The Use Of 3D Printing In Manufacturing Now & In The Future

In recent years, 3D printing has become extremely useful in manufacturing—and, more specifically, in plastic injection molding. Injection molding companies often use a 3D printer to create a part from a model, drawing, or concept plastic part. Depending on the size and complexity, it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 48 hours to create a single 3D-printed part—but in most cases, you’d be able to hold a finished replica of your part in a matter of hours.

While it may seem like creating a 3D printed part before production is unnecessary, it’s actually a worthwhile time investment. The benefits of the 3D printing manufacturing process are:

  • You get to examine a physical replica of your part before you go into mass production, instead of relying on a drawing or concept.
  • You can see how your multiple plastic parts fit together and make any necessary corrections before your molding partner cuts an expensive piece of steel for your injection mold.
  • Your injection molding partner can consider potential issues before your product hits the manufacturing floor. For example, the plastics expert could bring up any potential issues with the way plastic will flow through the mold to create your final part.

3D printing is evolving rapidly—and we’re expecting big changes on the horizon. Here are three areas we think will revolutionize how 3D printing (also called additive manufacturing) will impact the plastic injection molding industry.

THE FUTURE OF 3D PRINTING & ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

1. 3D-Printed Plastic Injection Molds

One major development in 3D printing today is the ability to print a plastic injection mold. Today’s 3D molding technology does not have the narrow part tolerances required to create a plastic injection mold that can withstand high volume, but we expect this to change in the near future.

Once part tolerances are solved, 3D mold-making will become a more viable option—and will have a number of benefit. For example, you cannot drill bit around a corner inside a block of steel—but you can can create virtually anything you imagine with a 3D printer. Additionally, the material used to create a mold in a 3D printer is less expensive than high-grade steel. The added functionalities and cost savings will impact what you’re able to mold and how much it’ll cost to mold it.

2. Using 3D Printing For Your First Run-Off

During the manufacturing process, the first run-off of your plastic part ensures that the part meets quality standards and works as far as fit and function. In the future, we expect 3D printers will be efficient enough to replace an injection molding machine for small production quantities, which could eliminate the upfront investment required for molds and reduce the lead time for the first articles.

3. Alternate 3D Printing Methods

FDM (fused deposition modeling) is the most commonly used 3D printing form. To create a 3D part using FDM, a thin string of plastic feeds into a heated tip (similar to a pen tip). The heated tip melts the plastic on contact, and then pushes the melted plastic onto the 3D printing tray in a certain direction to create a part. The plastic dries in layers as it comes out of the tip, and each layer dries quickly enough to hold the next layer—hence the term 3D additive manufacturing.

While the majority of 3D printing is currently FDM, we expect that a number of additional 3D printing methods will be innovated in the next 5-10 years. The more forms of 3D printing available, the more options you’ll have when it comes to prototyping, mold-making, and manufacturing your part.

KEEP IN MIND, 3D PRINTING WON’T REPLACE PLASTIC INJECTION MOLDING FOR DECADES—IF EVER.

While the 3D printing manufacturing process has evolved rapidly and will continue to do so, it will be many, many years before a 3D printer can match the volume, speed, and efficiency of a plastic injection molding machine. Currently, it could take roughly 30 minutes to print a 3D part that would take only seconds to make using injection molding.

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What Type Of Molding Process Does Your Prototype Require?

If you’re creating a plastic part, it’s important to know what type of injection molding process your part will require. Do you know if your part needs to be molded in a cleanroom environment, or whether you should use a vertical or horizontal injection molding machine? Our article below walks through eight unique types of injection molding, and the benefits and considerations of each, so you can make a more informed decision:

CLEANROOM MOLDING

Cleanroom molding is used to mold plastic parts that cannot be contaminated by dust or other particles that exist in a typical molding environment. A number of industries—including medical, pharmaceutical, aerospace, military, and biotech—often need their parts to be created in a cleanroom environment.

While there are nine different classes of cleanroom molding, class 7 and class 8 are by far the most popular. (Read this article for more details on which class your part might require.) Both class 7 and class 8 cleanrooms use positive air flow to ensure a strict particulate count; masking requirements, electric machinery, and packaging restrictions also help ensure cleanliness.

HORIZONTAL MOLDING

There are two types of injection molding machines: horizontal and vertical. In horizontal molding machines, the mold clamps horizontally. Once the plastic part is created and the mold opens, the part drops into a bin and is taken away on a conveyor belt (or is taken down with a robot).

Horizontal molding machines are used in about 90% of injection molding processes worldwide. Horizontal molding allows the molding cycle to continue uninterrupted because it utilizes gravity to eject the part from the mold. As a result, production costs decrease and production output increases.

Because the vast majority of molding machines are horizontal, there are many different technological options available. Your part can be run on a hydraulic machine, an electric machine (a necessity if your part requires a cleanroom environment), or a hybrid.

The downside to horizontal molding is that it is much more difficult to add inserts —and this is where vertical molding machines are dominant.

VERTICAL MOLDING

Vertical molding machines open and close in a vertical manner. When the mold opens, the parts are ejected from the cavity but still sit on top of the mold.

Vertical molding makes it easy to add inserts into the mold. For example, if you need to put a hook in fishing lore, a needle in a medical application, or a pin in a gear clock, gravity works in your favor when you use a vertical mold.

The drawback to vertical molding is that a consistent molding cycle is not guaranteed. This is because a robot (or person) must manually remove the parts from a machine—and if your parts are removed a second too soon or too late, they may not be uniform. Additionally, using a robot or manual labor for removal is likely to be more expensive than using a horizontal mold.

TWO-SHOT MOLDING & OVERMOLDING

Two-shot molding and overmolding are injection molding processes used to create parts that require two different kinds of plastic.

Let’s say you want to plastic injection mold a power screwdriver with two different materials: the housing, which is made of a more rigid material to hold the motor drive and trigger; and the grip, made of a softer material.

If you went with overmolding, your injection molding partner would injection mold the housing for the screwdriver first. That cured part would then be added into another injection molding machine, and the grip would be molded on top of it.

If you went with two-shot molding, your injection molding partner would use a specialty two-shot mold that includes a housing mold on one side and a grip mold on the other. Once the housing was injection molded, a large rotary plate would flip the mold around 180 degrees, and the grip would be molded using a separate material.

Two-shot molding requires a more expensive mold design—but the cycle time is cut in half as compared to overmolding. So if you have the part volume to justify the process, two-shot molding would result in faster production.

