Injection molding is a manufacturing process for producing plastic parts from both thermoplastic and thermosetting plastic materials. Material is fed into a heated barrel, then mixed and forced into a mold cavity by a reciprocating screw or a ram injector, where it cools and hardens to the configuration of the mold cavity. After a part is designed, usually by an industrial designer or an engineer, molds are then manufactured by an injection mold company, where it is assigned to a mold maker or toolmaker. The mold is usually constructed using either steel or aluminum and precision-machined to form the features of the desired part. Injection molding is widely used for manufacturing a variety of parts, from the smallest component to entire body panels of cars.
Plastic injection molding is the preferred process for manufacturing plastic parts. Injection molding is used to create many things such as electronic housings, containers, bottle caps, automotive interiors, pocket combs, and most other plastic products available today. It is ideal for producing high volumes of plastic parts, due to the ability of making multi-cavity injection molds, where multiple parts are made with one cycle.
Some disadvantages of this process are expensive tooling investment, the need to prototype (some custom complex parts may encounter problems during the injection molding process, such as warp) and surface defects.
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