What is Unscrewing Mold?

 

One of the most unique types of injection molds is unscrewing molds. Unscrewing molding is a unique injection molding process with mold technology that includes movement and rotation to produce threaded components. Some plastic parts such as caps and closures with detailed threads cannot be removed using standard knock-off methods. After they are molded, parts need to be carefully unscrewed from mold to avoid damaging the threads.

The unscrewing molds are part of everyday use, which may cause you to think that you won’t need to spend much time considering the required design. To demonstrate the wide use of this particular mold type, the following is a shortlist of the types of products that use unscrewing molds in the design:

 

• Bottle and milk caps

• Condition and shampoo lids

• Prescription medication bottles

• Medical supplies

• Sprinkler and showerheads

• Screws, nuts, and bolts

 

Here’s How It Works:

• First, the plastic is injected into the tool. After the plastic has cooled, the threaded core starts to unscrew. The unscrewing mechanism works off of a rack and pinion and is powered by a hydraulic cylinder.

• The rack turns three sets of gears which then retracts the threaded core into the ejector box.

• Once the threaded core is fully unscrewed, the mold opens and the ejector system pushes a stripper plate forward to eject the part.

• After the part is fully ejected, the hydraulic cylinder reverses, screwing the threaded core back into the molding position, and the process repeats.

 

What factors need to be considered?

When you need one of these types of plastic molds, there are several things you have to determine to make sure you get the right fit for your product and budget.

 

Volume

 

The volume of the product will probably determine many different aspects of the final product, including the thread count, the size of the part, and the type of material that will be used during production. While other factors are important, the design of the various unscrewing molds is more complex and costly than many of the other types of molds.

 

Ease of Removal

 

The ease by which an unscrewing mold should be removed from the final product is an important factor to consider in the design. Water bottles have only a few threads, sometimes only two or three because they need to be easy to remove. To ensure that the tops do not fall off easily, the threads are spaced out a bit more. An unscrewing mold on a medical device will likely need a lot of threads that are evenly spaced and very difficult to pull off of the device. The material required for these two vastly different uses is affected by how easily the part should be removed from the product.

 

The Threads

 

The number of threads is going to vary based on the final product. Water bottles do not require a high thread count because they are relatively light and should be easily removed. If the unscrewing mold is for a plastic part under the hood of a car, it needs to have a higher thread count to be more durable. The number of threads required plays a large role in the final cost of production, so it needs to be tested to ensure it meets the needs of the final product.

 

Applications and Maintenance

High volume, reliable unscrewing plastic injection molds are some of the more complex plastic injection molds that can be manufactured. Unscrewing plastic injection molds are typically utilized for high volume applications where threaded plastic parts are needed for items such as:

ㆍBottle caps

ㆍShampoo bottles

ㆍPharmaceutical Supplies

ㆍAutomotive parts

ㆍNuts and bolts

ㆍCosmetics packaging

ㆍMedical Supplies

ㆍConsumer goods

ㆍSprinkler heads, lawn & garden parts

ㆍContainer lids

 

Most threaded plastic parts on standard plastic injection molds are not easy to remove using standard knock-off techniques. Therefore more complex unscrewing plastic injection molds must be utilized to prevent the threads on threaded plastic parts from being damaged while the parts are coming off of the plastic injection mold.

Because these threaded plastic parts are typically needed in high volume applications for items such as bottle caps or cosmetics packaging, the unscrewing plastic injection mold most operate at a high speed to reduce cycle times thus reducing part costs. The unscrewing plastic injection molds must also be high quality and reliable to operate for a large number of cycles while only needing routine preventative maintenance.

 

WIT MOLD is a very professional mold design and mold maker located South of China, certified ISO2009:2015 international quality standard. Reach out to us for a Rapid Quote to take advantage of this new offering for your internally threaded plastic parts.

Two-shot Molding Guide

 

What is Two-shot Molding

Two-shot injection molding is a multi-material injection molding process. The molded plastic part can be a combination of two different materials or a combination of different colors of the same material.

Two-shot molding can also be called 2k injection molding, double shot molding, multiple injection molding (sequential injection molding).

When Is The Use of Two-shot Molding?

ㆍProduct function requirements

For example, power switches, phone buttons, keyboard indicators, car switches, etc. Portion with an LED capable of transmitting light.

ㆍImprove the handle feeling

Some handheld products require the use of rubber in hand-held parts, which makes the hand feel more comfortable. For example, walkie-talkie housing, power tool handle, wrench, screwdriver handle, toothbrush handle, thermos, etc.

ㆍEnhance beauty

For example, some plastic parts have a logo. If you use two-shot injection molding, you don’t have to worry about it being erased.

