We use plastic for manufacturing household items to industrial products worldwide. These products are formed through various forming and manufacturing techniques. These techniques ensure manufactured products’ remarkable accuracy, precision, and durability.
If you need to learn about techniques adopted for forming and manufacturing plastic products, then you will learn complete information about these processes in this guide.
1. Plastic Injection Molding:
It is an ideal way of producing small to large-volume products with minimal chances of defaulted products. The final plastic products offer applications for automotive, medical, aerospace, and other industries.
2. Rotational Molding:
Roto molding is another name preferred for this manufacturing process. It is specified for manufacturing hollow plastic parts exhibiting intricate hollow shapes using a hollow-shaped mold. The rotating mold ensures the appropriate spreading of plastic material in the mold cavity.
After injecting into a hollow-shaped mold cavity, it is allowed to cool down. After cooling and solidifying, it is carefully removed from the mold. The process shows various industrial applications for producing sports and playground equipment components.
3. Extrusion Blow Molding:
It is an outstanding technique to create hollow plastic components by melting and forcibly adding the material into a plastic tube. The plastic tube in which the melted plastic is pushed to achieve a desired shape is named parison.
Then, the air is filled in the parison until it attains a definite shape in the mold that matches the shape of the required plastic product. It is ejected once the plastic solidifies properly and attains the desired shape.
It is an ideal process for rapidly manufacturing large hollow plastic products such as containers, drums, household cleaning products, and consumer items.
4. Injection Blow Molding:
This process is known for using the principles of both injection and blow molding processes. This technique is also specified for the production of hollow-shaped plastic parts.
The process starts with injecting melted plastic and transferring it into a blow molding machine. It is followed by the clamping of the preform in a mold cavity that is later closed.
After the closing of the mold cavity, the preform is inflated into the desired shape by inserting a blowing rod in it, and it is then allowed to be cooled, solidified, and ejected out of the mold cavity after opening the mold.
It is an exceptional technique for creating plastic bottles and containers in small to medium sizes.
5. Reaction Injection Molding:
This process uses low-viscosity liquid polymers to create plastic parts. These parts exhibit greater complexity and higher strength. During the process, two liquids, commonly polyol and isocyanate, are mixed in a large tank through an impinging mixer to form polyurethane.
The final mixture is injected into a mold cavity, where it can cure. After curing, the final plastic product is ejected. The parts produced through this technique are lightweight and offer excellent durability. They are also highly corrosion-resistant.
6. Vacuum Casting:
Vacuum casting is used to manufacture small quantities of plastic parts. The liquid is poured into a silicone mold, and you place it into a vacuum machine. The vacuum machine removes the air bubbles in the mold, leaving the pure material behind.
Later, its curing is done in an oven, and the finished parts are ejected. It is an efficient, cost-effective technique for producing model prototypes offering greater precision.
This process is adopted for manufacturing complex-shaped, 3-dimensional plastic products after the plastic material is allowed to heat and form in a specified mold. During the process, we heated a flat plastic sheet until it was ready to form.
It is ejected with high pressure or a vacuum after cooling and solidification. The resultant high-quality parts offer greater dimensional accuracy and complexity.
8. Compression Molding:
When we heat the mold cavity and create components of plastics after injecting material, it is called as compression molding process. After the injection of plastic material, a hydraulic press is used to compress the material to get the desired shape.
If you want the shape of the mold cavity, make sure the pressure should be at a reasonable level. Good pressure makes sure the mold cavity is shaped.
Then it ejected the final parts from the mold to use in different industries, such as automotive and other industries.
9. Plastic Welding:
Plastic welding is a process involves the following main processes
a) Friction Welding:
In this process, two materials are rubbed against each other under high pressure without interrupting external heat. The friction generates enough heat. The heat causes the materials to soften and join together. It forms a strong bond. Increasing the pressure enhances the friction, resulting in the timely completion of the process.
b) Laser Welding:
Laser welding, as the name implies, uses high-energy laser beams to combine two plastic materials. Materials that need to combine are exposed to laser beams.