THERMOPLASTIC MOLDING

To create a thermoplastic part, plastic material is melted and shot into an injection mold. Once this part cools, the mold opens and the part drops out. Thermoplastics like styrene and polycarbonate can withstand warm or even hot conditions—but at certain temperatures they will eventually melt again, and thus are able to be recycled. The majority of plastic injection molding is done with thermoplastic materials. Thermoset materials, on the other hand, use transfer molding, which is a slightly different process described below.

TRANSFER MOLDING

Transfer molding is used to create thermoset plastic parts only. It involves placing a cold, putty-like material inside a cavity in an injection mold. Once the mold is closed, the machine forces the cold material into the geometry of the hot mold cavity. This transference of the cool material into the hot cavity causes the material to disperse quickly. Once it has cooled, the mold is opened and the part is removed, and, due to a chemical heat-based reaction, the part will keep its shape forever.

PRECISION MOLDING

There are three primary categories of plastic injection molding:

  • Large part molding allows for broad part tolerances, and the mold can often be fit together by hand.
  • Typical part molding, which has part tolerances of +/- .0005″.
  • Precision molding, which has part tolerances of +/- .0001″.

Precision molding requires machinery that works with very fine part tolerances. If your part requires these types of tolerances, talk to your potential injection molding partner. Many have experience with precision molding or can partner with another company that can achieve these tolerances.

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Blow Molding Vs. Injection Molding: A Comparison For Engineers

Blow molding vs. injection molding—what’s the difference? Both are common methods used to create plastic parts. And while some parts require both blow-molded and injection-molded components—for example, a medical device with a blow-molded container attached to an injection molded apparatus, or a military application with a blow-molded “payload” packet fabricated inside an injection molded projectile—the two methods primarily serve different markets.

The main similarity between them is that, before the molding process can begin, you must have a mold with the shape of the part you want inside it. The mold is most typically made of steel (though some parts may require another material) and is created with tight part tolerances (+/- .0005 of an inch). This keeps the plastic in an injection mold or a blow mold from flashing  (seeping into crevices) and creates a quality part.

Below are the basic steps manufacturers take for blow molding vs. injection molding.

BLOW MOLDING

Blow molding is a specialized type of plastic processing used to create hollow plastic parts. The most common type of blow molding is called extrusion blow molding, which is used to create plastic bottles or other hollow containers.

To create a blow-molded product, manufacturers perform the following steps:

  1. The completed mold is placed in the blow molding machine.
  2. parison (also known as a preform)which is a tube of plastic with one hole that allows air to funnel through, is heated until it becomes soft.
  3. The molten parison is placed into a blow mold that is cooler in temperature.
  4. An air tube is inserted into the hole in the parison.
  5. The mold is closed, and the air inside the parison blows the molten plastic (similar to blowing up a balloon) until the plastic forms to the shape of the mold.
  6. Once the part has cooled, the mold opens and the completed part is ejected from the mold.

The most notable drawback of blow molding is that it’s very difficult to create a precise, uniform part, because it’s essentially impossible to get the plastic to thin out evenly as air blows through it. Consider a milk jug; the handle is often the thickest part, but the walls of the jug vary in thickness from top to bottom. That said, uniformity isn’t typically an issue for plastic bottles, as they are produced in mass quantities and are primarily used as containers.

INJECTION MOLDING

Unlike blow molding, which can only create a hollow part, injection molding can be used to create a solid plastic part or a hollow part (through gas-assisted injection molding, for example).

To create an injection-molded product, manufacturers perform the following steps:

  1. The completed mold is placed in the injection molding machine.
  2. The plastic pellets are heated until they are liquid.
  3. The liquid plastic goes through a dryer, if necessary (as moisture in the plastic might cause splay or hydrolysis in the finished product).
  4. The liquid plastic is conveyed into the injection molding machine through a vacuum.
  5. The liquid plastic goes through a heated injection barrel, which is attached to a feed throat.
  6. The liquid plastic is injected under pressure through the feed throat into a mold.
  7. The mold—which is cooler than the liquid plastic—causes the plastic material to cool to a solid state, which forms the plastic part.
  8. The mold opens and the cooled plastic part is ejected from the mold either by hand (in a vertical injection molding machine) or by force of gravity (in a horizontal injection molding machine).
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3 Common Types Of Rapid Tooling Used In Prototyping

Rapid tooling is, simply, the creation of a mold in a shortened timeline.

Rapid tooling got its start in the 1990s, when engineers involved in injection molding wanted to see if they could build molds in a matter of hour or days instead of the weeks or months a machined mold would take. A rapid-tooled mold is ideal for prototyping a part and molding a few hundred plastic parts before full-scale, high-volume production starts. The part of the tool that is built in the rapid tooling process is the insert—including the core and cavity, and the side actions. Depending on the type of rapid tooling used, you may be able to get thousands (or tens to hundreds of thousands) of cycles out of the tool.

There are different types of rapid tooling available; the benefits of each vary based on your required materials, technology, accuracy, consistency, and size. If you’re considering rapid tooling for your prototype, keep these three limitations in mind:

The mold has to be strong enough to handle the injection molding process. Injection molding machines are measured by pounds per square inch that are being clamped—so if the mold material isn’t strong enough, it might not survive. Additionally, the mold must be able to withstand injections of (typically) hot plastic material.
The mold needs to be smooth enough for the plastic part to eject cleanly. Traditional steel machined molds are polished or smoothed to make ejection easy—but during some rapid tooling processes, material is built up in layers, which aren’t necessarily smooth. This means the rapid tooling mold could require additional work after it is created to make it smooth enough for prototyping.
The mold may not have tight enough tolerances. All plastic injection molds need a tolerance of +/1 .001”, or it may leak plastic and render the prototypes useless. Depending on the type of rapid tooling used, this may be difficult to achieve.
With that in mind, here are three of the most common rapid tooling methods available in prototyping:

1. 3D Printing In Plastic
3D printing plays a number of roles in plastic injection molding—and it has evolved to the point that some additive manufacturing machines can print a plastic injection mold. The benefits of 3D printing in plastic are threefold: The molds can be created extremely quickly (within a few hours, in many cases); the molds are inexpensive to create as compared to printing in metal; and the machines can create virtually any geometry needed. That said, today’s 3D printing technology doesn’t enable exceptional part tolerances. While you may be able to get a prototype run out of a 3D plastic injection mold, you won’t be able to get volume out of it.