ㆍA localized area of the product that needs to be plated

In the plastic range, only ABS and PSUsurfaces can be plated. If it is necessary to plate a part or a single side of the product, the plating area should be injected into the ABS. Areas that do not require plating are injected with other materials such as PC.

7 Suggestions for Product Design

 

Two-shot molding frees the designer’s creativity. However, the following factors should also be noted in the product design process.

No.1

Choose the right material. The figure below shows the compatibility of different plastics.

1 ) The core material can use low viscosity materials to reduce the injection pressure.

2) Consider from the perspective of environmental protection. The recycled material can be used as a core material.

3) Optimize the product according to the characteristics of different materials. For thick parts, the finished skin layer uses soft materials. The core material uses hard or foamed plastic to reduce weight.

No.2

If the material is not chemically compatible, the two materials can be integrated by mechanical interlocking.

No.3

Maintain proper draft angle, uniform wall thickness and smooth transition lines.

No.4

The surface of the part should be flush or slightly lower than any adjacent substrate surface.

No.5

The surface of the substrate is textured to improve the adhesion of the two materials.

No.6

The mass ratio of the two materials should not be too large. Factors such as material forming time and injection pressure should be considered.

No.7

By increasing the contact area of the two parts, the weld strength of the two materials can be enhanced.

>> Check our two shot injection molds here

9 Suggestions for Two-shot Molding

 

 

 

No.1

The hard plastic is molded for the first time, and the soft plastic is molded for the second time. Transparent for the first time, non-transparent for the second time. The plastic with high molding temperature is molded for the first time, and the plastic with low molding temperature is used for the second molding.

No.2

Before the official production, test the mold to produce a complete product.

No.3

Identify all possible defects in the process and eliminate them before the mold is manufactured.

No.4

Consider the shrinkage of the two materials.In general, shrinkage is determined by the material that is first formed.

No.5

A second injection can only be made after the first injection has been completely completed.

No.6

Consider the molded position, to prevent damage in the process.

No.7

Allow the edge of the first injection molded part to be too large. This ensures a higher pressure during the second injection.

No.8

Ensure that the parameters of the injection unit provide the required pressure, flow rate and cooling capacity.

No.9

Ensure that the structural strength of the first molded part can withstand the injection pressure of the second molding.

6 Suggestions for Maintenance of Two-shot Mold

No.1

Check for loose or damaged fastening parts of the double shot mold. The solution is to find parts of the same specification for replacement.

No.2

After the mold has been used for a long time, the cutting edge must be cleaned and ground. After grinding, the surface of the cutting edge must be demagnetized, otherwise it will easily block the material.

No.3

Elastic parts such as springs of the two-shot mold are most susceptible to damage during use. Breakage and deformation usually occur.

No.4

The method adopted is to replace, and the specifications and model of the spring must be paid attention to during the replacement process.

No.5

Two-shotmold punch during use prone to breakage or bending. Damage to the punch and the sleeve is generally replaced with parts of the same specification. The parameters of the punch mainly include the working part size, the mounting part size, and the length size.

No.6

Check the pressure plate, top plate and other parts of the double shot mold. During maintenance, check the accessories of each part and whether there is any damage, and repair the damaged parts. Pneumatic ejector check for air leaks, and specific measures taken.

Conclusion

Two-shot molding increases the added value and productivity of the product. At the same time, plastics are becoming more and more colorful.

Correspondingly, the cost of two-shot molding is higher. Master the design points and avoid risks in advance. Avoid cost waste.

If you have any questions about two-shot injection molds, please contact us directly. Get a free quote.

Just How Tolerances Influence Injection Molded Plastics?

What Is Tolerance?

The tolerance stated in the plastic injection mold is an engineering requirement. In basic terms, they are allowable variants to the initial dimensions of the parts or the base dimension. As it is impossible to generate a product that purely abides by the base measurements, some leeway obtains factored into the design of items.

This margin ensures that all measurements for molded products fit the setting up demands. For example, you may wish to produce products with a size of 2.8 mm. Nevertheless, attempting to produce them might end up with some of them gauging 2.6 mm.

What tolerances do is to establish minimum as well as optimum values for the production process in a way that ensures the product fits. In this case, the reduced limit can be evaluated 0mm while the ceiling is readied to 0.3 mm. By doing this, you are assured products whose diameters range between 2.8 mm and also 3.1 mm.

The important of tolerances

Generating plastic parts for your products calls for that their measurements fit perfectly. It’s very easy to offer dimensions for the type of components you want; obtaining them to have similar measurements to your requirements is a virtually impossible venture to achieve.

The type of making procedure you go for also has a terrific bearing on the high quality of completion product. Injection molding is among the most effective processes you can experience with standards like hubbub 16901 to name a few, but it’s still unable to produce parts with the right fit.

