Injection molding is used in more ways that you might think. Common household products like toothbrush handles are created using plastic injection molding, as well as medical supplies, spools, and musical instruments. It is the most common plastic molding method used globally. The first plastic injection molding machine was patented in the late 1800s by John Wesley Hyatt and his brother. About one century later, plastic production processes replaced steel production processes as the most widely used. As a result, injection molding took off and today, this type of production is vital to the production of most products.
Injection molding machines push materials into a mold after it is put into a heated barrel and mixed. The resulting mold can then be shaped into any desired product, which can be ask small as a comb, or as large as a car’s body panels. A type of plastic molding is liquid injection molding. With this process, plastic-based liquids, like silicone and acrylic, are often mixed with fibers and additives in a static or dynamic mixer. Two plungers hold the material and a catalyst that activate the mixer. Once this is done, the material is injected into a mold to harden. Liquid injection molding is often used in the production of rubber parts such as gaskets, formed hoses, and O-rings. The molding method is fairly similar for glass filled nylon injection molding, as well as metal injection molding processes, but the latter mixes fine metal powders with binding agents before it is poured in the mold.
Plastic injection molding is the most popular because it produces less wastage, making it both cost efficient and eco-friendly. It also generates a large number of goods in short amount of time, and the resulting products are durable. In the last two centuries, the process used to manufacture goods has improved and today’s injection molding machines function better than they ever have before. Engineers will continue to develop these machines and find newer, faster ways of bringing customers the every day products they need.
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