2. Direct Metal Laser Sintering
Metal isn’t only used for rapid tooling through traditional machining (as we’ll discuss in #3)—it can also be used to create a plastic injection mold by fusing together metal particles to make a solvent in a process called “sintering.” In rapid tooling, the sintering process is done by spraying a cloud of powdered metal into a laser beam, which allows you to “draw” the shape of your mold with the laser. This process can be done using a number of different metals, including stainless steel, titanium, or cobalt chromium. And because the finished mold is made of metal, it is better equipped to handle heat transfer, pressures, and ejection capabilities.

One of the things that makes sintering unique is that it allows you to print in conformal cooling lines to help cool the plastic part more rapidly. Say, for example, you’re creating a mold for a deodorant cap with a unique shape on both sides. Because of the contouring of the lid and the thin wall it requires, you need to be able to cool the plastic once it enters the mold as quickly as possible to keep it from deforming. This cooling process is possible thanks to conformal cooling, which uses cooling lines buried within the steel.

Keep in mind that while sintering is fast, it’s not accurate enough to achieve the required +/-.001 tolerance right out of the machine. Instead, it will achieve a tolerance of +/- .004 or +/-.005, but to get the tighter tolerance, you will have to have to add the additional accuracy in by hand through the use of traditional machining or electrical discharge machining (EDM). Additionally, sintering can be expensive compared to rapid prototyping in plastic.

3. Rapid Tooling Through Traditional Machining
When the processes for rapid tooling came out, companies that built molds using traditional methods (like machining aluminum or steel) began to increase the speed of those methods to compete. Eventually, the term “rapid tooling” was applied to any tool that could be built quickly, including those created with more traditional methods. Some companies can turn a metal mold around in a few days to a week.

But this rapid tooling method isn’t without its limitations, one of which is geometry. If you need to cut a cavity of a shape, you’re limited by the cutter the company is using—you can’t cut a square corner with a round cutter. To address that issue, you’d have to burn in the corner you need through EDM. If you need a highly complex geometry in your mold, it could be more expensive to do rapid tooling in traditional machining.

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Precision Molding: Three Questions That Could Save You Money

If you need a plastic part molded with extreme precision—for example, to ensure there’s no air leak between two molded sections or to be certain there’s no visible seal gap line—you likely require precision molding. The difference between a typical injection molded part and a precision molded part is the tolerance, or acceptable range of variation in dimension: While the majority of injection molded parts have a tolerance of +/- .005″, precision molding holds tolerances between +/- .002″ and +/- .001″ (or less, in some cases).

Let’s say, for example, you’re planning to manufacture a military projectile. In order for the projectile to fit properly in the firearm, handle the acceleration when it’s launched, and explode on impact, it requires very high precision.

If your application requires precision molding, you can’t leave anything to chance—so you’ll want to ask yourself the following three questions before you begin the process:

1. Have you determined which areas of the mold require precision?

Because precision molding is more expensive than typical injection molding, be certain which aspects of your part require tight tolerances—and whether those tolerances can be achieved through injection molding—before moving forward. For example, a surgical handle may only require precision for the piece that will connect with a pin, not the entire handle. Identifying your precision requirements from the get-go ensures you’ll get what you need without wasting money. In the case of the surgical handle, your injection molding partner may advise you to add the tolerances you need through tooling after the injection molding process is complete.

2. Have you selected a plastic material with low shrinkage?

The plastic material you select for your part makes a big difference in whether you’ll be able to do precision molding. For example, polypropylene has a shrinkage range of +/- .014″ to +/- .022″, with an average of +/- .018″. This is a wide range for shrinkage, which makes hitting a specific tolerance extremely difficult. If you’re molding a toothbrush (which commonly uses polypropylene), dealing with shrinkage isn’t a big concern, as the toothbrush will function appropriately regardless of whether it’s slightly bigger or smaller than its counterparts. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)—another common thermoplastic polymer—has a much narrower shrinkage average of +/- .006″. That gives you a much better chance of hitting a tighter tolerance, but it still won’t reach the +/- .001″ or +/- .002″ tolerance needed for a precision part.

One way to hit high tolerances with your plastic material is to add glass or another filler resin (like carbon fiber or mica) into the material. This can minimize shrinkage and warp by providing more structure in the material. For example, if you include long glass fibers in a polymer material, the part will shrink more perpendicular to those fibers.

3. Can the mold manufacturer you’ve selected tool with high precision?

The process of creating plastic parts with tight tolerances begins with a high-precision mold. If each plastic part you create is not identical, you won’t have a precise product—and a precise mold ensures there’s no variation for each part. Because of this, it’s extremely important to select a mold manufacturer who understands the slow, steady process of building a high-precision tool. Keep in mind that selecting a mold manufacturer that specializes in rapid tooling is likely not your best option, as the goal of rapid tooling is to finish the mold quickly—but not necessarily precisely.

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Manufacturing Single-Use Products: 8 Things To Keep In Mind

A single-use product is meant to be used or applied once and then discarded. The term “single-use” is sometimes intended to mean “disposable,” though this isn’t always the case. A bullet and a booster rocket, for example, are both single-use products—but most people wouldn’t refer to them as a disposable. But many medical products, like tongue depressors and test vials, are perfect examples of single-use, disposable products. For the majority of single-use products, the primary goal of the manufacturing process is to keep the cost low and the volume high, all while maintaining quality standards. With that in mind, here are eight things you’ll need during the product design and manufacturing processes:

1. Inexpensive Materials
It’s important to find materials that are inexpensive yet still meet your industry-specific needs or standards. For example, if you’re manufacturing a mouth swab or a single-use dental pick, the material will need to meet FDA standards while staying beneath a certain price point. Your injection molding partner should be able to offer suggestions on types of material that fit the bill.

2. Fast Cycle Times
The quicker a machine goes through a cycle, the more parts you can create, which drives part cost down. If you’re evaluating partners to help create your single-use plastic product, be sure to find out the average length of their cycle times.

3. Automation
The more automated elements the injection molding process has—for example, robots that remove parts from the mold or put them into boxes for shipping—the more you can drive part costs down. The only exception to this is if you go overseas, where human handling of parts is significantly less expensive than it is in the U.S. This article will walk through the benefits and considerations of injection molding in China vs. the U.S.

4. Quality Assurance
If a problem in the production cycle goes unchecked, you may be recalling millions of parts—so you need a very robust quality assurance system around your manufacturing. For instance, Micron uses robots in approximately 70% of our machines and camera-based vision systems that check the quality of every single part. This helps ensure that only good parts go through the molding process.

