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How does the injection moulding machine work?

30 April 2021

The injection moulding machine is a complex machine that produces one part by injecting molten materials through a reciprocating crew system into a mould. The machine is made of many components; primarily consisting of a hopper, a barrel containing a reciprocating screw, temperature control devices, a clamping unit, and the injection mould itself.

Injection moulding machines are an efficient and versatile tool that allow for a range of different materials and finishes to meet set goals and requirements. Therefore, for this reason, is the process of injection moulding is used across a variety of industries, including aerospace, medical equipment, and automotive, in which advanced techniques such as insert moulding and over moulding are used to construct parts of high complexity with perfect precision.

The injection moulding machines make use of custom-made moulds to fill them out according to specific requirements, creating identical copies that can be modified in a variety of ways. The machine is an ideal choice if you are looking to work with plastics and also if you are looking to produce a small number of parts for testing and need a reliable method for quickly producing parts in large quantities. It also manufactures at an affordable cost, which makes it incredibly popular for the production of various commodities.

Machining Process

Injection moulding’s unique process when assembling parts means that complex parts with intricate designs can be produced, something that other manufacturing options are not capable of doing. Moreover, the injection moulding machine is formed of three key components, which are the feed hopper, the screw, and the heated barrel. The machine consumes raw material to operate and then shapes it into a part following set requirements and dimensions provided by the mould.

When the plastic granules are fed into the barrel of the injection moulding machine via the feed hopper, it then uses frictional action within the barrel to apply pressure and increase the temperature until the granules are melted and malleable. Once the plastic reaches the correct temperature, the screw inside the barrel will turn, injecting the plastic into the mould at a controlled temperature to avoid premature hardening. Once in place, the machine will then cool and the molten plastic will take the shape of the mould design.

The part is left to cool until it is ready to be removed from the mould. The estimated time for this stage is dependent on the materials, thickness, shape, and size of the part being constructed within the machine. Moreover, the mould is assembled with an ejection mechanism to eject the part in preparation for a new cycle. If the part is caught in the mould, at this point the mould will reopen until the part has been ejected.

Once the part is clear of the injection moulding machine, the hopper will release more raw material into the barrel and the cycle will restart. The automated nature of the machine allows it to be unattended once programmed and may run continuously throughout the day and night.

Here at Insignia Manufacturing, we produce a large range of injection moulded products, from adjustable cabinet legs to cable outlets and stationery trays, as well as bespoke components for clients who require something more unique. If this is something you are interested in, please get in contact today!

 

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