The laser beams produce enough heat that causes the melting and fusing of materials. The resultant products offer high precision, strength, and durability.
What to Consider to Choose the Right Plastic Manufacturing Process?
Consider the following factors while choosing a plastic manufacturing process.
You must know the product’s size, shape, and other features. You must know whether it is a simple or a complex part. This will help you choose the proper plastic manufacturing process for a specific form of your desired product.
You must know the total quantity of products you will produce and their manufacturing cost. Producing a large volume of products may cost you a lot.
But this is not the case. Most plastic manufacturing processes produce a high volume of products at cost-effective rates, while some work best to produce a small quantity of desired parts. As the volume of products increases, the cost per unit starts reducing, making it economical.
Lead time is the total time you require while choosing a specific plastic manufacturing process; you must know how long your chosen process will take to produce the desired product.
The time must match your estimated production schedule; otherwise, you will receive your product after the due date. Most processes have significant lead times, while some can take less time to produce parts and have short lead times. Choose any of them wisely for the timely production of parts.
Most manufacturing processes work well on plastic with low strength and less flexibility, while others can work remarkably on products exhibiting greater strength and flexibility.
Choosing the correct type of manufacturing process according to the material ensures the manufacturing of authentic products with desired features.
List Some Materials Used in the Fabrication of Plastic
The followings are the dominant plastic materials used for manufacturing plastic products.
Thermoplastics are melted; they cool down and solidify while maintaining their properties. If required, they can be remelted into a liquid state to form different products; thus, you can say that they are recyclable.
Moreover, They are moldable, easy to process, and used to form a wide range of products.
Once thermosetting plastics are melted and cured, they remain solid even when you try to remelt them; thus, they are non-recyclable. These plastics are hard, rigid, strong, and have higher strength.
They also offer excellent resistance against chemicals and heat and don’t break easily. Phenolic and polyurethane are some thermosetting plastic that remains solid even after remelting.
The Plastic Forming & Manufacturing Process: Top 9 Techniques
1- Plastic Injection Molding:
How to Define the Method of Plastic Injection Molding?
In the plastic injection molding technique, the plastic pellets, after melting, are then injected into a specific-shaped mold to create complex parts. These parts also offer greater dimensional accuracy and precision.
Discuss the Manufacturing Process of Plastic Injection Molding:
- Initially, you must select an appropriate thermoplastic that best suits your requirements. The mold you design must match the design of your final part. They are commonly made of metals.
- The melting of the plastic material follows the design of the mold. The plastic melted through injection molding machines until it became ready to inject into the mold cavity.
- This step is recognized by the appropriate injection of pre-heated plastic material into a mold cavity held by the clamping force. This way, the plastic is dispersed well in the mold cavity, creating a well-shaped part without moving out of the mold.
- After injection, thermoplastic is allowed to cure.
- Finally, the plastic part is ejected from the mold cavity. After ejection, the leftovers in the mold cavity are removed and recycled. The final parts undergo various finishing treatments to make them perfect for usage for various purposes.
What Are Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Plastic Injection Molding?
- High consistency and repeatability of final parts
- Greater precision and accuracy of parts
- Low cost of labor
- Create parts with excellent detailing
- Produce less plastic waste because of recyclability.
- High production output.
- Long lead time
- High initial costs
- Not suitable for manufacturing large plastic parts
- Demand the highest skills and expertise.
It is widely used for manufacturing various industrial components. Some of its uses are as follows.
- They are used in manufacturing medical devices such as testing kits, valves, dental X-rays, syringes, etc.
- Manufacture materials such as fasteners, fittings, hand tools, pipes, etc.
- Manufacturing consumer items such as phone cases, toys, small tables, storage containers, etc.
- Manufacture sports equipment such as sporting goods, balls, recreational vehicles, etc.
