Who would be interested if someone talks about plastic injection molding? Honestly, this topic could hardly be a top trending fiasco in Twitter or Facebook. But hey, this isn’t too boring! In fact, it could be very interesting! Where do plastic come from and how are its products- widely used nowadays- come into form?
First, let’s begin with the raw materials being used- the polymers. These are substances made up of simpler molecules referred as monomers, united in long, winding chains. Each monomer contains carbon and hydrogen and sometimes, oxygen and nitrogen. These could either be thermoplastics or thermosetting plastics. Most popular thermoplastics are nylon, polyethylene, and polystyrene. Vulcanised rubber and Bakelite are the most common thermosetting plastic. Sometimes, polymers with very high elasticity, called elastomers, are used.
From these simple materials come different variety of products in different shapes and sizes! Plastic injection molding is the sole process behind every plastic product we use every day- from your device micro parts to your vehicles large components such as wheelie bins and bumpers. Thanks to light weighting and design freedom, machine’s molding structure has become more flexible in size and shape and has extended out of tradition design’s boundaries. This is how your disposable razors, your children’s toys, your handset, battery castings, television cabinets, automotive dashboards and a lot more, are created!
How is plastic transformed into these amazing materials? Plastic injection molding process owes this to the raw material’s natural properties and its machinery. At first, small bits of plastics are used, called plastic pellets. Once contained inside the injection unit, they are exposed into extreme heat, liquidised and then pushed into the molding cavity to adapt a desired shape. Aside from this, colours could complete the transition! Mixing dyes into the plastic liquid can bring out translucent coloured plastics, while mixing in pigments creates opaque coloured products. After the plastic in the mold has hardened and cooled, the finished material is pushed out.
As plastic has become one of the most important material in the century, plastic injection molding process and its machinery has also become one of the most critical procedures in the world today. Indeed, it is something you should know about, aside from social networking!