Plastic injection mold makers use many materials in the manufacturing process. They choose thermoplastic polymers based on their function and resistance to specific environmental exposure. Injection mold design services work closely with various industries, using appropriate materials for successful results. The most common ones are ABS, HDPE, LDPE, Nylon, PC, and PP.
Properties of Injection Molding Materials
- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)— This is a tough and sturdy material capable of resisting substantial impacts and scratches. ABS is melted at a low temperature, making it easy to mold. Because it’s a good insulator, ABS is ideal for phone adaptors, keyboard keys, and other electronic parts.
- Low-Density & High-Density Polyethylene (LDPE & HDPE)—As a soft and flexible material, LDPE is low-cost and ideal for fabricating lightweight components such as bottles and plastic bags. On the other hand, HDPE is resilient and stiff with higher strength. It’s an affordable material, which is excellent for manufacturing plastic bottles and recycling bins.
- Polyamide (Nylon)—In tool design, nylon is popular due to its strength and waterproof capabilities. Its unique nature can produce components that resist high-moisture environments, such as pipe fittings and bearings. Nylon is also commonly used in automotive applications.
- Polycarbonate (PC)—This material is solid, lightweight, and transparent. It is commonly used in engineering due to its optical properties. You can find PC in safety hamlets, bulletproof glass, and machinery guards.
- Polypropylene (PP)— As a suitable thermoplastic polymer, PP is flexible, elastic, and rigid. It’s highly resistant to chemicals and moisture, making it an excellent choice for food storage in the packing industry. You can also find it molded into equipment housing and machinery components.
Even if you aren’t a designer, you have likely heard the term “CAD” used before. That is because CAD design services, also known as computer-aided design, have revolutionized product design. CAD is capable of helping professionals of all backgrounds—from architects and engineers to draftsmen—with drafting, drawing ideas, solving design problems, and communicating solutions with ease.
First commercially available during the 1960s, it wasn’t until 1982, when the more commercially available AutoCAD was released, that the industry really began to take notice. Since that time, AutoCAD has paved the way for CAD designing and modeling to become an integral part of any manufacturer before the final product gets made.
There are many stages during the product design step, including the conception, creation, and design phases. Before CAD, draftsmen had to create hand-drawn 2D models to give manufacturers so they could have a clearer picture of what the final product would look like. With CAD, these models can be created in 3D and provide a much clearer view of any issues that need to be addressed or upgrades that need to be made. This has helped streamline the entire process.
CAD’s Impact on Product Design:
- More Accurate Information
- Faster Production & Higher Quality
- Easier Customization
- Benefits of Technological Advancements
The mold manufacturing process for injection molding is called mold tooling. Most molds created for this purpose are constructed using steel, but can also be manufactured from aluminum.
No matter what the material, mold manufacturing is always a complex challenge considering that each mold comprises many different parts. This article will look at the mold’s structure and define each element.
Mold Base – The mold base comprises two or more metal plates called clamp plates. They are designed to hold all of the internal aspects of the mold securely between them.
Ejector Plate – The ejector plate is a moving part designed to lift the molded product out of the core.
Ejector Retainer Plate – The ejector retainer plate, more commonly known as the pin plate is a relatively thin plate of metal that fits over the ejector plate. It features holes for each ejector pin and acts as a locator for them.
“B” Plate – The “B” plate is designed to support the core of the mold as the “A” plate closes down on it.
“A” Plate – The “A” plate closes on top of the “B” plate and receives the plastic resin from the machine.
Mold Cavity – The mold cavity is filled with plastic resin to form the final exterior shape of the part. This cavity can be placed in either the “B” plate or a plate, most commonly, in the “A” plate.
Mold Core – The mold core forms the interior of the final part. Similar to the cavity, the mold core can be found on either A or B plates.
Sprue Bushing – The sprue bushing is placed inside the “A” plate and acts as a channel for the plastic resin to flow through to get to the cavity and core of the mold.