- Manufacture musical instruments such as recorders, reeds, violins, etc.
2- Rotational Molding:
What is Rotational Molding?
We used this method to manufacture large-sized, hollow plastic parts with uniform wall thicknesses for cost-friendly products.
What is the Manufacturing Process of Rotational Molding?
Here is the step-by-step manufacturing process of rotational molding.
- Initially, the process starts with the manufacturing of mold. Mold is carefully manufactured; otherwise, a defaulted mold will ruin the product.
- The mold manufacturing is followed by adding powdered plastic resin to the mold cavity under supervision. When the filling is done, the mold can rotate in two perpendicular axes to ensure the even distribution of powdered plastic inside the mold.
- After placing it in the oven, the plastic powdered resin transformed into liquid plastic.
- During this step, the liquid plastic cools down. After cooling, it solidifies into a specific shape.
- .After solidification, the mold stops rotating
- Part is ready for ejecting.
Discuss Pros & Cons of Rotational Molding:
- Ensures greater durability
- Manufacture parts with improved consistency
- The final parts possess a uniform thickness of walls.
- Cost-effective for the production of low-volume products.
- Ideal for manufacturing a wide range of product designs.
- Low cost of initial production
- Availability of fewer options for material selection
- Produces rough surface finish compared to other manufacturing techniques
- Not suitable for high-volume production runs because of long cycle times.
- Limited option of materials.
Uses of Rotational Molding:
Here are the main applications of rotational molding.
- Manufacture medical tools such as dental chairs, medical waste containers, syringes, hospital beds, etc.
- Create automotive components such as heaters, fenders, filler tubes, etc.
- Produce agricultural tools such as feeders etc.
- Helps manufacture sports equipment such as helmets, kayaks, playground equipment, etc
- Suitable for manufacturing furniture such as benches, beds, tables, etc.
3- Extrusion Blow Molding:
What is Extrusion Blow Molding?
To create hollow plastic components, most manufacturers use this method. It is ideal for the quick production of large volumes of desired components.
Write in Detail the Steps for Extrusion Blow Molding Fabrication
- Initially, the process begins by melting the plastic using a heated barrel in an extruder.
- Parison-A plastic tube is created in the next step. Parison is created by extruding the plastic through a die.
- The parison is clamped into a mold.
- After clamping, the blowing process is done. Parison is allowed to expand by filling it with an adequate amount of air. Finally, the parison takes the mold’s shape.
- Water or air has circulated the mold to cool and solidify.
- The plastic part with a definite shape is ejected out.
Write Pros & Cons of Extrusion Blow Molding:
- Ideal for high-volume production of components.
- Low cost of tooling
- Applicable for a wide range of materials.
- Produces parts with less smooth surfaces than other manufacturing processes
- Not suitable for manufacturing components exhibiting complex geometries.
- High cost of initial setup.
- Manufacture medical devices such as blood bags, inhalers, syringes, etc.
- Create automotive components such as electrical covers, air ducts, cooling systems, etc.
- Produce versatile household items such as water bottles, cans, and shampoo bottles.
- Manufacture durable sporting materials such as sport water bottles, water guns, balls, etc.
4- Injection Blow Molding:
Define the Injection Blow Molding Process
Injection blow molding is a process of creating hollow plastic parts. Producing correct, tolerant, and precise parts is an efficient process.
Write Manufacturing Process of Injection Blow Molding:
- The plastic pellets melt through heating. After melting, it is transferred into a mold cavity to achieve desired plastic components.
- Then, plastic blowing is done and inserted into the mold cavity, resulting in air transfer air in the mold, causing plastic inflation. Consequently, plastic attains the shape of the mold cavity.
- After inflation, the plastic undergoes a cooling and solidification process.
- Remove the solidified plastic.
What are Some Pros & Cons of Injection Blow Molding?
- Ensure design flexibility.
- Produce parts with greater dimensional accuracy and precision.