The only escape of such a scenario where it’s impossible to get an exact suit is to leave area for some distinctions in dimension. They don’t need to be major; they simply require not interfere with the item style. This is where tolerances are available in.

What Influences Tolerance?

The kind of polymer utilized throughout the creation of your items substantially identifies whether the tolerances are within acceptable limitations. As distinct polymers obtain injected into the plastic mold, they cool as well as shrink at different prices.

Despite the fact that these shrinkage rates can be quickly represented, completion product will certainly have different tolerance ranges and also discrepancies from the acceptable varieties. The array is a dimension of the difference between the biggest as well as tiniest measurements of measurements in the created batch.

Various other aspects that figure out tolerance consist of the style of the product, the intricacy of the style along with the atmosphere the injection molded parts will certainly be running in.

Minimum/Good Tolerances for Plastic molds

The great, or rather, minimal tolerances are established by the plastic polymer you choose to use for your products. These tolerances also can be found in various forms. For one, there are dimensional, straightness/flatness, and also hole diameter tolerances. They are also divided right into business tolerances and precision tolerances, which are greater in price.

Considered that an injection-molded physical tightening is a result of the cooling, the facet of temperature level decrease is influenced by various other aspects as well. They include the thaw thermal reading, the cooling price, the thickness of the part, the dimensions of eviction, as well as much more.

Furthermore, a section of the molded product that is thicker than an additional will certainly experience even more shrinking. All these variables are since even though it is possible to forecast the behavior of the plastic polymer you wish to be molded; the material will never ever act as anticipated 100% of the time.

The polymer concerned might likewise experience warpage. This is particularly real with parts that are non-uniform as they shrink at various rates in comparison to components that have uniform wall surface thickness. These non-uniform components can happen whenever the part’s design has a concern.

The final words

WIT MOLD has become one of the best molds in the industry because we combine the essence of the latest technology with proven traditional methods.

With an expert team composed of experienced and knowledgeable experts, we are able to complete custom orders for Custom Plastic Molds and parts that may exceed the capabilities of our competitors. We are also unremittingly committed to improving customer satisfaction, which includes providing comprehensive end-to-end quality assurance for every product we produce.

Pros And Cons Of Thermoset Injection Molding

Weighing the pros and cons of the molding process for your composites can help you determine whether it is the right choice for your project needs. Manufacturing plastic or composite parts requires heating and pouring the raw materials into a mold that has been specially made for the part. The four most common molding processes are:

ㆍCompression

ㆍInjection

ㆍTransfer

ㆍExtrusion

Different molding processes are used to create different works. In this article, we will weigh the pros and cons of the injection molding process for thermoset composites.

Advantages of thermoset injection molding

Injection-molded parts may be the most suitable one for several reasons:

ㆍMany different types of materials can be used for injection molding, including thermoplastics and thermosetting resins, polymers, and elastomers. This provides engineers with a lot of control over which hybrid material will produce the best results, especially when it is necessary to meet specific performance requirements.

ㆍVery suitable for high-volume operation.

ㆍPrecision and low waste. Due to the specific mold and material combination, compared with other processes, there is less waste of injection molded parts.

ㆍShort cooling time-the injection molded parts cool quickly, reducing the time required for the injection molded parts to be released from the mold.

 

thermoset injection molding

Thermoset Injection Molding

Disadvantages of thermoset injection molding

For the above reasons, injection molding is an excellent process, but it also has certain limitations and defects. These disadvantages include:

ㆍMold costs – these costs can be very important because precision-made molds are required.

ㆍFlash – Flash is inevitable when injection molding thermoset plastics. Once the part is created and ejected from the mold, the next step is to automatically or manually remove the flash (excess material). Due to the high viscosity of liquid plastics, a flash of thermoplastics is not a problem.

ㆍPart size – The size of the part being created is very important in the molding process. Typically, smaller part sizes (0.1 lb to 6 lb) are injection molded, while larger parts are transfer or compression molded. The number of orders will also determine which molding process is best for the project. Compression molding may be used for smaller parts with a low (or high) volume, while transfer molding may be used for medium to high volume projects. Injection molding will be ideal for large-volume running smaller pieces.

Finally, when choosing a molding process for your part, it is always recommended to talk to a thermoset composite or thermoplastic engineer. After assessing your needs, they will be the most capable and able to make suggestions for your work and provide the highest quality products at the most reasonable cost.

We are a thermoset injection molding supplier. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in our thermoset injection molding or other products.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Two-shot Injection Molding

There are a variety of manufacturing methods used to create products using plastic polymers, including two-shot injection molding, compression thermoset molding and extrusion. While all of these are viable manufacturing processes, there are several advantages to this process that make it the top choice for many plastics manufacturers. The process is relatively simple; one material is injected into a mold in order to make the initial section of the product, followed by a second injection of a secondary material that is compatible with the original material. There are three good reasons many manufacturers use this method of manufacturing plastics or polymers.

