An Introduction to Injection Molded Plastic
You may or may not know by now that a lot of plastic products are made through injection molding. It is an effective and cost-effective way of processing plastic products in a moderate or enormous scale. Items like plastic belt buckles, gears, water bottles, computer gadgets, car parts, toys, washers, kitchen utensils, safety equipment parts, power tools, and more are made through this system. The size of the finished product depends on the specifications given by the client.
Much of the innovation we still use today can be credited to John Wesley Hyatt. It all started when he simplified a method of creating billiard balls using melted celluloid injected into spherical molds. His plunger system revolutionized the industry.
Another innovator, James Hendry, improved Hyatt’s plastic molding machine. Instead of using a plunger, he used an industrial screw and enabled a lot of companies manufacture products in high volumes for just a limited amount of time.
Nowadays, companies have the option to work with the plunger or screw type machines. The difference between the two machines mainly lies in the process of how the raw materials are transferred to the mold. When it comes to advantages, most companies prefer the screw type because it is more convenient to use.
Plastic molding employs the use of plastic raw materials in pellet or granule form. The specific plastic formulation depends on the type of product to be made, its application, and the comprehensive budget of the client.
There are a number of plastic types available for choosing. Some are safe and some are not suitable for human use. Most of the time, companies would prefer to work on with these raw materials: duraflex, Delrin, polystyrene, Teflon, polypropylene, acrylic, polycarbonate, polyvinyl chloride, polyamide, and polyethylene.
Since plastic is non-biodegradable, much thought has been made on how to make it more environment-friendly. Numerous belt buckle manufacturing companies employ recycling to reduce overall waste.
To start the manufacturing process, the plastic pellets or granules are dispensed to the machine hopper. It is then transferred to the cylinder where the raw materials are heated using extreme temperature.
Now that the plastic is melted, it is forced by the screw or plunger to the mold. It will take the shape of the molds. The molds may have more than one cavity, which makes simultaneous manufacturing of numerous products at a time possible. Sturdy steel is used in making molds. Some companies use alloy molds for economic reasons but they usually don’t last that long.
Picking the right type of plastic raw materials for making a quick release buckle and metal for the intended molds is being decided with these factors: the product to be manufacture, the intended durability, and the overall budget for the production. Most of the time, manufacturers would employ a moderately-priced metal for the mold prototype and long-lasting ones during the mass production of the items.
Once the molten plastic cools down and takes down the shape of the mold cavity, it is ejected from the machine, packed for shipping, or undergo additional procedures. The entire manufacturing process could be done in just a few minutes, with plate carrier quick release, minor automation, or full automation.
Another great thing about this manufacturing process is the labor cost. It is quite low. The initial cost of starting the project and cost of maintenance may pose as a limitation, but in the overall picture, the pros overweigh the cons. With all that’s been said, don’t you agree that the process of manufacturing injection molded plastic is quite fascinating?