What is Thermoplastic Injection Molding?
Thermoplastic injection molding is a manufacturing process that creates fully functional parts by injecting plastic resin into a pre-made mold. Thermoplastic injection molding has several subcategories, such as rapid injection molding, which is best utilized in fine-tuning prototypes prior to a product being given the go-ahead for production. Another subcategory, production injection molding, is best utilized for full product runs.
Developers utilize the thermoplastic injection molding process for many applications, as it can produce anything form car door panels to cell phone cases with good accuracy and surface finish. What’s more is that it’s the industry standard for producing plastic parts, so developers can be certain they’re putting out a quality product if they go this route in the development process.
How it Works
We already noted that thermoplastic injection molding consists of injecting a thermoplastic resin into an already crafted mold to create parts in the shape of the mold. But here’s a closer look at how the process works:
- A mold is made based on a CAD file. That’s the laborious part of the process as it takes time to create the mold. Such molds are typically made from aluminum or steel.
- After the mold is created, the thermoplastic resin is injected into it and then left to cure and form the part. The material is first fed into a heated barrel before being launched into the mold to cold and cure.
- Following curing, the part is removed from the mold and the process starts over until the part run is completed.
In co-injection molding, we inject the hard substrate and the elastomer into the same mold. Therefore compatibility between materials is essential and it must be carefully controlled.
Co-Injection is very expensive and difficult to control. It is used least comparing with the other 2 methods. The hard and soft substrates are in a fully molten state. Therefore it provides the best bonding between soft and hard parts, the molded parts quality is also the best.
At JSK Industrial Supply we control this production technique very well. Here is what we can do for you:
- We do the injection of plastic around a metal contact to make connectors or terminal blocks.
- Injection of soft plastic around an electric cable to make cable splits, connectors, and grommets.
- We inject plastic around printed circuit boards to make encapsulated or watertight electronics.
- Overmolding of soft or hard plastic over metal parts to make a solid assembly between metal and plastic.