Advantages of two-shot injection molding

Two-shot injection molding is cost-effective

The two-step process needs only one machine cycle, rotating the initial mold out of the way and putting the secondary mold around the product so that the second, compatible thermoplastic can be inserted into the second mold. Because the technique uses only one cycle instead of separate machine cycles, it costs less for any production run and requires fewer employees to make the finished product while delivering more items per run. It also ensures a strong bond between the materials without the need for further assembly down the line.

Enhanced product quality

Two-shot injection molding enhances the quality of most thermoplastic items in several ways:

ㆍImproved esthetics. Items look better and are more appealing to the consumer when they are crafted of different colored plastics or polymers. The merchandise looks more expensive if it utilizes more than one color or texture
ㆍImproved ergonomics. Because the process allows for the use of soft-touch surfaces, the resulting items can have ergonomically designed handles or other parts. This is particularly important for tools, medical devices, and other hand-held items.
ㆍIt provides for a better seal when silicone plastics and other rubbery materials are used for gaskets and other parts that require a strong seal.
ㆍIt lets you combine both hard and soft polymers for outstanding comfort and utility for even the smallest of products.
ㆍIt can greatly reduce the number of misalignments when compared to over-molding or more traditional insert processes.
ㆍIt enables manufacturers to create more complex mold designs using multiple materials that can’t be effectively bonded using other processes.
ㆍThe bond created is exceptionally strong, creating a product that is more durable, more reliable, and with longer life.

Versatility

Product manufacturers favor a wide range of applications for two-shot injection molding, including automotive interior parts, medical equipment, tools, and toys. It allows manufacturers to combine various materials and colors to create a strong and attractive final product. Some materials can be effectively combined with this process, including silicone and thermoplastics, nylon and thermoplastic elastomers, or hard nylon and soft-touch materials.

Two-shot injection molding can solve your company’s product production difficulties. An experienced plastic manufacturer can guide you from concept to finished product and ensure a cost-effective solution.

Producing an assembly with multiple components

Compared to other methods of plastic molding, two-shot is ultimately a more cost-efficient way of producing an assembly with multiple components. Here’s why:

Part Consolidation: Two-shot injection molding reduces the number of components in a finished assembly, eliminating an average of $40K in development, engineering, and validation costs associated with each additional part number.

Improved Efficiency: Two-shot molding allows multiple components to be molded with a single tool, reducing the amount of labor needed to run your parts and eliminating the need to weld or join components after the molding process.

Improved Quality: Two-shot is carried out within a single tool, allowing for lower tolerances than other molding processes, a high level of accuracy and repeat-ability, and reduced scrap rates.

Complex Moldings: Two-shot injection molding allows for the creation of complex mold designs that incorporate multiple materials for functionality that cannot be achieved through other molding processes.

Disadvantages of two-shot injection molding

1) High tooling costs and long setup lead times. Up-front costs are high due to the design, testing, and tooling required. There is the initial design and prototyping (probably via CNC or 3D printing), then the design of a prototype mold tool to produce replicas of the part in volume. Lastly, and only after extensive testing during both stages, you can finally inject mold apart.

2) Part design restrictions. Plastic parts must be designed with injection molding consideration and must follow the basic rules of injection molding, for example:

Avoid undercuts and sharp edges as much as possible

Use uniform wall thicknesses to prevent inconsistencies in the cooling process resulting in defects like sink marks.

Draft angles are encouraged for better de-molding.

Don’t forget, because tools are typically made from steel or aluminum, it can be difficult to make design changes. If you need to add plastic to the part, you can make the tool cavity larger by cutting away steel or aluminum. But in order to take away plastic, you need to decrease the size of the tool cavity by adding aluminum or metal to it. This is extremely difficult and in many cases might mean scrapping the tool (or part of it) and starting over.

Also, the weight and size of the part will determine the tool size and necessary press size. The larger the part, the more difficult and expensive it will be.

3) Small runs of parts can be costly. Due to the complexity of tooling, and the necessity to rid the machine of all previous material before the next product can be made, the setup time can be quite lengthy. Therefore small runs of parts have traditionally always been thought of as too expensive to injection mold.

 

We are an injection mold manufacturer. If you are interested in our products, please feel free to contact us.

INSERTED MOLDING TOOL

Insert Molding VS. Overmolding: What’s the Difference?

	 INSERTED MOLDING TOOL

 

There are various sub-processes within injection molding that add further capabilities to this already versatile technology. This article will explore insert molding vs overmolding and the advantages of each.

