Reid Industrial Graphic Products assists their customers in choosing from multiple plastic moulding processes to fit their budget, expertise and resources.
Plastics are moulded into various forms and hardened for commercial use. Plastic moulded products are made using various moulding processes including injection moulding, blow moulding, compression moulding, film insert moulding, gas injection moulding, rotational moulding, structural foam moulding and thermoforming.
Commonly used in mass production or prototyping of products, injection moulding involves forcing melted plastic into a mould cavity, which once cooled can be removed. Injection moulding equipment is used to mass produce toys, kitchen utensils, bottle caps and cell phone stands among others.
Similar to injection moulding, blow moulding involves pouring hot liquid plastic out of a barrel vertically into a molten tube. The mould closes on it and forces it outward to conform to the inside shape of the mould. Once cooled, the hollow part is formed.
Bottles, tubes and containers are typically made using the blow moulding process.
Hard plastic is pressed between two heated mould halves, and the parts formed are air-cooled. Compression mouldings usually use vertical presses instead of horizontal presses.
Film insert moulding
This plastic moulding technique embeds an image beneath the surface of a moulded part while a material similar to film/ fabric is inserted into a mould, following which plastic is injected.
Gas injection moulding
Used to create plastic parts with hollow interiors, partial shot of plastic is followed by high-pressure gas to fill the mould cavity with plastic.
Hollow moulds packed with powdered plastic are secured to pipe-like spokes that extend from a central hub with the moulds rotating on separate axes simultaneously.
The hub swings the whole mould to a closed furnace room causing the powder to melt and stick to the insides of the tools. As the moulds turn slowly, the tools move into a cooling room where a water spray causes the plastic to harden into a hollow part.
Structural foam moulding
Usually used for parts that require thicker walls than standard injection moulding, structural foam moulding involves inserting a small amount of nitrogen or chemical blow agent into the plastic material to make the walls thicker.
Foaming happens as the melted plastic material enters the mould cavity and a thin plastic skin forms and solidifies in the mould wall.
This plastic moulding process involves sheets of pre-extruded rigid plastics horizontally heated and sucked down into hollow one-piece tools. When the hot plastic solidifies, its shape conforms to that of the mould.