A plastic is defined as a type of non-metallic compound that is synthetically produced. It can be easily molded into several shapes and hardened for different uses. Nowadays, products of plastic molding can be seen and found everywhere such as kitchen utensils, accessories, cases, bottles, toys, grips, plastic tubes, protective caps and jars. In fact, the world is already invaded by plastics that even the most expensive gadgets use them.
It was in the year 1855 when the very first synthetic plastic was invented. Later that year, it opened the door for the improvement of the manufacturing industry. As the world ages, plastic with various properties are continuously developed in order to be utilized in various industries such as food service, medicine and many more. The level of plastic development is also of big help to make the lives of people from all walks of life a whole lot easier.
There are various plastic molding processes to create molded plastic parts. You will discover them in the succeeding paragraphs. If you would like to venture into a business that focus on plastic molding, then you can have the chance to choose the right process that will work best for your niche and your capital as well.
When injection molds have been invented, the ways in which different industries can utilize plastic has revolutionized. The first injection molding machines date back in 1930’s. Molded plastic parts can be formed into any shape and can also stand the test of time.
Molded plastic parts are so popular in manufacturing due to the fact that they can be easily formed and inexpensive as well. The process of plastic molding is just quick and easy, which permits manufacturers to get different companies moving on their way. Utilizing injection mold in order to mold plastics, instead of producing a new machine for every piece saves money and time for both the customer and the manufacturer.
An injection mold utilizes plastic granules which are fed into an injection chamber through a certain hopper. A reciprocating screw which is located inside the injection chamber, assures that the plastic granules are distributed evenly. In order for the plastic to be fed into the cavity, a heater melts it. Once the plastic is already in the mold, there is a moveable plate that clamps down on it to form the desired piece. The heat and pressure combination makes the plastic so hard to form a very durable piece of molded plastic.
This plastic molding process is just the same with injection molding. The only difference is that the former entails pouring out extremely hot liquid plastic out of a vertically-positioned barrel in a specialized molten tube. The mold will then close on the tube and forces it out in order to match to the mold’s shape inside. When the mold is cooled, the unfilled part will be formed. Some of the examples of products that are blow molded are containers, tubes and bottles.
The pieces of equipment required in establishing your own plastic blow molding business are higher as compared to the pieces of equipment required by injection molding.
Compression molding entails pressing the plastic between two mold haves that are heated. It usually utilizes presses that are done vertically instead of horizontal ones used for blow and injection molding. The molded plastic parts formed will soon be air-cooled. What is great with this molding process is that the prices of equipment are just moderate.
Firm Insert Molding
In this plastic molding method, an image is embedded beneath a molded plastic part’s surface. A material such as fabric or film needs to be inserted into the mold. Then, plastic will be injected. If you would like your business to specialize in firm insert molding, you need to look for the right store or manufacturer that will provide you great deals on their molding equipment.
Gas Assist Molding
Gas assist molding is also referred to as gas injection molding. This is used in creating molded plastic parts that come with just hollow interiors. Partial plastic shot is followed by gas to have the certain mold cavity filled with plastic.
In this type of plastic molding process, hollow molds that are powdered plastic packed are well-secured to spokes like pipes extending from a hub on the center. The molds function by rotating on axes. The hub performs in swinging the entire mold to a furnace room that is closed, thus causing the powdered plastic to melt and attach to the inside part of the tool.
As the mold slowly turns, the molding tools will move into a room for cooling. Here, the plastic is hardened into an unfilled part by sprayed water. The tools required for this plastic molding process are just low in cost. However, prices of pieces are expensive. The time of the cycle takes 40 to 45 minutes.
Structural Foam Molding
This plastic molding process is utilized for parts requiring thicker mold walls than normal injection molding. Having a small amount of chemical blow agent or nitrogen inserted into the plastic material makes the mold walls a little thicker. Forming takes place as the parts of the melted plastic enter the mold cavity. Then, a thin skin of plastic forms and solidifies in the mold wall. This plastic molding type can be utilized with any type of thermoplastic which can be mold injected.
This technique of plastic molding entails heating and sucking down pre-extruded firm plastic sheets into one-piece equipment. Upon solidification of the hot plastic, its shape will conform to the mold’s shape. The tooling cost of this molding technique is just low and the price of the pieces differs on the type of machinery.
These are the different molding processes to form molded plastic parts that you can use if you are planning to venture into molding plastic business. As you can see, plastic molding is a highly technical process which calls for the expertise of the operator. This is the only way on how your business will thrive and be highly competitive in the local or global market. So, this implies that you need to conduct scientific study before you finally decide to start in the plastic molding business.