Plastic molding is a popular way of producing components for various manufactured products. The process involves shaping plastic. It may employ a rigid frame or a mold. This method is versatile allowing the plastic to conform to a simple or complex design.
Choosing the Right Plastic
Polymers are excellent material for producing plastic parts and products. Choosing the right polymer involves considering various elements including:
- The characteristics required for the final component
- The temperature of the method employed to mold the plastic
- The cycle time of the method
- The temperature of the mold
- The pressure of the method
Careful attention paid to the choice of polymer will help to ensure the right combination of process and polymer.
The Polymers of Choice for Plastic Molding
Polymers come in various types and strengths. This can make the selection process difficult. Among the most common polymer types, the manufacturing sector employs are those that fall under the category of polyethylene compounds. These include:
- High density polyethylene (HDPE)
- Low density polyethylene (LDPE)
- Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE)
The reasons are simple. It is readily available, easy to use and possesses the right properties for production of chair seats, containers, covers, housings and kitchenware, to name a few things.
Other polymers manufacturers rely on in the plastic molding process are:
Acetal: This is suitable for bearings, cams, gears, handles, plumbing components, rollers, rotors, slide guides and valves
Acrylic: Manufacturers ask for this if they are producing display stands, lenses, light housings, panels, reflectors, signs or trays
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene: This is popular with those that manufacture automobile vents, automotive consoles, boxes, car panels, gauges, housings, inhalers, toys and vehicle trim
Nylon: The various strength and types of nylon are used to produce air filters, bearings, bushings, eyeglass frames, gears, handles, levers, rollers, safety masks, small housings, wheels, zip ties
Polycarbonate: Commonly employed for the production of automotive consoles, bottles, car panels, containers, housings, light covers, reflectors, safety helmets and shields
Polyester: Like many other plastics, it finds its use in making automobile filters, bearings, cams, car and truck handles, electrical connectors, electrical sensors, gears, housings, rollers, switches, valves and vehicle pumps
Polypropylene: Used for automobile covers, automotive trim, bottles, caps, crates, handles, housings and vehicle bumpers
Polyvinyl Chloride: Suitable for drains, electrical insulation, fittings, footwear soles, gutters, housewares, medical tubing and toys
Styrene Acrylonitrile: Employed in the manufacturing of housewares, knobs and even syringes
Thermoplastic Elastomer/Rubber: Commonly used to produce bushings, electrical components, seals and washers
Polymers and polymer compounds are popular among manufacturers for different reasons. In the end, it is important to select the right polymer. It is also essential to combine it with the right plastic molding process to ensure that the result meets the desired properties and specifications for its usage.
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