5. Inexpensive Packaging
A common problem for many companies that manufacture single-use applications is the high cost of packaging—it could be more expensive than the product itself! This may be unavoidable for extremely inexpensive single-use products that require specific packaging (like a syringe), but you’ll want to explore your packaging options to keep costs as low as possible.

7. High Capacity Mold
If you’re able to run your parts using a 96-cavity tool, you’ll see more cost savings than if you run your part on a 16-cavity tool. This is primarily because a high-cavity tool allows you to get more pieces molded per hour, which means you’ll see lower charges passed along from the molder for things like electricity use, machine depreciation, maintenance, and overhead.

8. Economical Production Processes
To avoid slowing down cycle time, you’ll want to have an effective process design for gating and part ejection. Additionally, it’s important to ensure the hot manifold that delivers the plastic material to the mold cavity does so without any waste. These processes will help accommodate inexpensive single-use pricing.

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11 Questions To Ask Before Picking A Plastic Mold Manufacturing Partner

When you’re getting ready to begin the injection molding process, the first choice you make—and one of the most crucial decisions—is which plastic mold manufacturing partner you’ll select. The partner you choose should, of course, deliver on all your mold requirements—but they should also prototype your part, help you with part design adjustments, warranty their work, and much more. And most importantly, the right partner will ensure you don’t end up with a useless mold that doesn’t produce quality parts—or, as we like to call a faulty mold—a boat anchor.

By asking potential plastic mold manufacturing partners these 11 questions, you’ll all but eliminate any doubt that they will be a great partner for you.

11 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR PLASTIC MOLD MANUFACTURING PARTNER

1. Can you build a tool that will match my annual volume requirement?

Molds are most often constructed in one of three classes: Class 101, 102, or 103. Each class varies in the material it uses, how (or whether) it’s hardened, the maintenance it requires, and the cycles it can tolerate before it requires adjustments. A class 101 mold, for example, is most often built from hardened stainless steel—but if you’re only going to run 50,000 parts a year, a class 102 tool built from a different, less expensive material may be more appropriate for your part. A good plastic mold manufacturing partner will walk you through the benefits and considerations of each class of mold, and guide you to the class that is ideal for your situation.

2. Can we get a warranty on the tool?

Be advised: Many plastic mold manufacturing companies do not offer warranties unless you specifically request one. Even if they do, study the ins and outs of the warranty and precisely what it covers before signing on the dotted line.

At Micron, we typically warranty a class 101 tool, for example, for up to one million cycles without any cost to the customer. This means we’d cover any and all maintenance and/or expense on the mold up to that point. So if you have a 64-cavity tool from Micron, this warranty would last you through 64 million parts.

3. Do you do mold-making in house or are they made overseas?

Some plastic mold manufacturers simply broker a mold deal between your company and an overseas mold maker. There can be major differences between a tool created in China vs.the U.S.—check out this article for a full rundown.

4. Do you have the ability to rapid prototype or 3D print parts to reveal potential flaws in the design?

The creation of your tool is one of the most expensive parts of the injection molding process, so doing it wrong is not an option. You can make adjustments in the prototyping stage until the mold is correct—but otherwise, changes are expensive.

Here at Micron, once we have a tool order, we print a prototype of the part for free. Giving customers a chance to see alternate ideas, or flaws in the design, helps us both in making a better part.

5. Can you build a mold for the size part I need?

Not every molding manufacturer is equipped to mold extremely large or extremely small plastic parts. If you’re building an injection molded car bumper, for example, some plastic mold manufacturers won’t have the capability to mold something of that magnitude. If the company asserts that they can build an unusual-size injection mold, ask for examples of similar parts they’ve previously created .

6. What materials will the finished mold be able to handle?

If your plastic part will be molded using highly abrasive plastic material—or a type of plastic material that is injected at very high temperatures—you’ll want to be certain the company you’re considering can build a mold that will handle these requirements.

7. How do you achieve the right mold tolerances?

Specific mold tolerances may be critical for your plastic part, and understanding how the molder achieves and validates those tolerances is useful information to have. Additionally, if any part of your mold needs specialized measurements—say, an one-dimensional automotive part that needs to be extremely precise so there’s no variation part-to-part—be sure to let them know ahead of time.

8. What is your process for high-cavitation molding?

If you need a high-cavity mold, find out how your potential mold manufacturing partner manages the mold building process. For example, to ensure that plastic evenly distributes in your high-cavitation mold, your partner should include a high-quality hot manifold (used to inject plastic into the mold) to assist with this distribution process.

9. Can you validate that the mold will work?

To validate what they build, your mold manufacturing partner will need to sample the tool to ensure it produces quality parts. If you’re getting your mold separate from your injection molding manufacturer, be sure that the tool is sampled at the same cycle and cooling time you’ll need when you move to production. For example, if your part requires a 30-second cycle time and the part needs to cool for 15 seconds, but the sample only includes a 2 second cooling stage, the sample parts won’t be an accurate reproduction of what you’ll get during production.

10. What specific molding capabilities can you accommodate?

If you need to fit a small metal bearing inside your plastic part, you likely need a vertical injection mold. If you’re molding a computer mouse or a toothbrush with a hard plastic material and soft plastic grip, you’ll need either two-shot or overmolding. Be certain your mold manufacturer can create a mold for the characteristics you require.

11. How quickly can you turn out a mold?

Everyone wants something fast, cheap, and high quality—but we typically tell our customers they can can have two out of three. For example, if you want a high-quality mold created fast, it’ll cost you. And some mold manufacturers specialize in rapid tooling, but these molds are typically fast and cheap, not high quality. At any rate, be sure the mold manufacturing company you select can turn out a mold in the timeline you require. Here at Micron, if you need a tool built more quickly than usual, we can often partner with outside resources to save time. Or, if you need a mold built for less than our mold shop can create it for, we can partner with outside tool builders that will work under our quality and engineering guidelines.

