What is molding?
Molding is the process of creating and manufacturing an object by the shaping of liquid or pliable raw material using a mold. The mold is a hollowed block. The process itself is very simple. First, the liquid raw material fills the hollowed block. This liquid or pliable raw material can be glass, metal, plastic or ceramic. The liquid then sets inside the mold and will harden by the time all while adopting its shape. Molding is the counterpart to casting, both have their own differences but some may argue molding is advantageous than casting because it has a fewer production time, and the mechanical properties of the final product are superior to products that are made by casting.
Types of Molding
There are many types of molding techniques such as the followings:
- Compression Molding: Compression Molding is a process of manufacturing which is the placing of preheated polymer in an open heated mold cavity. The mold is then closed with a top plug and compressed. Products made by compression molding tend to be stronger, stiffer and lighter.
- Blow molding: blow molding is a molding technique involving the forming and the turning of thermoplastic material into a molten tube. It then places the parison in a mold, and the tube gets inflated with compressed air in order for the tube to get the shape of the cavity. After the product cools down, the mold is removed.
- Thermoforming: Thermoforming is a molding technique which is mostly used in the production of plastic packages and in many other major fields such as the food industry. The first step in this process is the heating of thermoplastic sheets until they soften. They then get forced against the contours of the mold. Once they get cooled down, they take the shape and form of the mold which will later be removed.
- Injection Molding: injection molding is one of the most important methods of molding. The global injection molding market size is estimated to value 283.54 billion USD in the year 2016 and according to Grand View Research, the size of the global market is expected to rise within the next years.
So what is Injection Molding?
2) Injection Molding
what is injection molding?
Injection molding is a manufacturing technique and process that revolves around the manufacturing and creating of parts by injecting material into a closed mold. These input materials can be metals, glass, elastomers, polymers… The injection molding process is used in large manufacturing volumes and basically mass production. The first step in the creating of parts by the injecting molding process is the placing of materials in a heated barrel which they will be mixed and then forced into a mold cavity using a ram or screw-type plunger. Injection molds require the use of thermoplastic or thermoset materials. The mixture then hardens and the mold is removed. Injection molding can be used in the creating and manufacturing of many products such as wire spools, packages, bottle caps, car dashboards, and other plastic objects and products. Injection molding can be used in various different domains of technology such as Aerospace components, computer electronics, medical and dental products and many more.
Advantages and of Injection Molding
There are plenty of advantages in using the injection molding process. Here are ten benefits and advantages of using this molding method:
- Injection molding can be used in mass production and manufacturing of high volumes due to its rapidity and fast production rate.
- Due to the fact that injection molding mostly uses machines and automated equipment, it does not require many human workers, thus the cost of labor will be low.
- It is not a miracle that most molding processes can use various different materials; however, the injection molding process can use different materials at the same time.
- The final product that is made by injection molding has a good consistency and uniformity.
- The injection molding process not only can manufacture a high number of parts and products but can also be used to produce small parts.
- Thanks to the high pressure during the molding process, it is possible to design complicated shapes with huge details.
- Injection molding is extremely fast and significantly more efficient compared to other molding methods and leaves little to no post-production scraps.
- Using fillers in the injection molds it is possible to enhance the strength of the final product all while reducing the density of the plastic.
disadvantages of injection molding
Even though using injection molding can bring a lot of advantages to the table, it is not immune to drawbacks and challenges. Below are probably the most significant challenges one will face using the injection molding method:
- The mains disadvantage would probably be its initial cost. It is true that injection molding process does not really cost that much; however, the prices of the machines would range from 375,000 USD to 400,000 USD which may not seem like a problem for big companies but for startups and smaller companies it is quite expensive.
- It is commonly known that the manufacturing of parts using injection molding method is very fast and hardly takes any time; however, the company must first create the mold thus creating extra cost and wasting some time even before the manufacturing process is started.
- The manufacturing of small parts using the injection molding process may be more expensive than the manufacturing of regular parts.
In conclusion, injection molding is a molding method that is used in mass production and the manufacturing of high volume productions. Although initially, it will cost a lot because of using expensive machines and tools; however, the advantages are far more superior to the drawbacks, and thus using the injection molding process will ensure significant profit on the long run, and that is why its global market is still rising till this day.