- Enhance production rate by reducing cycle time.
- Less waste production
- Excellent surface finishing
- Not ideal for low-volume production
- Limited to the type of plastic materials.
- Expensive process.
- Produce limited thickness of part’s wall
- A limited selection of material
- Manufacture medical devices such as hem drops, sterile centrifuge bottles, inhalers, etc.
- Create strong automotive parts like duct assembly, air ducts, nozzle defrosters, etc.
- Ideal for manufacturing electronic components such as covers, connectors, etc.
- Produce a variety of household items that include toys, bottles, etc.
5- Reaction Injection Molding:
How to Define Reaction Injection Molding?
Some techniques are used for complex parts designing, and reaction injection molding is one of those techniques we use for intricate designing. This method requires thermosetting polymers of low viscosity for this function.
Explain the manufacturing process of Reaction Injection molding:
- In a large tank, two liquids, i.e., polyol and isocyanate, are mixed using an imping mixer. Mixing is done under high temperature and pressure, forming a mixture.
- The reactive mixture formed is allowed to pass in a specific mold cavity.
- The liquid mixture can cure inside the mold under low pressure.
- After curing, the solid finished part is removed from the mold and undergoes various finishing processes.
Write Pros & Cons of Reaction Injection Molding:
The pros and cons of reaction injection molding are as follows.
- Low cost of tooling
- Fast production of parts.
- Lead times are shorter
- Produce large amounts of intricate components.
- Cost-effective to produce large parts.
- Allow limited flexibility of designs
- Enhance overall production cost due to the high cost of materials.
- Only applicable to thermosetting polymers.
Applications of reaction injection molding are discussed below.
- Produce strong, durable, lightweight aerospace components such as ducting.
- Create automotive parts like fenders, air spoilers, etc.
- They have manufactured various medical tools, including dialysis machines, surgical instruments, etc.
- Produce numerous varieties of consumer items and electronics.
6- Vacuum Casting:
What Do You Know About Vacuum Casting Process?
It can quickly produce components at cost-effective rates and is one of the most used methods for manufacturing small-volume parts. It is performed by molding plastics in a silicone mold.
How is the Manufacturing Process of Vacuum Casting Accomplished?
- A 3D model or prototype of the desired part is created.
- A primary mold is created, precisely the mock-up of the final silicon mold. 3D rendering is used to make this mold.
- This step creates a final silicon mold based on the primary mold.
- Polyurethane resin is prepared, and for this purpose, resin, and casting components are mixed and then heated up.
- Pour the polyurethane and pour the resin into the mold. Then place it in a vacuum chamber under the curing and solidification process. The air bubbles come out of the mold to ensure plastic curing.
- The finished part is ejected out of the mold.
Write Pros & Cons of Vacuum Casting:
The pros and Cons of vacuum casting are as under.
- Produce parts with intricate geometries.
- Applicable for a wide range of materials.
- Low material cost
- Fast turnaround times
- Parts exhibit excellent surface finishing.
- Demand regular mold cleaning
- Not an ideal option for the production of significant components.
- Manufacturing primary molds may prove expensive
- Long lead times
Applications of vacuum casting are as follows.
- Manufacture consumer products such as pens, combs, toys, phone cases, etc.
- Produce heat-resistant electronic devices.
- Create a variety of aerospace components like air ducts, turbine blades, etc.
- It is used in the automotive and other industries to manufacture components such as valve covers, light housings, etc.
What Do You Know About Thermoforming Method?
It is an efficient technique for creating 3-dimensional plastic products exhibiting greater precision and accuracy. It is a cost-effective process that applies to many plastic products.
Discuss the Manufacturing Process of Thermoforming:
Thermoforming is accomplished through the following process.
- The thermoforming process begins by heating the required number of plastic sheets until they become ready to be injected into a mold.
- During this step, a vacuum or high pressure injects the heated plastic material into the mold cavity, forming heated plastic.
