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Injection Molding

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What is Injection Molding?

The Basics Of Injection Molding
Injection molding is one of the most often-used manufacturing processes for creating plastic parts. Thanks to its high-precision, repeatability, and cost efficiency at scale, injection molding is used to make a variety of products and parts from the smallest medical insert up to large automotive & aerospace parts.

How Injection Molding Works
The injection molding process requires an injection molding machine, raw plastic material, and a machined mold. The raw plastic material is first melted in the injection unit and is then injected into the mold — most often machined from steel or aluminum — where it cools and solidifies into the final plastic part.

The key steps in the injection molding process are:

Clamping: The two sides of the mold are closed and clamped shut. Injection: The material is fed into the machine and pushed towards the mold. While this is happening, the material is melted by heat and pressure. The plastic is then injected into the mold — this is called the “shot.”
Cooling: The plastic in the mold cools and solidifies into the shape of the part.
Ejection: After the part cools, it is ejected from the mold.

Benefits Of Injection Molding
Custom injection molding offers a number of benefits not found in other manufacturing processes. Due to the high-pressure nature of the injection molding process, it is much easier to manufacture parts with detailed features or complex geometries that would be too costly for typical CNC machining processes. The ability to use your mold over and over again for a long period of time leads to an extremely high production output rate which is more cost effective and efficient than other manufacturing processes. Lastly, different injection molding processes, such as overmolding and insert molding, allow you to create plastic parts with unique characteristics such as enhanced strength, soft-grip surfaces, or added flexibility. Also beneficial is the ability to combine multiple assembly processes into one injection molding process.

Injection Molding Glossary
To learn more about molding, check out our injection molding glossary.

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