Injection molding is a complex and difficult process that doesn’t always result in a product that matches the developer’s original vision. There are limitless variables at play, and product designers don’t always prioritize injection molding guidelines, which will complicate the molding process and increase the risk of inconsistencies and flaws.
But with careful attention to detail and a lot of practice, injection molding can increase efficiency, enhance strength and improve bottom line health for product owners and manufacturers. To help sharpen your skills, here are five things you probably didn’t know about the injection molding process.
1. Texture can be built right into the mold.
It’s true! You don’t need to incorporate a second process to create texture on your finished product. Instead, you can etch or mill the mold to create a finish. This saves time and money, and will increase uniformity and control over the texturizing of your product.
2. Speed is the key to successful thin-wall molding.
Why should you care? Because thin-wall molding means less material to cool. Less material equates to less cost and less time to cool, which results in a faster cycle time. In fact, you can decrease your cycle time by as much as 50% with thin-wall molding.
3. Ice trays can inform your molding design.
When you pop an ice cube out of its tray, it typically exits easily. That’s because each tray cavity is tapered. We call this “draft” and the same concept can be applied to your molding design to reduce friction and help the plastics exit the mold more smoothly.
4. Resins can be just as strong as metal.
More specifically, there’s a product called Fortron® that offers high thermal stability, very high chemical resistance, stiffness, strength and creep resistance. According to the manufacturer, this product is a great replacement for metal parts and can be processed as injection molding, extrusion or blow molding.
5. Injection molding problems are most commonly associated with speed and pressure.
If your product experiences flow lines, weld lines, burn marks, jetting, flashing, sinking or vacuum voids, the first two details you’ll want to check is your injection speed and injection pressure. We offer a full range of advice on how to resolve these issues.
It takes years to perfect the injection molding process, which is why many product developers opt to work with a partner who already has the practical knowledge and skills to produce quality injection molded products. For connectors, consider iCONN Systems your go-to source of expertise. Click here for a free whitepaper to learn more about the challenges of injection molding, and how iCONN can help.