Injection molding is a broad term used to describe one of the most important processes in the manufacturing industry. It’s a process that requires a mold, typically made of metal with a cavity in the shape of the desired part. Molten plastic is injected into the mold and ejected. The process repeats to produce thousands of identical parts. It’s safe to assume that every large-volume plastic part on the market has come from an injection molding machine because the benefits of using injection molding for production are numerous. These benefits include low cost per part, short cycle times, extensive materials, and compatible, in-tolerance parts.

Various sub-processes add further capabilities to this already versatile technology. This article will specifically explore insert molding vs. overmolding and the advantages of each.

What is Insert Molding?

Insert molding is a subset of injection molding techniques similar to overmolding where metal components are placed into a mold cavity before the actual plastic injection. The insert is precisely positioned inside the mold either manually or by a robotic arm. The mold then closes, and plastic is molded over the insert, creating a single part.

One of the most common applications for insert molding is the creation of metal attachment features for fasteners. Fasteners enable assemblies to be securely assembled and disassembled without product damage. Heat-set threaded inserts are molded into plastic to reduce the risks of thread damage during installation.

Insert molding can also eliminate the need for fasteners by including the necessary metal parts in the mold, thus firmly securing the parts into a single bonded component.

Why Choose Insert Molding?

Insert molding is a versatile process that has numerous benefits, some of which are listed below.

Reduced Assembly Cost – An injection molding machine can create thousands of parts per day. Such economies of scale can significantly reduce the cost of the individual parts. In a typical CNC machining, sheet metal, or additive manufactured part, any required assembly can be a major bottleneck. Insert molding can be used to eliminate assembly and thus maximize cost savings.

Part Performance – In general, plastic parts are less robust than their metal counterparts. However, plastic offers other benefits such as reduced cost, superior design flexibility, and lighter weight. Combining both metal and plastic materials into one part can capitalize on the benefits of both. Metal inserts can be used where strength and stiffness are required and the remainder of the part can be made of plastic to reduce weight. Moreover, plastic parts do not fare well against wear and tear and metal inserts add an element of durability to parts to withstand any kind of cyclical loading.

What are the Disadvantages of Insert Molding?

Despite the many benefits of insert molding, a few disadvantages need to be considered before choosing to use this sub-process.

Multiple Manufacturing Technologies – Insert molding can involve a 2-step manufacturing process. If the inserts are a custom design and not off-the-shelf parts, they will need to be manufactured using a metal forming process like CNC machining. These metal forming techniques are often significantly more expensive per part than similar, fully injection-molded processes. In some cases, the metal parts can be manufactured via die casting or MIM (metal injection molding). This can reduce the overall cost of the metal inserts but cannot eliminate the insert molded unit’s increased cost because parts with metal inserts will typically cost more than a part that is only plastic.

Increased Part Complexity – If a custom-made metal insert is required, the designer must be aware of both technologies’ design for manufacturability (DFM) principles and understand how best to integrate these technologies into a single practical part.

What is Overmolding?

Overmolding is essentially a type of insert molding. However, overmolding vs. insert molding is, as the name suggests, plastic is molded over another molded part. The first component is made inside an injection mold, and it is then placed into a second mold to add the over-molded material. This technique combines multiple plastics for either practical or aesthetic purposes. For example, one might use different durometer plastics to mold a softer plastic over a more rigid one to make a part easier to grip. Using multiple colored plastics in an over molded part can also distinguish the product from other brands. Overmolding is regularly used on the handles of tools like screwdrivers, power drills, or toothbrushes.

Why Choose Overmolding?

Overmolding is a versatile process that has numerous benefits:

Increased Material Flexibility – Overmolding allows designers to leverage the benefits of multiple types of materials to create complex parts with different properties, add visual complexity, or add haptics.

No Adhesives Required – Overmolding allows different materials to be fused in the mold, thus eliminating the need for glues or other permanent bonding methods. This increases the part’s overall durability and reduces assembly costs.

Embedded Seals – Overmolding offers the option of molding soft seals into parts. An example would be an electronics enclosure that needs to be IP rated. Usually, the part will have a groove into which an o-ring can be installed later. However, it is far more cost-efficient and robust to permanently mold the seal as an integral component.

What are the Disadvantages of Overmolding

Despite the many benefits of overmolding, a few disadvantages need to be considered before deciding to use this process.

Multi-Step Process – Overmolded parts are made in a two-step process. This increases part cycle time and is thus more expensive than molding a single part with no overmolding. This also requires two tools or a complex two-shot mold with increased upfront costs. However, when the alternative is to create two separate injection-molded parts and then assemble them after the fact, overmolding becomes a value-added solution.

Debonding – Bonding two different materials together in an injection mold runs the risk of delamination. This typically happens if the temperatures are not in the optimal range for the specific material combination. In some cases, mechanical interlocks may be required when materials cannot be reliably bonded together using heat.

