What is Injection Molding? When it comes to plastic molding, we first think of injection molding, about 80% of the plastic products in our daily life are injection molding. Injection molding is produced by using an injection molding machine with an aluminum mold or a steel mold. The mold is composed of a core and a cavity. The injection molding machine heats the resin raw material until it melts, and uses pressure to inject the molten plastic material into the cavity of the mold, then the core and the cavity are separated, and the product is ejected from the mold. The process of injection molding fills barrels with resin pellets, which are then finally melted, compressed and injected into the runner system of the mold. Hot resin is injected through the gate into the mold cavity and the part is formed. Ejector pins help move the part out of the mold and into the loading bin. Low-volume injection molding, also known as rapid injection molding, prototype injection molding, or bridge tooling, offers better options for customers who need small batches of molded parts. Not only can it produce hundreds of near-end production-grade plastic parts for validation testing, but it can also produce end-use parts on demand. Other small-batch plastic molding methods The following are several other common plastic molding methods, hoping to help you choose the molding method suitable for your project. Thermoforming Thermoforming is a type of vacuum forming. Plastic plates or sheets are placed on a die-casting mold, and the material is softened by heating, so that the plastic material is stretched on the surface of the mold, and it is formed by vacuum pressure. This molding method uses relatively simple molds and equipment, and is usually used to make thin-walled, hollow plastic samples. In industrial use, it is usually used to produce plastic cups, lids, boxes, and open-close packaging, and thicker sheets are also used to manufacture automotive body parts. Thermoforming can only be used with thermoplastic materials. Reaction Injection Molding (RIM) Reaction Injection Molding is often used in the automotive industry because it produces lightweight but hard-surfaced products that can be painted for body parts, dashboards or other parts. This molding method can only process thermosetting plastic raw materials. The thermosetting plastic raw material undergoes a chemical reaction in the mold, expands like a foam, and fills the entire mold cavity. After the chemical reaction is over, the plastic solidifies and becomes a finished product. Blow molding, also known as blow molding, is a manufacturing process that forms hollow plastic parts. In general, there are three main types of blow molding: extrusion blow molding, injection blow molding and injection stretch blow molding. The blow molding process begins by melting plastic and forming it into a parison, or in the case of injection and injection stretch blow molding (ISB) preforms. A parison is a tubular piece of plastic with a hole at one end through which compressed air can pass. It is a molding method that uses gas pressure to blow the thermoplastic plastic closed in the mold into a hollow product, and is used to manufacture hollow products. Advantages of Plastic Molding in Small Batches Cheaper Tooling Costs Faster Time to Market Reduced Investment Risk Choose the Right Injection Molding Partner to Benefit in Small Batch Production Thermoplastic injection molding is the standard process. Additional knowledge, skills and expertise are required, along with appropriate equipment and tools. There are many important elements that need to be monitored all in real time, including temperature, pressure, material flow rate, clamping force, cooling time and rate, material moisture content and fill time, as well as the correlation of part properties to key molding variables. From the initial tool part to the production of the final product, there is a range of knowledge involved in the design and manufacture, and this process is the culmination of years of experience of highly trained and skilled engineers and machinists. We are a low-volume manufacturer, and we apply unrivaled expertise to ensure quality and repeatability of each part. Want to know more about plastic molding process, please contact us.