The most famous and commonly used manufacturing method for the fabrication of plastic is the injection molding process. It is known as the most important part of the consumer product development sector as plastic is the main thing of almost all consumer products. This process is important because of its ability to create plastic for different products in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and complexities.
As injection molding is the main function in making plastics, let’s have a look at the three basic steps of the injection molding process. We will also discuss the pros and cons of using the plastic injection molding process here in this article later. So let’s move to the steps:
3 Basic Steps of Injection Molding Process
1. Product Designing
Design – the most important factor or any product. Even it is important when you are constructing the house. Product design helps to early prevent the expensive mistakes of the products. The right design is very important as it helps to achieve the product satisfactory level. But it is not an easy task, it is requires high-end creativity and a sharp mind that focuses on each point of the design.
The commonly used software for product designing is computer-aided design (CAD) software that allows you to add quick iterations and create perfect and accurate prototyping of the product. In order to avoid any mistakes in the product design process, we should plan for the uniform thickness process. A well-managed team of designers can do the perfect job of making the best product design while solving the complexities of the product design.
2. Mold Designing
The second important step is mold design which comes after look-like product design is ready and needs a mold design for the injection mold process. The molds are commonly made up of hardened steels, pre-hardened steel, beryllium-copper alloy, and aluminum.
- Hardened steel is the most expensive mold design material but is the long-lasting material. Due to its long-lasting feature, it is the choice of most companies.
- Pre-hardened steel is less expensive than hardened steel and that’s why it is less lasting from hardened steel. Used by a few companies.
- Beryllium-copper alloy is only used when it needs fast heat removal or where shear heat is concentrated. Not used by many companies.
- Aluminum is the most commonly used material for mold design. It is used only when less number of parts are to be tested. When the test is done and approved by this metal, a multi-cavity steel production tool is manufactured.
3. Manufacturing Process
The third and last step is the manufacturing process that means after review, test, and approval of the design, the original product is to be manufactured. The process of injection molding is here:
The thermoplastic material is fed into the heating barrel through a hopper and the plastic is heated to a predetermined temperature. A large screw is driven through the gate into the mold. During mold fill, the screw stays at its place and apply pressure for a duration of predetermined cooling time. After it has reached the point, the screw is withdrawn and the mold is opened and all plastic parts are ejected. This process is done many times in order to get all of the parts of the product.