Conclusion: Choosing Between Insert Molding, Overmolding, or Injection Molding

Injection molding, which includes the sub-processes of insert molding and overmolding, is a versatile and low-cost manufacturing production process that is used in the large majority of consumer products. Injection molding often results in the lowest cost per part when compared to other manufacturing techniques like CNC machining and even 3D printing.

Once injection molding is chosen for a specific application, the next step is often whether to use insert molding, overmolding, or just stick with plain injection molding. When trying to weigh the advantages of the processes, it is important to accurately define the product application. Each of these processes has specific use cases that are suited to different product types. It can be difficult to gauge which process will best suit your particular product, so it’s good to get expert advice early on. Contact WIT and We will help steer your design decisions in the right direction so that you can choose between insert molding vs. overmolding or just injection molding.

Difference between Thermoset & Thermoplastic Injection Molding

 

Thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics are two separate classes of polymers that are widely used in the process of injection molding to create products of various types. Both these categories of plastics possess different properties and characteristics. Hence, choosing the right category of polymer, between the two, is of paramount importance to achieve the expected results when used in applications.  Most of the injection molding service providers usually receive a question from their clients about the differences between thermoplastic and thermoset molding process. Here, in this post, let’s see thermoset & thermoplastic injection molding comparison.

Defining Thermoplastic and Thermosets

Before we go deeper into the topic, it is important to understand the two terms thermoset and thermoplastic. Let’s first find out what are thermosets and thermoplastics.

What are Thermosets?

Thermoset plastics “set” after they cure and are generally stronger than thermoplastic materials. Initially, the polymer is a liquid or soft solid, which becomes rigid later when cured. Owing to their high mechanical and physical strength, resistance to heat, corrosion, and mechanical creep, thermosets are used in a variety of applications. A few amongst the common thermoset materials used in the injection molding process include alkyds, epoxy, phenolic, polyimides, thermoset polyester, and so on.

What are Thermoplastics?

In contrast to thermoset, thermoplastics liquefy and become pliable when heat is applied. Thermoplastic polymers can be reheated and reprocessed many times, which is impossible when it comes to thermosets. Usually stored in the form of pellets prior to the molding process, these categories of polymers can withstand multiple re-shaping without causing any damage to the material. They possess high strength, shrink-resistance, flexibility, high-Impact resistance, and chemical resistant, among others. A few amongst the common thermoset materials used in the injection molding process include ABS, nylon, PET, polypropylene, polyethylene and TPE, among others.

Difference between Thermoset & Thermoplastic Injection Molding

The way thermosets are molded differs with respect to thermoplastics in several aspects and both the categories require varied treatment during the injection molding process. Let’s check a few differences when molding thermosets and thermoplastics.

Where and How They’re Used

The differences inherent to thermosets and thermoplastics make them uniquely suited for differing applications.

Appliance fabrication may require a thermoset such as epoxy — the material’s high-impact resistance, microbial resistance, and general inert properties are ideal in the kitchen and cooling environment. Conversely, a thermoplastic such as polyethylene makes a great packaging film, since the material shrinks and conforms to the packaging when heated.

As a general rule, thermosets are often affiliated with manufacturing and utilities — appliances, electrical applications, and anything else involving heat that may otherwise warp thermoplastics. Thermoplastics, on the other hand, are broadly diverse and used in everything from aerospace fabrication to consumer goods and toys. The nature of the polymer used depends on the final application.

 

Now that you know how thermoset injection molding differs with respect to thermoplastic injection molding. With the information provided in the post, you would be able to make a judgment on the type of polymer category you should opt to produce molded parts. However, just knowing the differences between the materials won’t be enough, instead you would need an injection molding service provider who can mold your parts as per the right specifications provided. Partner with leading injection molding companies like WIT MOLD who own a comprehensive working knowledge regarding thermoplastic vs thermoset molding.

What Is Thermoset Molding?

Many people are not aware of the advantages of thermoset materials. This guide describes the thermoset molding process and how it can benefit you.

*Thermoset Molding

Thermoset molding is an irreversible molding process by which malleable forms of plastic are forced into a heated mold and formed into their final shape.

Thermoplastic molding is the reverse process where heated material is injected into a cool mold. The material is then cooled to maintain the final shape of the part.

*Why Use Thermoset Molding?

Thermoset materials are generally stronger than thermoplastic materials due to the catalysts that are added to the base compound that cause chemical reactions at the molecular level, forming a harder, irreversible final form. Thermoset plastics cannot be re-melted, only ground and recycled as filler for different applications.

Thermoset molded products have electrical and thermal insulation properties, which make them ideal for electrical and electronic applications. They are resistant to corrosion and have high impact strength, depending on the resin, and are cost competitive with engineered thermoplastics. Using thermoset molding allows producers to maintain tighter tolerances during the molding process compared to similar thermoplastic materials.

