What Is The Smallest Stuff Manufactured Through Injection Molding?
Stuff. It’s what surrounds us. Just take a look at your room for a moment and you’ll notice that you are entirely surrounded by various kind of stuff.
If you will look closely enough, you will also notice that most of the stuff around your room is made out of plastic or polymer. Have you ever wondered how these stuff are manufactured? We’ve got injection molding to thank for that.
What is injection molding?
It is just one of the many techniques used in manufacturing products made out of polymer. A plastic manufacturer would first collect raw materials and machinery to be able to manufacture stuff. Some of the stuff that made through injection molding are construction kits, gadgets, chairs, toys, car parts, and even materials used for surgery.
Once an order has been made, a molding company will prepare a special mix of polymers and special mold created for the special product. The polymer would be heated until it becomes liquid in consistency then injected into the special mold through force. After the liquid has been cooled, it will harden and the polymer would be ejected out of the mold.
Now that we know what a molding company would usually manufacture, are there new and cool stuff being made out of injection molding?
The field of manufacturing is an ever evolving industry. One of the coolest stuff being manufactured by plastic molding is the one created by MTD Micro Molding of Charlton from Massachusetts. They have created an ophthalmic implant part that weighs a whopping 0.00000313 grams only!
How was this made possible? The company said that the implant part was created with the help of a gate with the size of 0.0018” x 0.0008”.
What did the company use in creating the ophthalmic implant part?
According to MTD, they used the equipment called Sarix milling because it is considerably slower than EDM or electrical discharge machining. It has the capability of enabling any plastic manufacturer to create edge features that was never made before. Lindsay Mann said that it allows for creation of products with perfect, detailed, and corners, surfaces, and edges as smooth as mirrors.
What was the ophthalmic implant part used for?
It was manufactured during 2010 to 2012 to treat an undisclosed customer with glaucoma.
What other stuff about micro-molding should we know about?
To make measurement in micro-molding, Micro molder Accumold of Ankeny from Iowa stated that a certain part which is about an inch in size can have various micro-sized characteristics, like a .004” (.1mm) slim wall portion, a .008” (.20mm) diameter gap or hole, and a whole lot more. The molding company Accumold also manufactures its own machines for micro injection molding.
From the website of Plastics Engineering, Jan H. Schut noted in a blog post that Germany first used nano molding technology which is now highly commercialized. This technology is used in making nano characteristics on surfaces.
Lastly, the plastic manufacturer Accumold also stated that the micro-molding tecvhnology should be used to produce massive amounts of parts with utmost precision.