For 25 years now the industry of metal injection molds has be growing at a steady pace. Metal injection molding is the process of using a mold to create products made of metal. Metal mold injecting is used today for a variety of products. Generally plastic has always been used to create products using molds.
When someone wants to use a mold to create a metal product they will generally talk to a mold maker. Mold makers will create a mold using a specific design. Engineers generally create these designs with the intent of having them made into molds. The mold will be a reverse version of the original design. This will allow a material to be melted and forced into the mold. Once the material has cooled and set, it will have been formed into the specific design.
Metal injection molding
Metal injection molding is used to create a variety of different products. Using metal in the mold ensures that the final product will be very strong and resilient. There are many small products which are made using metal injection molding. Often these small products are parts which are used in machines. Metal mold injection produces very strong parts which could not be made using plastic. That is the great advantage which metal injection into molds has over the plastic variety. Injection mold techniques can be used to makes some large items as well.
Plastic has traditionally been used when making products using injection molding. However, the use of metals in molds is increasing in popularity. People are seeking stronger products which can only be made using steel. Plastic is cheap and flimsy. It is not ideal for use in many industrial applications. If you are looking to mass produce an item that is going to see some heavy usage you should use a metal injection mold process.
There are many different metals which can be used in an injection mold process. Carbon can be used. Metal alloys can be used. Stainless steel is often used to create molds. This is a metal which creates a strong and sturdy product. Titanium is also become popular for use in molds. It has seen a lot of use in the application of making medical devices. These need to be made using strong metal and precise techniques.
For 25 years now the industry of metal injection molds has be growing at a steady pace. Metal injection molding is the process of using a mold to create products made of metal. Metal mold injecting is used today for a variety of products. Generally plastic has always been used to create products using molds. There are many different types of metal which can be used to make molds.
Metal has been used for some time now in the process of using injection molds. This is a process which involves melting metal down and injecting it into a mold. This will then harden and create a finished product which is strong and durable. There are many different products made using metal injection molds.
Injection Molding From a Molders Point of View
I have been in the field of Custom Plastic Injection Molding for about 21 years now as of the writing of this article. I am currently working as a Process Engineer, which I have done for about 15 of my 20+ years in the field of injection molding and I have primarily worked for molders that were involved in the automotive field.
Plastic injection molding, by definition, is the process of injecting plastic into a mold (or mould in European circles), cooling the plastic, ejecting it from the mold, and packing the finished product for sale to the customer. This sounds simple and in it’s basic form it is, but the process involved with making all this happen is actually quite complicated. Plastic can be injected into the mold with low pressure, but typically is done under high pressure upwards of 30,000 PSI cavity pressure.
Injection molding and plastic injection
There are many diverse types of injection molding and as many different types of plastic injection molding machines to go with it. Some of the more common types of plastic molding are standard mold injection, insert molding, plastic extrusion, blow molding, multi-color or material molding, stack molding, and rotary molding just to name a few. There are custom plastics as well, from common every day plastic resins to the more exotic engineering grade resins used in most automobiles today. There are even injection molding grade “metals” being experimented with and used these days.
There are many types of injection molding machines all made for specific purposes. There are the standard horizontal injection molding machines which range in size from a few tons all the way up to 9000 tons and more. You could drive car between the platens of a press that large. Vertical injection molding machines are often used for insert molding (although this can also be done horizontally) and share a common cover with two ejection halves of the mold. This allows for de-molding and loading of inserts in one half, while the other half is producing the next shot of parts.
The newest machines are “all electric versions” which stray from the standard hydraulic injection machines used now for years. These injection molding machines are much more efficient and repeatable then their hydraulic cousins are. Common injection molding machine manufacturers are Toshiba, Husky, Cincinnati, DeMaag, Engel, Nissei, UBE, Arburg and Boy, just to name a few.
The basic steps to producing a plastic injection molded part on a stand injection molding machine are:
- Heating the plastic resin to the required range of the product being used.
- Developing the shot size through use of a reciprocating screw which conveys the melted plastic to the front of the screw.
- Injecting the plastic into the mold under pressure to fill the cavity of the mold.
- Packing the plastic to create a full part inside the mold.
- Cooling the plastic in the mold through the use of cooling channels most commonly with water.
- Ejecting the cooled part from the mold.
- Repeating the process over and over again.