As technologies and expectations surrounding complex applications continue to advance, OEMs are seeking deeper and more versatile relationships with custom injection molders. Often, part of the vetting process involves verification that the injection molder holds industry-specific certifications.
Federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards coupled with heightened consumer sensitivities to the environmental impact of using fossil fuels are tightening fuel consumption requirements for the auto industry.
Nearly half of all plastic ever manufactured has been made since the year 2000. In a scant two decades, production went from 250 million tons to 448 million tons1 and the race is on to shift the burgeoning over-reliance on plastic to ways that promote plastics’ use as a green energy source.
Polymer science has made tremendous strides over the years, rapidly advancing the ability to compound a variety of resins with fillers and reinforcements that provide a vast amount of structural and chemical integrity.
The recent escalation of tariffs on aluminum, steel, and the finished goods that contain those materials has many manufacturers and their customers uncertain about how to continue to go to market. The shifting global political landscape surrounding aluminum and steel tariffs makes ongoing price spikes and supply chain disruption very real possibilities, but there’s no predicting if or when these events will occur.
Shrink rates for injection molded plastic parts vary depending on the materials used andwall thickness. Designing uniform wall thickness offers substantial shrink rate control; on the other hand, non-uniform walls can lead to large pressure drops during filling, significant differences in shrink rates, and internal stresses within the injection molded part that could cause warpage or similar defects.
Since the type and characteristics of an injection molding machine influence project outcomes, you may think equipment selection is best left to the injection molder.
Undoubtedly a molder’s input is key in aligning projects and injection molding machines. However, familiarizing yourself with machine basics will help you make better design choices, more accurately forecast project costs and production times, and even guide you to the injection molding partner best equipped to meet your needs.
Surface finish on plastic composites can vary a great deal, depending on the physical and chemical properties of the polymer blend as well as the parameters of the injection molding process.
The first objective for a custom injection molder is working with the customer to determine how important the surface finish is for the appearance and/or performance of the final product. For example, does the product need to be eye-catching or simply functional? Depending on the answer, the material selected and the desired finish will determine the settings for the injection molding process, and any required secondary finishing operations.
North American resin production topped out at nearly 28.7 billion pounds April of 2019, a 2.9% increase compared to the same time period in 2018.1 The uptick suggests that engineered resins continue to find their place as preferred materials within industries requiring precision injection molded parts and devices such as in the medical, automotive, and defense & public safety markets.
Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) resin is regarded as ideal for many complex applications due to its inherent characteristics and injection molding versatility. Is this thermoplastic right for your project?