Plastic Injection Molding and Optimizing Plastic Production
A lot of you probably don’t have any idea what plastic injection molding is or even find time to gain interest about it. You may be surprised to know that your daily routine would be incomplete without it. Doubtful? Keep reading because we will prove it to you.
To start, you can take a look at your latest shopping or grocery spree and check the items you’ve bought. Most of them are probably a product of years of trial and error or expertise. You may have overlooked how they are made more than often. The process those products have undergone are actually fascinating and very simple to explain as well.
It all begins with the favorable relationship of man, machines, and plastic. To make everyday life easier, man has strived to make inventions and without a doubt, we have become attached to plastic products in the process.
It took a lot of effort to get to where we are right now. Scientists and inventors, after many years of research, have perfected the science of plastic molding. They are responsible for the comb we use to style our hair, the toys that we play, the kitchen utensils we use to cook, the car we drive, the space shuttle parts we use to research about space and beyond, the packaging that keeps our food fresh, the gadgets that we use to communicate with our loved ones, the quick release buckles in our life jacket that ensures our safety at sea, and so much more!
Isn’t that amazing? These products have revolutionized our modern life. Without it, life as we know it would be just a dream.
In order for you to fully appreciate the plastic injection mold and the process in making plastic products, we will show you how it developed. Immense advancements were made during the 18th and 19th centuries due to the invention of synthetic plastic. We have Alexander Parkes, a British innovator, to thank for it because he invented Parkesine.
Although Parkesine was the first of its kind and innovative, it did come with various disadvantages. It was very flammable, quite costly, a bit flimsy, and was infamous for cracking or breaking. Someone noted these cons and improved it.
John Wesley Hyatt improved Parkesine in 1868 by inventing celluloid. Unlike Parkesine, celluloid is much affordable and durable. His invention made way for the industry, and custom belt buckle manufacturers to get creative. The improvements did not stop there. John, together with his brother Isaiah, created the very first machine capable of plastic extrusion 4 years after.
Since then, the polymer industry grew to new heights! Improved versions of Hyatt’s machines were already capable of producing finished products like strap buckles, shirt buttons, hair combs, etc.
In 1940s, the demand for plastic products kept on increasing. The demand was very high but suppliers were having a challenging time addressing it. To answer this problem, James Watson Hendry created a bigger and better polymer molding machine which made use of a screw and improved mold cavity, allowing more control over the speed of injection and turnover of finished products.
The people then also found out that dye could also be mixed with the polymers, allowing for colorful products to be released to the market. Some companies still use the machine that Hendry made for developing plate carrier quick release and more. But his achievements didn’t stop there. He also invented a plastic molding machine that made use of gas.
By now, you probably have appreciated all the effort that goes into making your favorite dog collar buckles or other plastic products. The history of injection molding is fascinating, isn’t it? Seeing the entire process with your own eyes would be an experience that would stand out on its own, for sure!