Plastic Injection Molding: A Primer

Plastic injection molding machines, are devices which form plastic products for both business and personal consumption. These machines shape plastic polymers such as epoxy and phenol, known as thermosetting, or polyethylene and polystyrene, known as thermoplastic forming. Plastic injection molding is a process which can make everything from cheap hair combs to high-end touchscreen consoles for the interior cabins of ultra-modern automobiles.

Sometimes called “shot molding,” plastic injection molding essentially means injecting molten plastic into a mold cavity, then ejecting the resulting product once it has reached room temperature.

Plastic molded products manufactured like this are lightweight, chemically-stable, tough and insulating. Maybe that’s why plastic services and products have received such rave reviews globally and are increasingly replacing metal ones.

The very first plastic injection molding machine was developed in 1872 by American John Wesley Hyatt. His plastic injection molding device contained two basic components: 1) a unit which opened and shut the die, removing the product; and an injection unit which heated the plastic and injected it into the die once the plastic melted. It’s a design that remains virtually unchanged to this day.

How much does a plastic injection molding machine cost? It depends on its design, power consumption and capacity. Currently, there are three main types: electric, hydraulic and hybrids. Electric models generally cost 10-20% more than hydraulic types, while hybrids models combine the best elements of both. For example, hybrids possess the precision and energy-mindedness of an electric press, with the brute force power of a hydraulic model.

A “low-end” plastic injection machine can range anywhere from $5000 to $50,000, while bigger machines can run $375,000 to $400,000 or more.

Before you commit to a design and price, ask yourself what your overall goal is. It’s that kind of reflection that will make your decision-making much easier.

Want to find out more about plastic injection molding? Then visit Advantech Plastics website to learn more about their leading-edge plastic injection services.