Did you ever wonder how bottle caps are made? Or the casing of your mobile phones? These are made using a process called plastic molding. Plastic molding utilizes molten plastic in different sizes and shapes.
Depending on its use, its design varies with its other purposes. Let’s find out more about custom plastic molding and how we can use it in our daily lives. Check out how this process can help us achieve many things.
Custom Plastic Molding
Custom plastic molding is the application of molten plastic into a mold. The mold’s shape varies depending on its use. Prefabricated designs are used before pouring the liquid plastic into its shape.
Plastic molding is used in many ways. For instance, bottle tops, wire spools, automotive parts, packaging, combs, and toys are some examples that use plastic molding. In short, it’s used to make common materials that we can see around us.
Small objects are made from plastic molding. In larger projects, plastic molding is used to make automobile parts. Plastic molding is also used to make a window or door frame.
Using molten plastic for various purposes makes custom plastic molding useful. It’s important to know its different types. Let’s check out each type and identify its uses.
Creating a lengthy shape using molten plastic is called extrusion molding. With the molten material, it’s directly pressed inside a hole to make a long shape. A die creates the plastic’s customized design.
As the liquid plastic compresses, the die creates its desired shape. The die makes up the size and shape of the material. It's like a dough molded into its design when making cookies.
It may use almost the same methods as other molding processes but the only difference is how its shape is made. With regular molding, a mold is used to make the shape. With extrusion molding, the die makes the desired shape.
If you plan on making something with the same length and shape, extrusion molding fits right in. For example, making PVC pipes and straws uses extrusion molding. Mass production is attainable using this method because it produces products without limit.
When it comes to expenses, this type of molding operates at a low cost. A high production rate can make tons of products with the little that you have. However, making other designs is not possible given its single shape.
In compression molding, it follows the standard way of the molding process. The raw liquid material is poured inside a mold. A piece of equipment presses the molten plastic to create the desired shape.
With a high-temperature rate and force exerted to make the shape, it produces a high-quality product. This makes a good material with promising strength. The cooling process takes place right after the desired shape is achieved. This is to make sure that the plastic mold retains its shape before removing it from the mold where it gets trimmed.
Compression molding is best used as a replacement for broken metal parts. The strength of the end-product of the compression process creates an unparalleled output. Thus, it’s preferred.
Despite using plastic as a base product, its durability, strength, and low cost are enough to replace metal parts. The resources spent on compression molding varies. You must consider the number of cavities, the complexity of the design, and the surface finish.
If you’re making something with thin-walled, hollow plastic parts, then blow molding is for you. It’s the most ideal process in making a hollow object with uniform wall thickness. If you often use a hand sanitizer, this is the perfect example of utilizing the blow molding process.
Other products like drums, plastic bottles, fuel tanks, and cases are made using the blow molding process. Doing hundreds or thousands of products like in a soda company utilizes blow molding. This way, you can meet the quota of finished items in an efficient, time-saving way.
Blow molding is almost the same as glass blowing. The only difference is the material used. Raw plastic is melted then blown with air like a balloon. A mold is responsible for the shape of the molten plastic.
As air compresses, the plastic takes the shape of the mold until it retains its shape once fully cooled. With blow molding, you can create as many as 1,200 items within 12 hours. If you want to make your work fast and economical, blow molding is the best option for you.
Injection molding and extrusion molding are almost the same. However, injection molding uses melted plastic as a cavity filler for a mold. Unlike other methods, the melted plastic is cooled then separated from the mold.
Injection molding doesn’t require the separation of plastic from its mold. Because of its nature, injection molding is commonly used in creating car parts and surgical equipment. With flexibility, injection molding is preferred by engineers and designers.
However, the downside of injection molding is its price. Although plastic is used to fill the mold, the mold itself must be made up of aluminum or steel.
But, when it comes to cost per unit, a dramatic decrease can be achieved depending on its volume. You should also consider that the tooling process takes about 16 weeks.
These are just some of the types of plastic moldings. With technological advancement, new types will soon rise. But the most important thing is knowing how and when you should use plastic molding.
Knowing its uses and importance is needed for better application. For instance, learning DIY tips in making house adjustments is an advantage. The moment you attach those window frames and luxurious faucets, you’ll realize the importance of plastic molding.
Custom plastic moldings make our lives much easier. The comfort of sitting on your chair, using mobile phones, riding your car, and many other things are derived from plastic molding.