- After forming, the cooling and hardening of plastic are done in the mold.
- In the end, the formed parts are trimmed to attain a specific-shaped final part.
Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Thermoforming:
- Low cost of manufacturing.
- Ensure designs flexibility
- Select a wide range of plastic materials.
- Cost-effective process.
- Not suitable for the production of large parts
- Produce low-quality components
- Parts may be prone to breakage
- Produce a lot of waste
Applications of thermoforming are described below.
- They are ideally used to produce packaging and consumer products such as food containers, electronic enclosures, etc.
- Manufacture various automotive components like interior door panels, bumpers, etc.
- Produce numerous medical devices such as trays, enclosures, etc.
- They are used to produce various aerospace parts and construction products like airplane parts, wall panels, etc.
8- Compression Molding:
What is Compression Molding Meant in Manufacturing?
Compression molding is a versatile method recognized by placing a pre-heated plastic material into a heated mold cavity. Consequently, the product formed exhibits greater strength, accuracy, and intricate geometries,
How to Explain the Manufacturing Process of Compression Molding?
- The first step involves heating both plastic material and mold to make heated plastic flowable in the cavity.
- After heating, plastic is added to the mold cavity. The closing of the mold follows the addition to prevent the outflow of heated plastic.
- The hydraulic press applies appropriate pressure to the plastic present inside the mold. Consequently, heated plastic covers all spaces inside the mold and takes shape. It also allows the curing and solidification of material under specific temperatures and pressure.
- The final part is ejected out of the mold after curing.
What Are Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Compression Molding?
- Low cost of tooling
- Ensure consistency
- Allow high dimensional accuracy
- Thick and large components are manufactured using this process.
- Slow process
- May produce waste material
- The setup cost is much more when you choose it initially
- Not ideal for creating components with intricate geometries.
- Not suitable for manufacturing thin-walled parts.
Applications of compression molding are explained below.
- Ideally, manufacture aerospace components, including composite fan blades, aircraft parts, etc.
- Create electrical parts such as switches, insulators, etc.
- Efficiently produce a wide range of kitchenware and sporting items.
- Manufacture versatile medical components like dental products, surgical tools, etc.
9- Plastic Welding:
What is Plastic Welding?
Plastic welding involves firmly joining plastic pieces together after melting them under specific pressure and temperature. It is a cost-effective process used to fabricate components with excellent durability.
Let us explain the manufacturing process of plastic welding.
- In the first step, the plastic pieces that must be welded are correctly cleaned to remove dirt particles.
- After cleaning, heat is applied to the plastic parts to weld them.
- After heating, the weld pieces are brought together and joined together by applying strong force. Consequently, a strong bond is formed between them.
- In the next step, the part is allowed to cool down and solidify.
- The final part undergoes various treatments for a uniform surface finish.
What Are Some Main Pros & Cons of the Plastic Welding Method?
- Ensures durability because of the strong bond between the finished parts
- Cost-effective process.
- Many applications
- Speedy process
- Need help to achieve complex joint designs.
- Welding fumes can be hazardous.
- Compatible with limited plastic materials.
Applications are discussed below.
- Manufacturer of various electronics and construction items such as mobile covers, roofing membranes, etc
- Produce a wide range of lightweight aerospace parts such as structural components etc.
- Manufacture durable packaging materials such as bottles, food storage containers, etc.
- Create a lot of medical devices like surgical tools, catheters, etc.
Kemal: Your Leading Plastic Manufacturing Supplier
Kemal is a leading reliable supplier of exceptional- quality and highly durable plastic products. We commit to excellence and are dedicated to providing you with the best plastic products that meet your desired requirements.
We use advanced manufacturing techniques to provide you with an unbeatable experience regarding plastic products. We have much expertise and to provide you with the best services.
Our services always welcome you to find the best solutions for your demanding requirements. If you are searching for a trustworthy supplier, contact us to make your project appreciable through our plastic products.