What Is Injection Moulding?
Taking thermoplastics – polymers that are softened through heating – injection moulding involves injecting these heated polymers into moulds designed for specific applications then allowing them to cool and become solid once more. Because this is replicable, it is a process allowing companies to manufacture large quantities of products or components to exact specifications. Injection moulding also allows for the combination of different materials in the manufacturing process, saves time compared to other methods and is low waste and high precision.
Which Industries Take Advantage of Injection Moulding?
There are a wide range of industries in which injection moulding plays an important role, from the bottling industry (bottle caps), to the medical industry, the automotive industry, the toy industry, where it is extensively used and looking towards the future, components involved in green energy. The rest of this article will discuss some of the specific products that are made using this ingenious process.
Examples of Products Made Using Injection Moulding
LEGO: In the toy market, there are few names bigger than LEGO and all LEGO bricks are injection moulded. The process of making LEGO bricks begins with minute plastic granules, which are placed into moulding machines, before being heated to about 230 degrees Celsius. They are then fed into moulds that are housed inside the machine, helping them fulfil their destiny as LEGO bricks to be enjoyed by millions of people of all ages!
Mobile Phone Cases: Some of us are old enough to remember a time before mobile phones. Now it is almost unthinkable not to own one. This means there is a vast market for the devices themselves and all the accessories to go with them. One such accessory is the mobile phone case. There are, of course, subtle distinctions between designs for all the different phones on the market, but this is surmountable thanks to the ease with which moulds can be created – especially if the products are to be sold in such high volumes.
Toothbrushes: Everybody (should) own one, they need replacing regularly unless you have an electric model and they are very simple to mould. The toothbrush is a great example of injection moulding making manufacturing simple. Even electric toothbrushes have replaceable heads, the handles of which are also injection moulded.
Animal Feed And Water Troughs: Among the many agricultural products benefiting from injection moulding, animal feed and water troughs are important because this process allows for much greater uniformity and no rough edges, so animals are unlikely to injure themselves while drinking or eating.
Healthcare Products: Covid-19 taught us the importance of the rapid supply of medical products and many of these are aided by injection moulding as there are a number of medical supplies that are disposable plastic in form. Some prominent examples include all-important plastic syringes, beakers and test tubes as well as some surgical equipment and even, at times, implants.
These are just a few examples of the use of injection moulding across different industries, but what they do is showcase the diversity and range of application of a process that is here to stay.