When researching manufacturing processes for custom products, you may come across plastic injection molding. Also known simply as injection molding, it supports products in a variety of custom shapes and sizes. What is plastic injection molding, and how does it work exactly?
What Is Plastic Injection Molding?
Plastic injection molding is a molding process that involves the use of heated plastic. It’s used to create parts — as well as other products — in custom shapes and sizes. As the name suggests, plastic injection molding uses plastic as the material for these parts. It’s a molding process in which heated plastic is injected into a mold.
Some of the benefits of plastic injection molding include the following:
- Supports small, complex parts
- Produces little or no waste
- Highly efficient process
- Can be repeated for mass-production
- Uniform design for all molded parts
- Requires minimal labor
How Plastic Injection Molding Works
Like other molding processes, plastic injection molding requires a mold. Molds are hollow shells that are used in molding processes. During plastic injection molding, manufacturers initially create a mold in the size and shape of the desired product.
Next, manufacturers inject heated plastic into the mold. There are other injection molding processes, some of which use glass or elastomer as the material for their respective parts. Plastic injection molding, though, specifically uses plastic. The heated plastic is injected into the mold cavity via a barrel. The barrel is placed on top of the mold where it injects the heated plastic into the mold cavity.
As the heated, pressurized plastic is forced into the mold cavity, it will take the shape of the mold. Manufacturers will then wait for the plastic to cool. After the plastic has fully cooled and hardened, manufacturers will remove the newly created part from the mold cavity.
You don’t have to invest in a molding machine to create parts with plastic injection molding. There are B2B companies, such as Nelson Miller, that specialize in custom manufacturing processes, including plastic injection molding. You provide the design specifications, and Nelson Miller will create the desired parts using plastic injection molding or other manufacturing processes.
Plastic injection molding is exactly what it sounds like: a molding process in which plastic is injected into a mold cavity. Raw plastic is placed inside of a machine where it’s heated and then fed into the mold cavity. Once the plastic has cooled, the part is removed from the mold cavity.