopper’ at the top of the machine; a long, cylindrical heated barrel, which a large injection screw sits in; a gate, which sits at the end of the barrel; and the chosen mold tool, which the gate is connected to.

To start the process, raw pellets of the chosen thermoplastics are fed into the hopper at the top of the machine. As the screw turns, these pellets are fed gradually into the barrel of the machine. The turning of the screw and the heat from the barrel gradually warm and melt the thermoplastic until it is molten.
Step 3: injecting the plastic into the mold
Once the molten plastic reaches the end of the barrel, the gate (which controls the injection of plastic) closes and the screw moves back. This draws through a set amount of plastic and builds up the pressure in the screw ready for injection. At the same time, the two parts of the mold tool close together and are held under high pressure, known as clamp pressure.

Injection pressure and clamp pressure must be balanced to ensure the part forms correctly and that no plastic escapes the tool during injection. Once the right pressure in the tool and screw is reached, the gate opens, the screw moves forward, and the molten plastic is injected into the mold.

Step 4: holding and cooling time
Once most of the plastic is injected into the mold, it is held under pressure for a set period. This is known as ‘holding time’ and can range from milliseconds to minutes depending on the type of thermoplastic and complexity of the part. This holding time is key to ensuring that the plastic packs out the tool and is formed correctly.
What is plastic injection molding and how does it work? With its reliable, high-quality performance, injection molding is one of the most common processes used to produce plastic components. Indeed, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the injection molded plastics market is expected to increase by 4.6% up to 2028.Get more news about https://www.xmake.com injection molding,you can vist our website! Yet, despite its ability to produce high numbers of plastic components quickly, the injection molding process must be tightly controlled to maintain the quality of the final parts. This article will explain how injection molding works and how experienced manufacturers control the process to produce the best quality plastic components. We'll cover:Injection molding is a complex manufacturing process. Using a specialized hydraulic or electric machine, the process melts, injects and sets plastic into the shape of a metal mold that’s fitted into the machine. This cost-effectiveness, efficiency and component quality are just some of the reasons why many industries choose to use injection molded parts for their products. How does injection molding work? Although on the face of it, the injection molding process may seem simple, there are many parameters which need to be tightly controlled to ensure the overall quality of the plastic components produced. Understanding the process and parameters in some depth will help manufacturers to identify plastic components producers who can provide the quality and consistency they need. Step 1: selecting the right thermoplastic and mold Before the actual process begins, it’s key that the right thermoplastics and molds are selected or created, as these are the essential elements that create and form the final components. Indeed, to make the right selection, manufacturers need to consider how the thermoplastic and mold interact together, as certain types of plastics might not be suitable for particular mold designs. Each mold tool is made up of two parts: the cavity and the core. The cavity is a fixed part that the plastic is injected into, and the core is a moving part that fits into the cavity to help form the component’s final shape. Depending on requirements, mold tools can be designed to produce multiple or complex components. The repeated high pressures and temperatures that mold tools are put under mean they are typically made from steel or aluminum. Step 2: feeding and melting the thermoplastic Injection molding machines can be powered by either hydraulics or electricity. Increasingly, Essentra Components is replacing its hydraulic machines with electric-powered injection molding machines, showing significant cost and energy savings. At their most basic level, these machines consist of a feeder or ‘hopper’ at the top of the machine; a long, cylindrical heated barrel, which a large injection screw sits in; a gate, which sits at the end of the barrel; and the chosen mold tool, which the gate is connected to. To start the process, raw pellets of the chosen thermoplastics are fed into the hopper at the top of the machine. As the screw turns, these pellets are fed gradually into the barrel of the machine. The turning of the screw and the heat from the barrel gradually warm and melt the thermoplastic until it is molten. Step 3: injecting the plastic into the mold Once the molten plastic reaches the end of the barrel, the gate (which controls the injection of plastic) closes and the screw moves back. This draws through a set amount of plastic and builds up the pressure in the screw ready for injection. At the same time, the two parts of the mold tool close together and are held under high pressure, known as clamp pressure. Injection pressure and clamp pressure must be balanced to ensure the part forms correctly and that no plastic escapes the tool during injection. Once the right pressure in the tool and screw is reached, the gate opens, the screw moves forward, and the molten plastic is injected into the mold. Step 4: holding and cooling time Once most of the plastic is injected into the mold, it is held under pressure for a set period. This is known as ‘holding time’ and can range from milliseconds to minutes depending on the type of thermoplastic and complexity of the part. This holding time is key to ensuring that the plastic packs out the tool and is formed correctly.
Xmake | Rapid Prototyping & Small and Large Volume Production Services
Xmake is your best manufacturing partner in China for metal and plastic parts at all quantities. Get an instant quote for 3D printing, CNC machining, rapid prototyping and more.
0 Comments 0 Shares 923 Views 0 Reviews