Many household and commercial products are created from plastic injection molding. These injection machines are versatile and create a variety of different products that are sold worldwide. Toothbrush handles, kitchen utensils, and toys are some of the items you might find in your house that is made from this process. Larger injection molding machines create entire body parts for cars, as well as tiny buttons that fit inside an aircraft’s cockpit. Because of its low labor costs and fast production ability, plastic injection molding is the most common process of its kind used in the world.
Injection molding machines have heated barrels that are injected with the material that is to be molded. The material in the barrel is then mixed, and quickly ejected from the barrel because it degrades in a short amount of time, making it hard to create the mold. The material is then mixed in the barrel and pushed into a mold cavity where it hardens and cools. Sometimes, glass reinforced resins are added to the product to increase its durability. Other items like silicone and acrylic undergo an almost identical process using liquid injection molding machines. Additionally, metal injection molding is used to create various products from metal powders. This metalworking method takes fine metal powder and mixes it with a binder to create a blend, which can then be inserted into an injection mold to be cooled and shaped before being ejected.
These metal powders can also be shaped into objects by sintering. This is a system where powders like ceramic and metal are made into mold using a process of diffusion. With sintering metal and ceramic powders, the fine particles are held together in a mold, and the heated to just below their boiling point. Once this happens, the atoms of the material diffuse and combine with one another, creating a solid piece. Using a materials boiling point as a means of adhering the atoms to one another erases the need for a binder, unlike metal injection molding machines. This process is usually used for ceramics but sintering metal materials is also used in many industries a well.
The efficiency of injection machines have made them a popular choice among manufacturers around the world. They produce large quantities of products in a short amount time, making them idea for the production of Legos, bottle caps, dashboards, and hair combs. Whether a company uses a plastic injection molding machine or the process of sintering metal powders to create an object, these methods have changed how companies manufacture their products. If the demand for these products increases, engineers will have to continue to develop more efficient means of production to keep up.