Injection Molding Process

Injection molding, along with extrusion ranks as one of the prime processes for producing plastics products. It is an extremely fast process that ensures quality and product consistency during high volume manufacturing. Therefore injection molding is the perfect match for consumer and commodity products, from highly engineered components to disposable packaging.

Injection molded parts are everywhere around us during our daily lives. As the injection molding process is extremely reliable, flexible and versatile, it is the perfect manufacturing process for products which are small (parts of a diabetic needle) and large (commercial refuse bins).

Recognising Plastic

The injection molding process has helped to push the boundaries of plastic designs in many ways whilst improving its green credentials at the same time. With an improved design, the relentless pursuit to lightweight packaging continues to reduce material usage, energy consumption, and carbon emissions. Even though plastic packaging is often considered ‘less premium’ its effect on the environment is extremely positive when compared to other traditional packaging formats such as paper and glass. Polypropylene (PP) can be recycled infinitely without serious depreciation in quality. Recycling ensures old products are transformed into new whilst reducing the need for new raw material.

The Process (Injection molded cycle)

Granular plastic is fed from a hopper into a heated barrel. As the granules are slowly moved forward by a screw-type plunger, the plastic is forced into a heated chamber where it begins to melt. As the plunger advances, the melted plastic is forced through a small nozzle that leads directly into a cooled mold. The plastic solidifies almost as soon as the mold is filled. The mold then opens and the part is ejected.

Please see the animation below created by the British Plastics Federation.

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