The Processes of Plastic Injection Molding
You may not be familiar about plastic injection molding but we’re pretty sure that you are familiar with its end products. Do you have toys, gadgets, appliances, or cars at home? If your answer to any of these is a yes, congratulations! You are just one step to becoming familiar with the awesome innovation of plastic molding.
From start to finish, the whole process is a marvel to behold and it has paved the way for the advancement of manufacturing products that give is ease of life.
From Melting to Ejection
The use of plastic injection mold allows the production of vast quantities of high quality plastic products with high ease and accuracy. Raw materials or carefully selected plastic pellets are melted until it becomes soft enough to be transferred into a mold. The end product is an exact copy of the mold. Once it cools and solidifies, the plastic manufacturer opens the mold then ejects the molded plastic. This wonderful process is repeated until the desired number of products has been manufactured.
The Different Processes
Now, let’s familiarize some of the terms used by plastic molding companies or custom belt buckle manufacturers.
- Clamping is the moving of fixed plates inside the injection molding machine and it holds the mold in place by using heavy pressure.
- Injection is the process of transferring melted plastic pellets into the barrel of the molding machine by pressure.
- Dwelling is the exertion of pressure unto the melted plastic, making sure that all parts of the cavity or mold are filled.
- Cooling happens when the hot plastic are allowed to solidify in the cavities.
- Opening happens when moving plates are taken away from the fixed plates, enabling the machine to eject the molded plastic.
- Ejection happens when an air blast, a plate, or a rod aids in removing the hardened plastic from the plastic molding machine.
The Magnificent Machine
The machine melts the plastic pellets through extreme heat then injects it into the mold. The machine has a barrel that has a giant screw that keeps constant pressure to heat the raw materials. The machine gives accurate control because different raw materials have different melting points. If temperature is too low, not all materials will be melted and too much heat will degrade the quality of the plastic. Even the weight and amount of time it stays inside the machine will also affect the quality of the end products.
As the screw rotates, molten plastic is forced unto the deeper sections of the barrel. When the proper amount of material has accumulated, the screw plunges it forward unto the mold. Once the material takes the shape of the mold and cools down, it is ejected from the machine. That’s how your favorite dog collar buckles or toys are manufactured.
As you can see, the entire process is relatively simple but when you see the results, it’s far from just being simple. It can be as complicated as a car part or even make it as a component of a satellite rotating above the earth!