The high-quality injection molding Fort Worth companies need, is more than just the final product. It is a combination of precision design, complex mold building, the right equipment, and years of expertise. Let’s take a look at the process of plastic injection molding and how it creates high-quality parts that meet the tightest specifications.
It All Starts with Design
Every part manufactured using the injection molding process must come out of a specially designed mold. That mold design needs to be of the highest quality to handle the molding process while creating products that meet the client’s specifications. Designing the mold is a collaboration between the customer and the mold designer.
The customer may come in with a prototype part or a drawing. The designer creates a CAD design using the information the customer provides. Then the customer reviews the design and can ask for changes as needed. 3D parts are a good idea to test fit and function of the part concept. Once everything is finalized, the mold design is sent to a tooling shop like QT Manufacturing where the final injection mold is built. The injection mold is a very complex process which requires extensive expertise.
The next step in getting the high-quality injection molding Fort Worth companies deserve is determining which molding material to use. There are dozens of thermoplastic materials available. Each one has its own unique characteristics, making some materials better in specific applications than others. The design engineer can recommend which material would be most suitable in the client’s application.
The Injection Process
The manufacturing process starts with loading up the selected molding material. These materials come in granular form and load into a hopper attached to the molding machine. Just beneath the hopper is a heated barrel containing a screw thread. When the manufacturing process begins, the granules of molding material pour into this heated barrel. The screw pushes the material forward through the barrel. As it moves forward, the granules melt into a thermoplastic liquid.
At the end of the barrel sits the injection mold itself. It is attached to the barrel through a nozzle. That is where the liquid flows into the mold. Once filled, the nozzle closes off and the molding material is allowed to cool. Some thermoplastic materials tend to shrink as they cool. That is why it’s very important to keep the mold in place until it reaches a specific temperature.
Once the product is cooled enough, the mold opens and the part is available for extraction. Parts can be automatically ejected into a bin or a worker can remove the part manually, depending on the design of the injection mold. After the part is removed, the mold closes up and the injection process starts over.