CNC machining is a cost-effective way to increase efficiency in the workplace. These impressive machines have quickly become a popular asset in the manufacturing of complex and intricate parts for diverse industries, including aerospace, automotive, marine, and medical sectors as well as in mold manufacturing. Let’s take a closer look at both the advantages and the limitations that come with CNC machining.
When compared to conventional machining methods, the advantages of CNC machines are numerous. These machines use higher levels of automation to reduce possible errors while increasing productivity and cost-effectiveness across the board. That is why more companies than ever before are taking advantage of CNC machining. Some of the main advantages of CNC machines include:
- Improved Productivity
- Cost Effectiveness
While the CNC advantages are impressive, these machines do come with some limitations. Upfront costs, size restrictions, and operator errors could impact your project plans. Weighing these disadvantages against the positive aspects of using CNC machines should help you make an informed decision about manufacturing made-to-order parts. Some of the limitations of CNC machines include:
- Upfront Costs
- Size Limitations of CNC
- Operator Error
ITAR-certification is a government endorsement from the United States Department of State (DOS). It is also known as International Traffic in Arms Regulations, and the DOS uses this to control and oversee the production of items used for defense or military purposes.
Decatur Mold Tool & Engineering, Inc. is fully ITAR-certified molders which means we can design and build molds for relevant government departments and contracts. By following these ITAR regulations, we are able to meet the needs of our government and institutional customers.
When your company is looking to secure lucrative government contracts, you need to make certain that you meet all requirements. That is why you should source your molds from ITAR-certified molders. Suppose the company you choose to work with already has ITAR approval and has a proven track record of creating excellent molds for use in government contracts. In that case, that looks excellent on your proposal submission. It shows that your company has taken the time to seek out and form professional relationships with reliable suppliers who are already trusted by the government.
Contact Decatur Mold Tool & Engineering, Inc. today to learn more about ITAR certification and how it can be a valuable tool for your company.
Any company looking to extend their services into Department of Defense applications must comply with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Manufacturers do not take their registration with ITAR lightly because the requirements cover exports related to defense. In most cases, these regulations apply to military-grade applications.
A Reputation for Excellence
A military specification injection mold supplier must have an established reputation within the industry, with a proven history of exceptional standards. Manufacturing molds for military purposes require a skilled team that understands the scope of their work and the regulations that guide the parameters of client contracts.
[h2] ITAR Compliant Manufacturing Processes
An ITAR-registered injection mold builder supplies products to military vendors for use in aerospace, nautical, and tactical applications. Manufacturers of defense articles, defense services, or related technical data must be ITAR compliant to maintain their contracts.
A plastic injection mold manufacturer can expect to create molds for various products, from weapons components to vehicle parts. A military specification injection mold supplier must operate with a current ITAR registration status, whether the contract calls for single-run prototypes or high-volume injection mold design.
If you’re a vendor that makes parts or components for military purposes, never settle for anything less than an ITAR-registered injection mold builder.
Take a look around you, and before long, you will spot items made through injection molding or created with parts made from molds. It’s a quick and easy example of the value of molds in everyday life.
At Decatur Mold Tool & Engineering, Inc., we manufacture the molds that other companies use to build their products. Our company is always looking for talented, skilled, and hardworking individuals, and we’ve decided to create this post on why you should choose a career in mold engineering.
This field is a dynamic one that allows many industries to exist. Without molds, some companies wouldn’t be able to create their products.
Mold engineering is at the leading edge of technology. You will get to use many pieces of modern equipment such as five-axis milling machines and high-speed scanners that can capture 3D coordinates. And while using that machinery and much, much more, you will be working for clients as diverse as the U.S. military, automotive companies, and car seat manufacturers. In short, it’s a career that offers variety and the chance to practice the skills you already have and learn new ones while keeping pace with the rapid advancement of products and equipment.
Contact us today at Decatur Mold Tool & Engineering, Inc. to learn more about job opportunities in mold engineering.