Injection moulding is used to make a wide range of plastic products, from enclosures to model construction kits, chairs and toys. The process is very fast and complicated shapes can be made from both thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers.

There are also a number of different types of injection moulding techniques and each is suited to a different application.  In this two-part post we look at six different types of moulding techniques.

Co-injection moulding

This is a process that creates a skin and core material arrangement in a moulded part. The skin material is injected first into the mould cavity, and is immediately followed by a core material. As the skin material flows into the cavity, the material next to the cavity walls freezes and material flows down a centre channel. When the core material enters it displaces the skin material in the centre of the channel by pushing the skin ahead. As it flows ahead it continues to freeze on the walls producing the skin layer.

Fusible core injection moulding (lost core injection moulding)

Fusible core injection moulding is a specialised plastic moulding process used to mould internal cavities or undercuts that are not possible to mould with de-mouldable cores. Strictly speaking the term “fusible core injection moulding” refers to the use of a fusible alloy as the core material; when the core material is made from a soluble plastic the process is known as soluble core moulding. This process is often used for automotive parts, such as intake manifolds and brake housings, however it is also used for aerospace parts, plumbing parts, bicycle wheels, and footwear.

Rapid injection moulding

Rapid Injection Moulding allows us to make prototype moulded parts in a production thermoplastic resin in 2-5 weeks. Thermoplastic materials and thermosetting plastic materials are used in this process. It is one of the most common ways of mass-producing plastic parts. A specially-designed mould for this material is used and the plastic material is fed into the injection machine where it will be heated. Colorants are also added, and it will be cooled inside the mould cavity.

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