Injection molding is one of the most common and widely used manufacturing processes—responsible for countless parts used in so many different applications and industries. However, it’s not the only molding process, and oftentimes people wonder if it’s the best option for their needs. There are advantages and disadvantages, and here we’ll take a look at both.
First, let’s look at what the process is. Injection molding uses a molding press that directly closes and locks the mold. Once the uncured rubber is pre-heated in an injection chamber, it is “plasticized” to flow easily through the injection system and cavities, which raises curing temperatures and shortens the curing cycle. The injection press’s clamping force keeps the mold tightly closed during the cycle, which will result in maintaining tighter tolerances and less flash.
Advantages of injection molding include:
- Shorter production cycles than other methods (transfer molding, compression molding) as a result of higher clamping/injection pressure from the curing temperature
- High clamping pressure on the mold means the parts have little to no flash, as compared to the other methods
- Higher production rates which leads to lower unit costs
- Oftentimes parts do not need additional finishing processes
- Automatic processes of the machine reduce labor costs
Disadvantages of injection molding include:
- In order to be practical, larger production runs are necessary
- Initial tooling costs are higher than the other methods
- There are some design restrictions, so not all compounds or durometers are suitable for injection molding
As you can see, there are many advantages to injection molding, but there are also restrictions, meaning it’s not always the right choice for every application. If you have questions about whether it’s the right choice for your needs, call us at (800) 433-6886, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions.