Molding is the process of turning raw plastic into a shape or form that is the desired finished product.
The manufacturing process involves melting or softening the plastic at considerably high temperatures and then using different techniques to mold them into shapes that make them a useful finished product.
Molding is used in making virtually any molded component out of plastic following design considerations for overmolding. A plastic chair or anything made out of plastic is basically made using molding techniques.
Every kind of product demands a different molding technique, and among them, overmolding and insert molding design types are considered the best molding techniques in the market.
In this blog post, we will discuss insert molding and its various aspects in great detail. The aim of this post is to discuss the most common and encouraged molding technique in the world and design considerations for overmolding.
We will explain the design considerations and the manufacturing process in layman’s terms so that you may understand it better.
How Does Insert Molding Work?
Plastic molding process takes the product that needs to be encapsulated and puts it in the molten resin, or in other words, molten plastic.
This way, the plastic covers the product completely and the entire main product is engulfed in the plastic with no cracks and even wall thickness.
The inserted product can be simple such as a blade or a tube or it can be very complex like a metal insert for a complex machine.
The reason insert molding is preferred is that it is not an attachment of many plastic parts through screws to develop a cover for the product. The product is completely inside the covering and the cover is naturally formed around the product by mechanical bond. It provides a soft grip and good quality product design by cnc machining.
In a screw-based assortment with threaded insert, which happens in other kinds of molding, there is a high risk of wear and tear.
This plastic molding process is used because it has a more reliable structure and it increases the strength of the product by many folds. It is also preferred because the process is cheaper and is easy for 3d modeling.
Any other form of molding alternative to inserting costs more because the other processes require many sub-processes such as soldering, adhesives, connectors, threaded insert, and screws.
Insert molding does not require any of these processes and the product comes out stronger and more reliable due to sound design for manufacturability.
Insert molding design is beneficial for the product design in many ways.
Here we have listed a few ways in which molding design needs to be executed in a specific manner.
The process requires advanced molding machines for product development.
These vertical machines are designed for doing the plastic molding process through injection and have a set of design guidelines that need to be followed by the engineering team.
The machines have an exceptionally tight tolerance as that makes sure that the information of the plastic arts is accurate in plastic injection molding. Even a small misalignment in millimetres can end up causing the failure of the product.
There are different types of inserts used in the design engineering of molded component. The metal insert in the plastic molding is usually made of brass, stainless steel or usual steel.
These molds have threaded surfaces so that they will have improved adhesion to the product.
The molds are placed in the machine vertically either by hand or through the cnc machining. The vertical position is to make sure that the mold stays in place during overmolding and insert molding with the help of gravity.
Now the molten plastic is poured into the mold and the mold is closed.
Different thread options are available for the insert mold production.
Thread options are ways for the manufacturer to place pipes, screws or anything else into the mold at the specified location. It could also mean a mold for the screw to be inserted into.
The aim is to ensure that the mold does not make the product insert. As the product needs to be connected to external conduits in many ways, the mold will allow the product to stay functional and useful.
Insert Molding Materials:
There are many kinds of materials used in an insert molding operation.
The molding material is chosen based on the mold, the material of the product and other factors like chemical bonding, additive manufacturing, mechanical bond, and wall thickness of the finished 3d print product.
The main focus is to ensure that the mold will be viable and sustainable through the process of molding.
These are plastic molding process materials that are considered eco-friendly because they can be used multiple times.
They are resistant to chemicals and are a good option for ensuring variance and sheen in the molding process.
These are the main types of thermoplastic materials available in the market:
This thermoplastic polymer is chemical resistant and also has high toughness, dielectric and impermeability characteristics.
The usual polyethylene thermoplastics in the market are HDPE, MDPE, and LDPE.
They are considered lightweight thermoplastic materials.
These are lightweight and clear plastics that have a low melting point.
They are acid and base resistant and are commonly used for everyday mainstream products like consumer products and medical devices etc.
This is a strong and sturdy plastic type that can resist chemicals as well as abrasions.
It has such a high melting point that it can even replace metal in various applications.
That makes it a highly desired material in heavy products that are used in manufacturing and extraction.
Thermosets have a close resemblance to thermoplastics but they cannot be recycled in any way and are not too eco-friendly.
Here are a few kinds of thermosets that can be used in product manufacturing like medical devices that are made with stainless steel.
The plastic has high chemical resistance to halogenated solvents and is usually IL 94V 0 approved.
They are used in highly specialized operations when certain restrictions apply.
They become permanently hard after processing and have no melting point. This makes them very suitable for challenging uses.
They have the best adhesion as well as high resistance to heat and chemicals.
The synthetic and natural polymers like rubber are included in the elastomer category.
These polymers are of significance due to their elasticity and recyclability.
They are very eco-friendly materials and are ideal for home appliances and automotive product manufacturing.
a. Natural Rubber:
Natural rubber is durable and highly flexible.
It is used in tire making and various other household appliance manufacturing.
Polyurethane has exceptional abrasion resistance, and wear and tear tolerance.
This plastic is highly elastic and it is also impact resistant. The material is long lasting and has a high-temperature tolerance.
How Insert Molding Can Improve Your Molding Parts And Solve Your Issues?
As stated earlier, injection molding types are used in developing parts that are stronger and sturdier than the other options.
Here is how the plastic molding process is a better option for your molding needs:
- The materials in the insert molding design are chosen specifically for the product application. That ensures that the material is going to be suited for the product, whether commercial or domestic.
- The process of insert molding is cheaper than other processes of molding.
- The process is also considered much more reliable and trusted than other methods because it does not require any assembly processes.
- The entire product is made of one sheet of plastic.
- Insert molding design is also used to manufacture domestic appliances that are found in homes.
- The insert mold allows the product to develop shape and have good exterior.
- The insert mold products can be developed decoratively and can be used to manufacture products that are used for semi-decorative purposes.
In conclusion, insert molding design as a process is better than other forms of molding.
Mainly because other forms of molding are older technology and insert molding design is the latest technology available.
When it came out, it was considered a breakthrough and it has been around for a while.
Insert molding design is the best way to ensure that the product that is manufactured is lightweight.
It is also used to develop compact products because it is developed in comparatively smaller machinery. So the final product is compact in size.
The products in overmolding are much larger in size and manufacturing through overmolding requires longer periods of time.
Injection molding types are best used for smaller products that are focused on commercial uses that require soft grip, additive manufacturing, and laser sintering.
The products that are used in heavy machinery are conventionally developed through overmolding as this process of mold tooling makes the product highly strong and sturdy.
Insert molding also keeps the product long lasting and of high quality, but not on an industrial level, as this requires certain design for manufacturability.
Insert molding is also conducted at home and small garages but the overmolding process requires proper manufacturing location like a plastics manufacturing company for product development and design engineering.
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