*Pros of Thermoset Injection Molding

Injection molded pieces may be the best fit for a piece for several reasons:

Many different types of materials may be used in injection molding, including thermoplastic and thermosetting resins, polymers, and elastomers. This offers the engineer a great deal of control over which blend of materials will yield the best outcome, especially when needing to meet specific property requirements.

Fantastic for high-volume runs.

Precision and low waste. Because of the specific tooling and material mix, there is less waste with injection-molded parts than with other processes.

Short cooling time – Injection molded pieces cool quickly, reducing the time required to release the injected piece from the mold.

*Cons of Thermoset Injection Molding

While injection molding is a fantastic process for the reasons mentioned above, there are certain limitations and drawbacks. A few of these drawbacks include:

Tooling costs – These costs can be significant as precision crafted molds are required.

Flash – Flash is unavoidable when injection molding thermosets. Once the part has been created and ejected from the mold, an automated or manual next step is necessary to remove the flash (excess material). Flash isn’t an issue with thermoplastics due to the higher viscosity of the liquid plastic.

Part size – The size of the piece being created definitely matters when it comes to the molding process. Typically, smaller part sizes (0.1 lbs to 6 lbs) are injection molded, while larger parts are transfer or compression molded. The volume of the order will also dictate which molding process will be the best fit for the project. Compression molding would likely be used for larger parts with a low (or high) volume, while transfer molding would be used for medium to high volume projects. Injection molding would be ideal for high volume runs with smaller pieces.

 

WIT offers Custom Plastic Molding services. If you are interested in it, please contact us now!

Three Questions You Need to Consider before Choosing Precision Molding

 

If you need a plastic part molded with extreme precision—for example, to ensure there’s no air leak between two molded sections or to be certain there’s no visible seal gap line—you likely require precision molding. The difference between a typical injection molded part and a precision molded part is the tolerance, or acceptable range of variation in dimension: While the majority of injection molded parts have a tolerance of +/- .005″, precision molding holds tolerances between +/- .002″ and +/- .001″ (or less, in some cases).

Let’s say, for example, you’re planning to manufacture a military projectile. In order for the projectile to fit properly in the firearm, handle the acceleration when it’s launched, and explode on impact, it requires very high precision.

If your application requires precision molding, you can’t leave anything to chance—so you’ll want to ask yourself the following three questions before you begin the process:

1. Have you selected a plastic material with low shrinkage?

The plastic material you select for your part makes a big difference in whether you’ll be able to do precision molding. For example, polypropylene has a shrinkage range of +/- .014″ to +/- .022″, with an average of +/- .018″. This is a wide range for shrinkage, which makes hitting a specific tolerance extremely difficult. If you’re molding a toothbrush (which commonly uses polypropylene), dealing with shrinkage isn’t a big concern, as the toothbrush will function appropriately regardless of whether it’s slightly bigger or smaller than its counterparts. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)—another common thermoplastic polymer—has a much narrower shrinkage average of +/- .006″. That gives you a much better chance of hitting a tighter tolerance, but it still won’t reach the +/- .001″ or +/- .002″ tolerance needed for a precision part.

One way to hit high tolerances with your plastic material is to add glass or another filler resin (like carbon fiber or mica) into the material. This can minimize shrinkage and warp by providing more structure in the material. For example, if you include long glass fibers in a polymer material, the part will shrink more perpendicular to those fibers.

2. Have you determined which areas of the mold require precision?

Because precision molding is more expensive than typical injection molding, be certain which aspects of your part require tight tolerances—and whether those tolerances can be achieved through injection molding—before moving forward. For example, a surgical handle may only require precision for the piece that will connect with a pin, not the entire handle. Identifying your precision requirements from the get-go ensures you’ll get what you need without wasting money. In the case of the surgical handle, your injection molding partner may advise you to add the tolerances you need through tooling after the injection molding process is complete.

3. Can the mold manufacturer you’ve selected tool with high precision?

The process of creating plastic parts with tight tolerances begins with a high-precision mold. If each plastic part you create is not identical, you won’t have a precise product—and a precise mold ensures there’s no variation for each part. Because of this, it’s extremely important to select a mold manufacturer who understands the slow, steady process of building a high-precision tool. Keep in mind that selecting a mold manufacturer that specializes in rapid tooling is likely not your best option, as the goal of rapid tooling is to finish the mold quickly—but not necessarily precisely.

Let’s get your precision molding project started

We have years of experience in precision molding, and would love to answer any and all of your questions. You can either contact us with those questions, or, if you’re ready to get your project started now, simply contact us and request a free quote.

The Ultimate Guide to Gas Assist Injection Molding

 

What is Gas Assist Injection Molding?