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plastic injection molding vs. plastic machining: how to decide

Plastic molding, also known as “injection molding,” and machining plastic components are very different processes. But how are they different? And which process is right for your custom plastic fasteners?
First, let’s define what they are. During the injection molding process, plastic pellets—rigid when cool but viscous at higher temperatures—are heated to their melting point and then injected into a cavity. As they cool, they harden in that cavity’s shape.
Plastic machining, however, is the process of whittling plastic down from a larger shape—like shaving slivers from a branch with a knife.
So how do they stack up?
Plastic machining can cost as much as 25 times plastic molding. Yet, sometimes it is cheaper to machine plastic parts. How can this be?
The reason is the cost of creating the initial mold in which the parts are manufactured. Its price ranges anywhere from $5,000 to $200,000, depending on the complexity. Molding plastic may be a less expensive process, but if you only need a few parts—and you spend $10,000 to make the initial mold to create them—you spend more than if you had just machined those parts.
And keep this in mind: once you create a plastic mold, you cannot easily change it. Wholesale changes cannot be made.
Typically, when you need a few hundred or fewer parts, machining is the answer. At these levels, the cost of creating the mold almost always outweighs the expense of machining. When you’re dealing with larger orders, molding is likely the answer.
There are, however, a few exceptions.
As a process, plastic machining is more precise than plastic molding. When molding, you can expect results within .005 inches of specifications. When machining, you can bank on results within .001 inches of specifications. This level of precision is necessary for some industries and projects.
Another exception arises if your parts require uniform surface smoothness. The process of transferring plastic into a mold leaves behind surface imperfections on the finished product. During injection molding, plastic flows through runners and is introduced into a cavity through a gate which meters the flow as it fills the part.
As a result, when the finished parts are removed from the mold, the gates leave a slight cosmetic imperfection. In addition, most molds use knockout pins to push the part out of the cavity after it cools. These knockout pins leave a slight depression in the place where they contact the part.
If your plastic parts must be blemish free, strongly consider plastic machining.
Also, another benefit of plastic machining is its faster turnaround time, which may be important if your project is behind schedule.
So, if you or your company is choosing between plastic molding and machining, we hope you’ll keep the following in mind:
If you require a couple hundred or fewer parts, the best choice is very likely plastic machining.
If you are considering molding, make sure to weigh the cost of creating the initial mold against the higher expense of machining.
Give machining serious thought if (1) your project requires a high degree of precision and/or (2) your parts must have uniform surfaces smoothness.
NB: Keep in mind that not all plastic materials can be injection molded!

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Plastic mould is an important method

plastic mould is an important method, which is primarily applicable to thermoplastic plastic mould; Molding can be a complex shape of precision plastic parts.

The necessity to cool or chill plastics processing machinery is mainly related to thermoplastic materials. At room temperature thermoplastic materials (polypropylene, nylon and PET etc) are solid. In order to shape them they must first be heated to their molten temperature. When molten, they can then be manipulated (injection molded, extruded etc) to a new shape. When for med to their new shape they must then be cooled to solidify them. Considerable amounts of heat energy have to be extracted from the material, the tooling and the machinery that is doing the forming.

plastic mould produce components by using techniques such as thermoplastic or injection mould, blow molding, rotational molding, thermoforming, structural foam molding, compression molding, and resin transfer molding (RTM). They also provide services such as mold prototyping, low-volume production, high-volume production, insert molding, micro-molding, large-part molding, two-shot injection mould, reel-to-reel molding, machining, hot stamping, assembly, bonding, packaging and shipping.

There are many different types of plastic mould services. Examples include blow molding services, compression molding services, dip molding services, film injection mould services (FIM), and gas assist molding services. plastic mould services may also perform reaction injection mould (RIM), resin transfer molding (RTM), rotational molding, structural foam molding, thermoplastic injection mould, thermoset casting, thermoset injection mould, and thermoforming. Vacuum assist resin transfer molding (VARTM), vacuum bag molding, and vacuum forming services are also available. In terms of material capabilities, plastic mouldservices address considerations such as impact strength, high and low temperature characteristics, warpage, and resistance to ultraviolet (UV) light. Commodity grade resins are more widely used than other graded resins and include polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Engineering grade resins are more difficult to process than other graded resins, but have characteristics that make them desirable for specialized use. Widely used engineering grade thermoplastics include acetal, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), nylon, noryl and polycarbonate.

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Plastic molding and the main processing methods

Plastic molding process is a construction technology, involving the contents of the plastic into the various processes of plastic products. Central Standing Committee in the process of change one or more of the following circumstances occur, such as polymer rheology and the physical and chemical properties change. Many methods of plastic molding

Plastic molding method

Pressing: Compression molded laminated low-pressure molding cold molding transfer molding casting centrifugal casting embedded static casting spin casting plastic rotational casting slush cast sculpture

Extrusion molding hand lay

Extrusion molding fiber pull-winding

Exhaust injection molding of mobile non-runner injection molding injection moldinginjection molding thermoset reaction injection molding injection molding calendering

Blow Molding Injection Blow Molding Extrusion Blow Molding Stretch Blow film coating melt stream of spray deposited by flame spraying, plasma spraying electrostatic spraying

Physical foaming foaming foaming molding machine foam molding Thermoforming second solid phase forming biaxial tensile

1. Compression molding. Also known as compression molding molding is molding with pressure in the closed mold cavity (generally yet to heating) of the molding method. Typically, compression molding applied to thermosetting plastics, such as phenolic, amino plastic, unsaturated polyester plastics.

Compression molded by the pre-press, preheating and molding the composition of three processes:

Preloading to improve product quality and increase efficiency, molding, molding the powder or fibrous pre-pressure to shape the operation.

Preheat molding processing to improve performance and shorten the molding cycle, the molding compound before the first heat in the molding operation.

Molded in the mold to add the required amount of plastic, closed mold, exhaust, temperature and pressure in the molding to maintain a period of time, then stripping clean mold operation.

Compression molding press with the main equipment, and modeling. Press with the most is self-contained hydraulic machine, tonnage from several tons to several hundred tonnes. Are under pressure type press and the pressure type press. The mold for compression molding as to suppress mold is divided into three categories; flash-type mold, semi-flash-type mold is not overflow-type mold.

The main advantages of compression molding can be molded products and a larger plane to mass production, the drawback is long production cycle and low efficiency.

2. Laminate molding. With or without adhesive, by heat, pressure to the same or a different combination of two or more layers of materials for the holistic approach.

Laminating machines commonly used laminate molding operation, the dynamic of this press fitted between the plate and fixed plate may be floating multi-layer hot plate.

Laminated reinforced material forming a common cotton cloth, glass cloth, paper, stone and cotton cloth, phenolic resin, epoxy, unsaturated polyester and certain thermoplastic resins.

3. Cold molding. Cold molding is also called cold sintering, and the general compression molding of the difference is in the room temperature compression molding of materials. After stripping the molded product can be re-heating or using chemical reaction to cure. The method is mainly used PTFE molding, also used in some high-temperature plastic (such as polyimide, etc.). General process for the system blank – sintering – the cooling of three steps.

