Have you ever considered how the many plastic products and components you interact with every day are created? From the keys on your keyboard to the pipes in your plumbing system, there are likely dozens, if not hundreds, of plastic products around you right now and each one depends on a reliable, consistent manufacturing process to be completed with the exact qualities and specifications needed to function as designed. Most often, a process called plastic injection moulding is used to achieve this very task.
Step One: Materials and Machining
If you think all plastics are alike, just take a look around. Would the plastic used to make a cereal bowl be suitable for the plastic bag the cereal came in? Unlike metal or ceramic components, nearly all of the functional characteristics of plastic moulded parts—from malleability to fluorescence—can be adjusted and manipulated by working with different types and combinations of plastic polymers. After the perfect polymer is selected based on the end application, a heavy-duty metal mould is created. The mould will typically be made of two metal plates that are pressed together to create the space in which the plastic is injected.
Step Two: Filling the Mould
Moulding machines collect pieces of solid plastic in a large hopper and feed them to a heating area. In this area, the plastics soften and eventually liquefy. At this point a large turning screw carries the liquid plastic to a nozzle called the sprue that connects the heating chamber and the mould. The plastic is pumped in until it completely fills the mould. This amount of plastic is called a “shot.”
Step Three: Cooling
The mould is constantly being cooled by a flowing coolant, usually water is adequate. This makes it possible for the hot plastic to cool very quickly upon entering the mould. Once entirely cooled and solidified, the two plates of the mould are separated and the finished moulded parts are ejected.
Chess Plastics brings both experience and expertise to the process of plastic moulded parts manufacturing. With staff and equipment to meet any production needs—large or small—visit Chessplastics.co to see how their team is ready to serve you.