Gas assist injection molding (GAIM) is an enhanced injection molding process often applied for complex parts, large parts and parts requiring an attractive, cosmetic finish.

The types of parts benefiting most from this process include:

  • large panels
  • enclosures
  • handles
  • doors and bezels
  • tube or rod-shaped parts

How Does Gas Assist Work?

The gas assist process is introduced at the finish of the mold filling stage while the resin is still liquid.  Pressurized gas (usually nitrogen) is used in place of pack pressure from the molding machine.  The pressure from the gas completes the filling of the mold cavity, forcing an even distribution of molten resin against the mold. The gas is held inside during the entire cooling phase and then is vented, leaving a hollow void.  For internal gas-assist molding, the void is inside the plastic.  For external gas assist molding, the void is on the outside surface, typically the backside of a part.

Benefits with Gas Assist

The gas-assist process gets results when part design elements make the part difficult to manufacture using straight injection molding.  GAIM allows for more design flexibility while still being able to provide these benefits:

  • Thin-walled parts with greater strength and rigidity
  • Creation of hollowed out areas, reducing part weight
  • Reduction of molded-in stress for improved dimensional stability
  • Better surface finish with no sink marks
  • Less part shrinkage and reduced warpage

Design Advantages with Gas Assist

1. Complex Designs

For the design engineer, using GAIM expands design options and helps to minimize design changes to make the part manufacturable using injection molding. One of the greatest benefits is the ability to produce complex parts.  Oftentimes with straight injection molding, parts having different wall thicknesses are molded separately and assembled later.

GAIM allows multiple parts to be combined into one, reducing the need for secondary assembly processes – even if the parts have different wall thicknesses.  This is because gas-assist allows heavy wall sections to intersect thinner ones. Support ribs and bosses can achieve tighter tolerances and be designed larger without fear of sink marks. Gas channels are directed toward these areas and the consistent pressure during the cooling phase eliminates sink marks, associated with these support features, on the front side of the part.

2. Metal Replacement

Gas-assist allows the production of thin-walled components that have solid but hollow areas.  The resulting strength and lightweight part can often replace metal fabricated or die cast parts, and reduce product cost.

3. Large parts

The introduction of gas pressure aids in mold filling, providing uniform pressure throughout the part that lasts through the cooling stage. The result is a part with less shrinkage and reduced warpage. Part weight can also be reduced by creating hollowed out areas.

4. Cosmetic finishes

Where an attractive finished surface is required, gas-assist prevents sink areas that eliminate or at least minimize secondary operations to improve part appearance including sanding and priming.

5. Hollow parts

The gas can create hollowed out areas within parts like handles, which decreases part weight and still provides strength.

 

Gas Assist Molds

 

Cost Benefits with Gas Assist

1. Extended Tool Life

With gas-assist, lower clamping force is required because lower pressures are used.  This results in less mold wear extending the life of the tool.

2. Less Energy Cost

With lower clamping force required, larger molds can be used in smaller presses.  Smaller presses consume less power and help to decrease the cost of manufacturing the part.

3. Less Machine Time

A more rapid cooling period helps to reduce cycle time which in turn lowers manufacturing expense per part.

4. Lower Material Cost

Less material is used to produce the part because hollow areas inside of the part are created with the gas and with less resin used, the part cost is lowered.

5. Quality Results

With gas-assist injection molding, the process is typically easier to control than conventional injection molding. A dependable, repeatable process provides consistent production results and less waste.

Common pitfalls

There are many common pitfalls when it comes to Gas Assisted Injection Moulding. Firstly, it is more complex and more expensive to set up than ordinary injection molding. if the tooling price of injection mold shocks you, gas-assisted injection molds will blow you away. Also, by introducing gas into the molding mix, this variable must be precisely tracked, managed and controlled. Without experienced machine operators and technicians, the molding process could go disastrously wrong. The control of the gas also contributes to variable wall thicknesses, especially in tight corners and this is something you generally want to avoid.

Gas Assist Tool Design

If you want to achieve high-quality results, make sure you get the tool design right.

Regardless of what injection molding process will be used, it is important to engage your molder during the early stages of part design in the design for manufacturing (DFM) phase. Tooling cost, timeline, and resulting part quality will be directly impacted by the quality and efficacy of the tool.  When determining the optimal way to mold apart, engineers will consider all product requirements including application, resin selection, and cost considerations. Mold flow analysis is used to find design constraints so that adjustments can be made. When the tooling engineer determines gas-assist is the best solution, the tool will be designed with gas channels built into the mold that will allow the addition of nitrogen gas during the molding process. Determining your molding method early will conserve tooling costs and help to maintain project timelines.  Getting your molder involved early will be critical to a cost-effective, high-quality product.

 

To learn more about this process or to receive assistance with your project, contact WIT MOLD.

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