4. Transfer molding. Thermoset transfer molding is a molding method, molding plastic mold when the first heat in the heating chamber to soften, and then pressed into the cavity had been heated Curing. Transfer molding equipment according to different types of forms are: (1) live plate; (2) tank; (3) plunger.

Transfer molding of plastic demand is: does not meet the pre-curing temperature, plastic should have greater mobility, to curing temperature, it should have a faster cure rate. Meet this requirement are phenolic, melamine formaldehyde and epoxy resins.

Transfer molding has the following advantages: (1) edge less waste products, can reduce the amount of post processing; (2)can with a fine or brittle molded insert and perforated products, and can maintain the insert and the correct hole location; (3) product performance uniform, accurate size, high quality; (4) wear a smaller mold. Drawback is: (5) mold manufacturing costs higher than the compression mold; (6) plastic deplete; (7) fiber reinforced plastics produced by fiber orientation and anisotropy; (8) around the plastic around the inserts, sometimes due to fusion products by not strong Er Shi the intensity decreases.

    5. Low pressure molding. Using the molding pressure equal to or less than 1.4 MPa pressure or laminated touch method.

Low pressure molding method for the manufacture of reinforced plastic products. Reinforced materials such as glass fiber, textiles, asbestos, paper, carbon fiber. Most commonly used are thermosetting resins, such as phenolic, epoxy, amino, unsaturated polyester, silicone and other resins.

Low pressure molding, including bags, spray method.

(1) bag molding. With flexible bag (or other flexible diaphragm) received fluid pressure and elastic modulus Er Shi bags between rigid reinforced plastic between the uniform compression and a workpiece, a method. Fluid pressure caused by different methods, generally can be divided into bags of molding pressure, vacuum bag molding and autoclave molding hot.

(2) injection molding. Reinforced plastic molded products, the use of spray gun to short fiber and resin spray while laminated mold and curing methods for the products.

6. Extrusion. Extrusion molding or extrusion, also known as extrusion, it is the extruder by heating, pressure Ershi material to flow through the port state continuous casting method.

Extrusion method is mainly used for molding thermoplastics, thermosetting plastics can also be used for some. Extrusion products are continuous profiles, such as tubes, rods, wire, sheet, film, wire and cable coating layer. In addition, the mixture can be used for plastics, plastics granulation, color, blending and so on.

Extruder from the extrusion device, transmission, and heating and cooling systems and other major components. Extruder with screw-type (single screw and multiple screw) and plunger types. The former is a continuous extrusion process, which is intermittent.

Single screw extruder, including the basic structure of the main transmission device, feeding device, cylinder, screw, die and die and some other.

Auxiliary equipment extruder before the material handling equipment (such as material handling and drying), extrusion material handling equipment (shape, cooling, traction, or roll material cut paper) and the production condition control equipment three categories.

7. Crowded drawing forming. Crowded drawing forming a thermoset fiber reinforced plastic molding methods. Fixed for the production cross section shape, length, unlimited profiles. Molding process is a continuous fiber impregnated with resin glue pulled out by the heating mode, and then through the heating chamber, further solidifying the resin prepared with a one-way continuous high strength reinforced plastic profiles.

Commonly used in extrusion molding of the resin pull unsaturated polyester, epoxy and silicone are three. Unsaturated polyester resin used most.

Squeeze pulling machine is usually arranged by the fiber device, resin tank, pre-forming device, die, and heating devices, traction devices and cutting equipment and other components.

8. Injection molding. Injection molding (injection) is to make the first thermoplastic or thermosetting molding plastics in uniformly heated barrel, then pushing the plunger or screw to move the die cavity in closed molding methods.

Injection molding is suitable for almost all thermoplastics. In recent years, injection molding is also successfully used in forming some of the thermosetting plastic. Injection molding cycle is short (seconds to minutes), the quality of molding products can be several tens of grams to kilograms, can form a complex shape, size precision, with a metal or non-metallic insert molded products. Therefore, the method has strong adaptability and high productivity.

Injection Molding injection machine into plunger injection machine and injection machine screw two major categories, from the injection system, clamping system and the mold has three major components; the molding methods can be divided into:

(1) exhaust injection molding. Exhaust vent type injection molding applications, injection machine, the barrel with the central exhaust port, connected with the vacuum system, when the plastics plastic, plastic vacuum pump can be combined and some water vapor, single, volatile material and air by the exhaust suck out; materials without pre-drying, thereby increasing productivity, improving product quality. Particularly suitable for polycarbonate, nylon, glass, cellulose materials such as molding moisture easily.

(2) injection molding. Injection molding can be used ordinary mobile screw injection machine. Plastics and plastic that is constantly squeeze through a certain temperature, the mold cavity, the cavity filled with plastic, the screw stops turning, through the thrust screw to mold material under pressure to maintain an appropriate time, then cooling setting. Flow injection molding have overcome restrictions on the production of large products, equipment, part quality can exceed the maximum injection volume of injection machine. It features an object is not stored in plasticizing the barrel, but continued to squeeze into the mold, so it is the combination of extrusion and injection method.

(3) of injection molding. Coinjection molding is used with two or more injection units of the injection machine, different species or different color of plastic, simultaneously or successively injected into the mold method. This method can produce a variety of colors and (or) a variety of plastic composite products, representative of a total of two-color injection molding is the injection and multi-color injection.

(4) No runner injection molding. Mold does not set the shunt, but by the injection machine nozzle extension points directly to the molten material to each mold cavity injection moldingmethod. In the injection process, the flow of plastic to maintain melt flow within the state, the ejection time and the products together emerge, so there is no flow workpiece residue. This molding method not only saves raw materials, lower costs, and reduce the process to achieve fully automatic production.

(5) reaction injection molding. Reaction injection molding materials will reflect the principle is measured by the measuring device after the pump into the mixing head, mixed in the mixing head in the collision, and then injected into the closed mold high speed, the fast curing, stripping, removal products. It is suitable for processing polyurethane, epoxy and unsaturated polyester resins, silicone resins, alkyd resins such as some of thermosetting plastics and elastomers. Now mainly used in polyurethane processing.

(6) thermosetting plastic injection molding. Granular or agglomerate thermosetting plastics, in the strict control of temperature of the barrel, the role of the screw, stick plastics into plastic state, in the high injection pressure, the materials into the mold within a certain temperature range, crosslinking. Thermosetting plastic injection molding except for changes in physical state, there are chemical changes. Therefore, compared with thermoplastic injection molding, molding equipment and processing technology in the existence of significant differences. The following table compares the thermoset and thermoplastic injection molding difference.

