Injection moulding is a manufacturing process for producing parts from both thermoplastic and thermosetting plastic materials. Plastic material is fed into a heated barrel, mixed and forced into a mould cavity where it cools and hardens to the configuration of the mould cavity.
After a product is designed, usually by an industrial designer or an engineer, moulds are made by a mould-maker (or toolmaker) from metal, usually either steel or aluminum, then 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.
With injection moulding, granular plastic is fed by gravity from a hopper into a heated barrel. As the granules are slowly moved forward by a screw-type plunger, the plastic is forced into a heated chamber, where it is melted. As the plunger advances, the melted plastic is forced through a nozzle that rests against the mould, allowing it to enter the mould cavity through a gate and runner system. The mould remains cold so the plastic solidifies almost as soon as the mould is filled.
Injection moulding cycle
The sequence of events during the injection mould of a plastic part is called the injection moulding cycle. The cycle begins when the mould closes, followed by the injection of the polymer into the mould cavity. Once the cavity is filled, a holding pressure is maintained to compensate for material shrinkage. In the next step, the screw turns, feeding the next shot to the front screw.This causes the screw to retract as the next and the part is ejected
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