Have you ever wondered what makes plastic injection molding such a popular manufacturing process? It’s cost-effective, highly efficient, and versatile – plus, it offers some of the best results when producing solid and durable products.
Injection molding is a manufacturing process that uses plastic to create objects. The benefits of this process include the ability to produce high-quality products quickly and with minimal waste.
A big part of this success comes from the variety of materials that can be used for injection molding. Numerous resin options are available depending on your project needs, from polypropylene to acrylics and even liquid silicone rubber (LSR).
In this article, we’ll look at 10 of the most common plastic resins used in the injection molding process so you can have an idea before starting your next product design!
What are Plastic Resins Made of?
Plastic resins are materials made from long molecular chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These materials can be used to make a wide variety of objects, including bottles, containers, toys, and medical equipment. Plastic resins can also be modified to create a wide range of colors and textures.
The main component of plastic resin is the polymer chain. These molecules are linked together by chemical bonds. The polymer chain typically has between 10 and 50 carbon atoms.
Each carbon atom is attached to two hydrogen atoms. This makes the material strong and flexible.
The plastic resin industry is growing rapidly worldwide. This is because the material is versatile and affordable. Plastic resins can be produced in various ways, including autoclaving and extrusion processes.
But injection molding is the best way if you are looking for mass production.
Top 10 Common Plastic Resins For Injection Molding
If you are a manufacturer, you should know about the most common plastic resits for injection molding. In this section, we will talk about them. We will also talk about their drawbacks so that you can find the best resit for your project.
1. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is one of the most popular plastics for injection molding. It’s a thermoplastic polymer with good mechanical properties and a wide range of colors, including clear. ABS is also odorless and can be recycled easily.
ABS is a type of polycarbonate plastic, meaning that it’s composed of carbon atoms in multiple chains. This makes ABS strong and resistant to fractures, but it doesn’t have the flexibility of other types of polymers.
That being said, ABS is still an excellent choice for products that need high strength and resistance to wear and tear, like toys or car parts.
One downside to ABS is that it’s not as heat-resistant as other types of polymers. This makes it vulnerable to damage from high temperatures during injection molding, which can result in defects or poor-quality products.
In addition, ABS doesn’t hold its shape as well as other types of plastics when heated up after being molded, so it’s essential to take care when designing products with ABS components.
Overall, ABS is a versatile plastic with good performance qualities for many applications. It’s easy to work with and can be recycled easily, which makes it a desirable choice for manufacturers looking for environmentally friendly materials.
2. Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is one of the most common plastic resins used in injection molding. It has a low melting point, making it ideal for products that need to be heat-sealed or crimped, such as food packaging and toys. LDPE also has a high tensile strength, meaning it can withstand strong forces without breaking.
Some other benefits of using LDPE for injection molding include its high flexibility and ability to withstand temperatures up to 260 degrees Fahrenheit.
Additionally, LDPE is easy to work with because it does not have a strong smell or taste, making it a popular choice for products that humans will consume.
One downside of LDPE is that it’s not as durable as other types of plastic. Over time, LDPE may start to break down and form cracks. This is especially common in cold climates, where the plastic can freeze and expand, causing damage.
LDPE will be a good choice if you’re looking for a plastic resin that’s easy to work with and offers some good durability benefits.
3. High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a popular polymer used in injection molding because of its high strength, impact resistance, and chemical resistance.
HDPE can be produced in a variety of colors and has good heat resistance. It is also the most commonly used plastic for food packaging because it is easy to clean, non-toxic, and BPA-free.
HDPE is also resistant to many chemicals and temperatures, meaning it can be used in various applications. Some of the most common uses for HDPE include food packaging, medical devices, and toys.
4. Polyamide (Nylon)
Polyamide (Nylon) is a common type of plastic resin used in injection molding. It’s a tough and durable material that can be shaped easily using injection molding.
Polyamide resin is often used for products such as eyeglasses, toys, and other small items that must be resistant to wear and tear. Polyamide is also popular for its thermal stability, which means it keeps its shape even when heated up.
Polyamide (Nylon) has a very low moisture content and is therefore ideal for products that require a high degree of dimensional stability, such as automotive parts. Polyamide also has good wear resistance and thermal insulation properties, making it perfect for applications in the industrial, medical, and appliance markets.
5. Polypropylene (PP)
Polypropylene (PP) is a popular plastic resin used in injection molding. It has a low melting point, making it easy to work with and strong enough to withstand most manufacturing processes. PP is also resistant to many chemicals and UV rays, making it a good choice for many applications.
Some common uses for PP include food packaging, eyeglasses frames, car parts, and medical devices. Because of its versatility, PP is often the resin of choice for manufacturers looking for an affordable option with high-quality results.
