One of the most critical steps in a plastic injection molding project is identifying the right resin for the job. Each material has a specific profile, and different applications require certain characteristics to make sure the product performs well in its environment, is cost-effective, and overall provides the best value.
The properties of the resins themselves are also varied. They span the spectrum when it comes to physical and mechanical properties, reaction to temperature or chemical exposure, strength, and even aesthetics such as color and texture. Some materials work better in applications that require regulatory compliance. When choosing the right resin for your custom injection molding project, these are all considerations that should be thought through at the forefront.
WHAT PHYSICAL OR MECHANICAL PROPERTIES DOES YOUR PROJECT REQUIRE?
The size, thickness, and shape of the part will play a role in the material selection process. Likewise, if the part will be carrying a load, you’ll need to consider how heavy it will be and the type of stress (tensile, flexural, etc.) and the maximum amount of stress the part will need to withstand. Think about whether static dissipation or conductivity is important for the functionality or safety of the product.
Have an idea of the expected lifespan of the product with these considerations to figure out if you’ll need a material with high durability, rigidity, and dimensional stability.
WHAT ENVIRONMENT WILL THE PRODUCT BE IN, AND WHAT WILL IT BE EXPOSED TO?
There are several environmental factors to consider when producing a part. Is it exposed to high heat or extreme cold? Will it be outside in the elements, with wind, rain or sun beating down on it? Is it going to be placed near bodies of salt water or sand that may erode the finish? Will it be subject to fire, and/or need to be flame retardant rated? All of these can affect the integrity and longevity of the material used to make the part.
Chemical exposure, which can occur with plastics used in industries such as gas and oil, will determine not only what type of material to choose, but also which additives are appropriate to include. Additives can literally make or break a product based on its environment.
A major factor to consider is whether or not the product will be exposed to radiation, like equipment used in the medical field. Material selection, in this case, is vital not only for performance but also for the health implications of patients and healthcare workers. Previously, lead was used to protect from radiation, but lead has proven to be toxic. Now, tungsten-filled polymers can be safely and reliably used in place of lead to shield from radiation.
WHAT ELSE DOES YOUR PRODUCT REQUIRE?
Consider things such as color, texture, transparency and other aesthetic features for your product, as well as whether the environment it’s in will impact that appearance when you’re considering which material to use. Longevity in terms of performance is only one factor of quality -- depending on the application, a product’s quality can also be judged on the longevity of its visual appeal.
It’s important to start your project planning by considering the different aspects of your product and what will be required of it, then to choose a material to meet those criteria. To learn more about our manufacturing capabilities and discover what makes us different, please visit our website: enmould.com . If you’re ready to jump into your next project with us, . No matter your need,today so we can help your business face all of the changes and challenges of today’s competitive marketplace.