Injection molding is a manufacturing process that injects melted plastic into a prefabricated mold. The plastic cools and hardens, producing the desired part.
The process has revolutionized the auto and manufacturing industries. In fact, injection molding is used to produce the majority of plastic products in the world today.
Injection molding tooling comprises many different components to produce a very precise part. Using these systems requires special training and expertise. The result though is the ability to quickly and repeatedly create simple items like toothbrushes to tiny and complex parts used in surgical instruments.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of injection mold tooling, keep reading. The information below will give you a better sense of how these processes work, and how they might produce a better product for your industry.
Injection Molding Tool Design
Injection tooling and molding systems have many different working components. The mold itself has two main parts: a core and a cavity.
The core is the part of the mold that structures the internal surfaces of the product. The cavity is the space that remains between the core and the outer surfaces of the mold.
Molds are often made of metal, usually steel or aluminum. But 3d printed injection mold tooling is becoming a more popular and cost-effective alternative.
Sprue and Runner System
Each mold has a “sprue” or channel through which the molten plastic travels to reach the inside of the mold. On the outside of the mold is a “sprue seat,” a concave indentation where the molding machine nozzle attaches.
The plastic then passes into the runner system, a series of channels that lead to every cavity of the mold. Runner branches deliver the plastic into the cavities through a nozzle called a “gate.” (If a mold only has one cavity, there is only one runner and gate.)
There are different types of gates. The most common is an “edge gate.” These are long-lasting and easy to modify.
A “tunnel gate” has the ability to tunnel into a wall section. They are common in high-volume automation projects.
A “cashew gate” gets its name because it resembles the cashew nut. It is a sub-type of tunnel gate used for burrowing into a part that is parallel to the runner branch.
How Technicians Use Injection Molding Tooling
Injection molding tooling engineers must manage the pressure and temperature of the plastic. They also must select the right size and positions of gates so that the plastic disperses evenly.
For instance, too much pressure or too small a gate can cause “jetting.” This is where the plastic shoots out in a tail through the space and cools before the rest of the cavity fills. It produces a tail-like vestige in the part.
Understanding how these components and systems work together is imperative for producing quality parts. Technicians must be able to repair, replace, and adjust parts where necessary.
Contact Injection Mold Tooling Manufacturers
Now that you have a better idea of how injection molding tooling works, you can determine if these types of products can benefit your business.
At Nova, we have more than 100 years of combined plastic molding experience. We provide quick yet high-quality turnarounds for tier-1 and tier-2 automotive parts. Reach out to us today to see how we can meet your manufacturing needs.