6. Polycarbonate (PC)
Polycarbonate (PC) is a thermoplastic resin with many potential uses in injection molding. PC is a robust plastic with good abrasion and tear resistance, making it a popular choice for products like food containers and toys.
It can also be heat-treated to improve its strength and reduce its plasticity, which makes it ideal for use in products like eyeglasses and automotive parts.
One downside of PC resin is that it can be brittle and difficult to process. This means that it’s not always the best choice for products that need to be highly resilient or impact-resistant.
However, if you’re looking for a low-cost option that still has some good qualities, PC resin is definitely worth considering.
7. Acrylic (PMMA)
Acrylic (PMMA) is a common plastic resin for injection molding. It is an inexpensive and durable material that can be dyed or printed to create unique products. Acrylic is also safe to work with, making it a popular choice for product designs that require a low risk of injury.
Some of the most popular acrylics uses include car parts, toys, and medical supplies. Acrylic is also frequently used in food packaging because it is resistant to heat and moisture.
Because acrylic is so versatile, many different types of products can be made using it. There is a resin designed specifically for every type of product imaginable from car parts to electronic components.
8. Polyetheretherketone (PEEK)
Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a thermoplastic resin often used in injection molding. It is strong and durable, making it a popular choice for products that need to be sturdy but lightweight, like toys and phone cases.
PEEK also has good heat resistance, making it useful for products that will be exposed to high temperatures, like car parts.
One downside of PEEK is that it can be difficult to work with. It’s not as flexible as other plastics, so it can be challenging to create intricate designs with it. But because PEEK is so resistant to damage, it’s often the choice of manufacturers who want their products to last longer than other materials.
9. Polyoxymethylene (POM)
Polyoxymethylene (POM) is a common plastic resin for injection molding. It is a thermoplastic material with good heat, chemicals, and wear resistance. POM is also a non-toxic material that can be used in many applications.
One of the benefits of using POM for injection molding is that it is a relatively inexpensive material. This makes it a good choice for products that will be used multiple times or for products that require high levels of durability. POM also has good flexibility and impact resistance, making it ideal for toys and car parts.
Some drawbacks of using POM for injection molding are that it is not as strong as some other types of resin, and it can be difficult to work with.
However, these issues can be overcome by using proper techniques and materials. Overall, POM offers many advantages over other types of resins when it comes to injection molding.
10. Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)
Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is a type of plastic that can be molded into many different shapes and sizes. TPU is often used in injection molding because it has a high resistance to heat and other types of damage. This makes it a popular choice for products that need to be resistant to wear and tear, such as phone cases and sunglasses.
Other benefits of using TPU in your product include its low cost and the fact that it can be processed quickly. This means that you can create products quickly without worrying about delays caused by custom manufacturing.
In addition, TPU is environmentally friendly since it does not require any special processing or manufacturing processes. This makes it a good choice for products that are intended for public consumption, like food containers or drink bottles.
Top 5 Plastic Resins For Your Medical Devices
1. PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is a common plastic resin used in medical devices. It is durable and can be easily sterilized. PET is also nontoxic, which makes it a good choice for medical devices. Some of the most popular uses for PET in medical devices include catheters and infusion pumps.
You will see PET in medical devices such as catheters, implants, and surgical tools. It’s lightweight, durable, and doesn’t rust. PET also doesn’t release toxic fumes when incinerated, which is an essential consideration for some medical devices.
Some potential drawbacks of using PET for medical devices include its high cost and the fact that it can be difficult to process. But overall, PET is a reliable option for many medical applications.
2. PE (Polyethylene)
Polyethylene (PE) is a common plastic resin used in many medical devices. PE has several properties that make it ideal for use in medical devices, such as its biocompatibility and resistance to environmental degradation. In addition, PE is a cost-effective material choice, which makes it a popular option for manufacturers of medical devices.
One of the benefits of using PE for medical devices is its biocompatibility. PE is considered to be a safe polymer substrate for implantable medical devices due to its low toxicity profile.
Additionally, PE is resistant to environmental degradation, making it an ideal material choice for devices that are intended to be used in harsh environments. Finally, PE is a cost-effective material choice, which helps to ensure that medical device manufacturers can afford to produce high-quality products.
3. PP (Polypropylene)
Polypropylene is a synthetic resin made from petroleum products. It’s very strong and durable, making it an ideal material for medical devices. Plus, because it’s so versatile, polypropylene can be used in a wide range of applications, from medical implants to surgical tools.
One big benefit of using polypropylene in your medical devices is its environmental friendliness. Because polypropylene is made from renewable resources, it doesn’t contribute to environmental pollution like other plastics.
So if you’re looking for a quality plastic that’s both tough and environmentally friendly, look no further than polypropylene.
4. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
PVC is a popular plastic resin for medical devices because it is strong, durable, and flexible. It is also non-toxic and easy to clean. Some of the most common uses for PVC include heart valves, joint replacements, and catheters.
One downside of PVC is that it can be difficult to recycle. This is because PVC contains a high amount of plasticizers, making it difficult to separate into individual pieces.
In addition, some processing methods used to create PVC are energy-intensive and environmentally harmful. Nevertheless, PVC remains a popular choice for medical devices thanks to its durability and low cost.
5. PS (Polystyrene)
Many types of plastic resins are used in medical devices, but one of the most common is PS (polystyrene). PS is a cheap and durable resin that can be easily processed, making it a popular choice for medical devices.
One benefit of using PS for medical devices is that it is lightweight, so it doesn’t add too much weight to the device. Additionally, PS is non-toxic and resistant to heat and various chemicals. This makes it a good choice for devices that need to be resistant to environmental factors, like those used in surgeries or inside the body.
PS also has some other benefits when it comes to medical devices. For example, PS is a very flexible resin, which makes it easy to mold into different shapes.
This means that PS products can be more ergonomically friendly than other materials. In addition, PS products are often less expensive than other types of plastics, making them a good option for low-cost medical devices.
What Factors Matter in Plastic Resins Selection
When selecting a plastic resin, it is important to consider the mechanical requirements of the product. Different resins have different mechanical properties, which can affect how they are used and what kind of finishes they produce.
For example, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is a popular plastic resin for products that require a hard finish, such as computer cases and toys. ABS has high resistance to wear and tear, meaning it will last longer before requiring replacement.
On the other hand, polycarbonate is a popular choice for products that need to be resistant to scratches and other damage. Polycarbonate has low resistance to wear and tear, meaning it can be damaged relatively easily. This means that polycarbonate products typically require a coating or another protective layer to prevent damage.
When purchasing plastics for your business, you’ll want to ensure that the resin you use is compatible with your other materials. To find a resin that’s compatible with other materials in your manufacturing process, you’ll need to look at the chemical compatibility of the resins.
Each resin has its own set of properties that are important when selecting them for use in a manufacturing process. For example, some resins are heat-resistant, and others are not. Additionally, some resins are more brittle than others, so it’s essential to consider these factors when deciding which one to use.
Testing the compatibility of different resins before committing to a purchase is essential. By doing this, you can ensure that your manufacturing process will run smoothly and that all your materials will be compatible.
There are many factors to consider when it comes to plastic resin selection. But one of the most important is environmental compatibility. Choosing a resin that won’t damage the environment is essential if you want to keep your business sustainable and profitable.
Environmental compatibility is key when selecting a plastic resin because different resins can cause different environmental problems. For example, PVC can be toxic if not properly disposed of, while ABS is biodegradable.
Finding a resin that will work with the particular project you are creating and will not create any negative environmental impacts is crucial.
When selecting a plastic resin, it is important to consider the weight of the part being made. The heavier the part, the more resistance it will have to movement and deformation. This is why materials such as metal alloys and composites are often used in heavy applications, like aircraft parts or construction vehicles.
In contrast, lightweight plastics are often used in applications where minimal weight or movement is necessary, like products with a “slim” profile or packaging.
It’s also worth noting that different plastic resins have different physical properties. For example, ABS has a stiffer texture than PVC and can be better suited for parts with high-stress levels. Conversely, PVC has a softer texture and is better suited for parts requiring low-stress levels.
It’s also important to consider the color of the resin: some plastics are harder to work with than others due to their higher resistance to heat or other chemicals.
The different types of resins have different material costs, and these costs depend on the type of resin, the manufacturing process, and the specific application.
For example, thermoplastics such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) are made from oil, making them more expensive than thermoset plastics such as urethane.
PE and PP also have a lower glass transition temperature, meaning they are less heat-resistant and can be brittle. On the other hand, thermosets such as epoxy have a higher Tg and are more heat-resistant.
Kemal: Plastic Injection Molding Services
Kemal Plastic Injection Molding Services is a company that offers a wide range of plastic injection molding services, from small production runs to large-scale manufacturing.
With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Kemal understands the needs of both small and large businesses and can help you meet your specific plastic injection molding needs.
From simple prototypes to full-blown production runs, Kemal has the expertise and knowledge to get your product to market quickly and efficiently.
We understand that not every project is the same, which is why we offer a range of flexible pricing options tailored to your specific needs.
If you’re looking for reliable plastic injection molding services that will meet your specific needs, look no further than Kemal Plastic Injection Molding Services. We are experts in the field and are committed to helping you achieve success with your plastic injection molding projects.