Thermosetting and thermoplastic injection molding conditions for comparison

Thermoset thermoplastic processing conditions

Barrel temperature, low temperature, plastics, barrel temperature below 95 ��, temperature control, demanding high temperature plastics, barrel temperature above 150 ��, temperature control is not strict

In the barrel in a short time longer

Barrel heating mode liquid medium (water, oil) heating

Mold temperature of 150 1 200 �� 100 �� the following

Injection pressure 100-200MPa 35-140MPa

Injection volume of injection was smaller, front barrel more than a small injection of large amount of material, front barrel more than expected

Thermosetting plastic injection molding is the most widely used Bakelite.

9. Blow molding. Closed by gas pressure in the heat in the mold of parison inflation become hollow products, or possession of non-parison into a tubular film die Inflation a way. The method is mainly used for a variety of packaging containers and the manufacture of tubular membrane. Where melt index of 0.04 to 1.12 is rather good Blow Molding materials such as polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, polystyrene, thermoplastic polyesters, polycarbonates, polyamides, cellulose acetate and poly acetal resin, of which polyethylene applications most.

(1) injection blow molding. Department of Law with the first plastic injection moldingparison with bottom, then move the parison then blow blow mold made of hollow products.

(2) extrusion blow molding. Line with the extrusion parison with bottom plastic first, then move the parison then blow blow mold made of hollow products.

Injection blow molding and extrusion blow molding of the difference is that different methods of manufacturing blanks, blow molding process is basically the same.

In addition to injection blow molding machines and extrusion equipment, machines, the main blow molding mold. Blow mold usually 2 synthesis, which has coolant channels, a small hole into the surface type of pressurized gas blowpipe.

(3) stretch blow molding. Biaxial oriented stretch blow molding is a stretch blow molding, which is also first-type longitudinal stretching, and then blown with compressed air to transverse tensile expansion. Stretch blow molding products can transparency, impact strength, surface hardness and rigidity is greatly improved for polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate (PETP) of the blow molding.

Stretch blow molding include: injection stretch blow molding parison orientation, extrusion stretch blow molding parison directional, multi-directional stretch blow molding, compression molding and other directional stretch blow molding.

(4) blown film method. A method of forming thermoplastic films. Line with the extrusion of plastic extruded tube first, and then blown through the air to the tube so that a continuous expansion to a certain size tubular membrane, cool, double layer winding folded flat film.

Manufacture of plastic film can be used many ways, such as blow molding, extrusion, casting, rolling, casting and so on, but blowing the most widely used method.

This method is suitable for polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyamide films such as manufacturing.

10. Casting. Without pressure or under slight pressure, the liquid monomer, resin or their mixture into the mold and make it a method of solid-state products. Casting method into a static casting, inlay casting, centrifugal casting, slush, rotational molded plastic, rotational molding and casting plastic and so on tape.

(1) static casting. Static casting is the casting forming the more simple and more extensive use of two methods. This method commonly used in liquid monomer, part of the polymerization or condensation of the slurry material, polymer and monomer solution, blended with additives (such as initiator, curing agent, promoting etc), or thermoplastic resin melt into the mold cast cavity shape.

(2) embedded cast. Insert molding casting, also known as enclosure is to the samples, spare parts and other entrapment to the middle of a plastic molding technology. Embedded object will be placed in the mold, into the monomer, prepolymer or polymer such as liquid, and then to polymerization or curing (or hardening), ejection. This technique has been widely used in electronic industry. Plastic molding process for these species have gills formaldehyde, unsaturated polyester, acrylic and epoxy resins.

(3) centrifugal casting. Centrifugal casting is the use of centrifugal force, forming tubular or hollow tubular products approach. Through the extruder hopper or dedicated to quantitative liquid resin or resin dispersion into the rotation and heating of the container (ie, mold), by its rapid rotation around the axis (tens of per minute to 2000 rpm), then put Jibei centrifugal force into the material distributed in the mold area near the wall. In the rotation, while the material into the curing occurs, and then as needed through the cooling or post-processing that is able to obtain products. When the molding reinforced plastic products can also added to enhance the filling of.

Centrifugal casting melt viscosity are usually smaller, better thermal stability of thermoplastics such as polyamide, polyethylene, etc..

(4) slush. Slush is a method of molding hollow articles. When the plastic molding paste down and start the hollow mold until the required capacity. Mold in the loading should be carried out before or after the heat loading in order to make the material into a gel in the mold wall. When the gel when the intended thickness, pour excess liquid materials, and re-heated to make it melt, after cooling can be stripped out of products from the mold. Slush is mainly used in PVC plastic.

(5) spin-cast plastic. The law is the liquid material into a closed mold in which it at a lower speed (several to tens of change per minute) around a single or multi-axis spin, so that materials that can be distributed by gravity and the inner wall of the mold on, and then cured by heating or cooling or hardening up, you can get products from the mold. Around the axis of rotation for the production of cylinder-shaped product, or by vibration around the axis movement is used to produce closed products.

(6) rotational (rotational molding). A similar spin casting plastic molding methods, and different is its use of the materials are not liquid, but sintering of powder materials. The process is the powder into the mold and make it around the two vertical axis rotation, heat and even melt in the mold wall on bedrock, and then after cooling can be obtained from the mold hollow articles.

Rotational use of a polyethylene, modified polystyrene, polyamide, polycarbonate and cellulose plastics.

(7) cast sculpture. Preparation of thin film methods. Manufacturing, the first dispersion liquid resin or resin is dispersed in the running of the carrier (usually metal band), the subsequent use of appropriate methods to cure (or harden), and finally stripping can be obtained from the carrier film.

Casting for the production of plastic film are: the three cellulose acetate, polyvinyl alcohol, vinyl chloride and vinyl acetate copolymers, etc., in addition to some of the engineering plastics such as polycarbonate, etc. can also be used to produce cast film.

11. Hand lay-up. Hand lay-hand wall paper, also known as forming, molding, manufacturing reinforced plastic products is one way. In this method, the mold release agent coating on the reinforcing material laid by hand while brushing aside until the resin until the desired thickness, and then obtained by curing and stripping products. Hand lay in the synthetic resin is mainly used in epoxy resins and unsaturated polyester resin. Reinforcement with glass cloth, rovings Plaid, glass blankets.

12. Filament Winding. Scheduled in control of tension and linear conditions in order to dip a resin glue to the core of continuous filament winding up mold or mold forming reinforced plastic products. This method is only suitable for manufacturing such a cylindrical and spherical rotating body. Commonly used resin is phenolic resin, epoxy resin, unsaturated polyester resin. Glass fiber reinforced materials commonly used winding, it has two: a twist fiber and untwisted fiber.

13. Rolling. Will be through a series of heated thermoplastic roller, but its role in the compression and extension under the link to become a film or sheet molding method. Ting-pressure product film, sheet, leather and other coated products. Calendering the main raw material used is PVC, cellulose, modified polystyrene.

Rolling equipment, including rolling machine and other auxiliary equipment. Calendar roll is usually the number and arrangement of classification. According to the number of different roller, rolling machine with double rollers, three rollers, four rollers, five rolls, and even six-roll, with three or four roll calendar roll used most.

14. Coating. For anti-corrosion, insulation, decoration and other purposes, in liquid or powder form in the fabric, paper, metal foil or board surface on the coated plastic thin (for example .0.3 mm or less) of the method.

The most common plastic coating method is generally thermoplastic, such as polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyamide, polyvinyl alcohol, PCTFE, etc..

Hot melt coating process has deposited, fluid spraying, flame spraying, electrostatic spraying and plasma spraying.

(1) hot melt deposition. After the plastic powder with compressed air spray gun, spray off the surface to warm, plastic melting, cooling form a covering layer.

(2) fluid spray. Preheat the workpiece immersed in a container suspended in a resin powder resin powder melt and adhere to the surface.

(3) flame spraying. The fluidized resin through the mouth of the cone-shaped flame spray gun to make it melt and to achieve a method of spraying.

(4) electrostatic spraying. Electrostatic field caused by high voltage static electricity, that is a positive level ground parts, plastic powder emitted when a negative charge, the electrostatic spray plastic to the workpiece.

(5) plasma spraying. Plasma spray gun used to flow through areas such as ions of inert gas (such as argon, nitrogen, helium gas mixture) into a high-speed 5500 ~ 6300 �� high energy plasma flow, volume, high-speed spray resin powder lead to surface melting Results into the coating.

15. Foam molding. Plastic foam molding is to produce porous structure of the process. Almost all of thermosetting and thermoplastic plastics can be made of foam, commonly used resin is polystyrene, polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, urea formaldehyde, phenol and so on.

In accordance with the foam cell structure can be divided into two categories, if the majority of pores connected to each other, then known as the hole foam; if the majority of stomata are separated from each other, then known as closed-cell foam. Opening or closed cell foam structure is determined by the manufacturing method.

(1) chemical foam. Specifically added by the chemical foaming agent, thermal decomposition or chemical reaction between components of raw materials caused by the gas, so full of foam plastic melt. Chemical blowing agent released in the heating gas are carbon dioxide, nitrogen, ammonia and so on. Chemical foam used in the production of polyurethane foam.

(2) physical foaming. Physical foaming plastics dissolve in the gas or liquid, and then to expand or gasification foaming method. Physical foaming plastic varieties more suitable.

(3) Mechanical foam. By mechanical stirring method to gas mixed with the liquid mixture, then shape the process through the formation of foam in the foam. This method is commonly used in the urea-formaldehyde resin sleep, others such as polyvinyl formal, poly vinyl acetate, polyvinyl chloride sol, also apply.

16. Secondary molding. Secondary molding is one of the methods of plastic molding. Parison of plastic material or as raw materials to make it through the heating and the external force into the shape of the products required for a method.

(1) hot molding. Thermoforming thermoplastic sheet is heated to soften, the gas pressure, liquid pressure or mechanical pressure, the use of appropriate molds or fixtures and products to become a molding method. Plastic thermoforming many ways, and can be divided into:

Molding using single-mode (mode or yin yang mode) or mode, using external mechanical pressure or weight, will be a variety of products made from sheet molding method, which is different from a process of compression molding. This law applies to all thermoplastics.

Differential pressure molding using single-mode (mode or yin yang mode) or to die, you can not die, under the effect of differential pressure in the gas, so that heat to the soft plastic sheet close to mold surface, made of a variety of products, after cooling The molding method. Pressure forming can be divided into vacuum forming and pressure forming.

Especially suitable for hot forming thin wall, the manufacture of large surface area. Varieties of common types of polystyrene plastics, glass, PVC, ABS, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamide, polycarbonate and polyethylene terephthalate, etc..

Thermoforming equipment, including clamping system, heating system, vacuum and compressed air systems and forming tooling.

(2) biaxial tension. To thermoplastic film or sheet such as molecular reorientation, especially above the glass transition temperature of the process of two-way stretch. Tensile direction in the polymer glass transition temperature and melting point between, after orientation stretch and quickly cooled to room temperature after the film or the single wire, the tensile direction on the mechanical performance has greatly improved.

For the polymer stretching direction are: PVC, polyethylene terephthalate, polyvinylidene chloride, polymethylmethacrylate, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and some styrene.

(3) solid phase forming. Solid phase formation is a thermoplastic material or blank in the mold under pressure to use the method of forming the products. Melting in the plastic molding process (as softening) temperature of the following (at least below the melting point of 10-20 ��). Are solid phase forming. One class of non-crystalline plastic in the glass transition temperature above the melting point below the processing of high-elastic region often referred to as hot forming, the glass transition temperature in the following processing is known as cold forming or molding at room temperature, often referred to as plastic cold plastic processing method or at room temperature.

The method has the following advantages: short production cycle; improve the toughness and strength of products; equipment is simple, can produce large and very large products; cost reduction. Disadvantage: difficult to produce complex shapes, precision products; production process difficult to control, products, deformation, cracking.

Solid phase forming, including: sheet rolling, deep drawing or sheet punching, hydraulic molding, extrusion, cold stamping, roll forming and so on.

17. Secondary processing. After molding of plastic products, or profiles, according to the need for re-processing, such as mechanical processing, connection, modification, etc.. The following table lists the methods of secondary processing of plastics.

Plastics secondary processing methods

Classification processing method

Machining sawing, shearing, punching, car, plane, scraping, milling, drilling, grinding, polishing, sand blasting, kneading dough, thread processing

Laser processing finding, drilling, carving, etc.

Connect hot air welding, heating tools, lasers, rotating friction, vibration, friction, high-frequency, ultrasonic, induction, etc.

Bonding solvent, solution, melt, etc.

Machine screw, spring, spring bolt, rivet, hinges, etc.

Decorative paint surface coating, solvent brightening, coating, printing, painting, hot stamping, vacuum coating, plating, electroplating, etc.

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