The Injection Molding
1. The injection molding
Injection molding is principally used for the production of the thermoplastic parts,although some progress has been made in developing a method for injection molding some thermosetting materials.The problem of injection a method plastic into a mold cavity from a reservoir of melted material has been extremely difficult to solve for thermosetting plastic which cure and harden under such conditions within a few minutes.The principle of injection molding is quite similar to that of die-casting.The process consists of feeding a plastic compound in powered or granular form from a hopper through metering and melting stages and then injecting it into a mold.After a brief cooling period,the mold is opened and the solidified part ejected.Injection-molding machine operation.
The advantage of injection molding are:
(a) a high molding speed adapter for mass production is possible;
(b) there is a wide choice of thermoplastic materials providing a variety of useful properties ;
(c) it is possible to mold threads,undercuts,side holes,and large thin section.
2. The injection-molding machine
Several methods are used to force or inject the melted plastic into the mold.The most commonly used system in the larger machines is the in-line reciprocating screw,as shown in Figure 2-1.The screw acts as a combination injection and plasticizing unit.As the plastic is fed to the rotating screw,it passes through three zones as shown :feed,compression,and metering.After the feed zone,the screw-flight depth is gradually reduced,force the plastic to compress.The work is converted to heat by conduction from the barrel surface.As the chamber in front of the screw becomes filled,it forces the screw back,tripping a limit switch that activates a hydraulic cylinder that forces the screw forward and injects the fluid plastic into the closed mold. An antiflowback valve presents plastic under pressure from escaping back into the screw flight.
The clamping force that a machine is capable of exerting is part of the size designation and is measured in tons.A rule-of-thumb can be used to determine the tonnage required for a particular job.It is based on two tons of clamp force per square inch of projected area.If the flow pattern is difficult and the parts are thin,this may have to go to three or four tons.
Many reciprocating-screw machines are capable of handing thermosetting plastic materials.Previously these materials were handled by compression or transfer molding.Thermosetting materials cure or polymerize in the mold and are ejected hot in the range of 375°C~410°C.Thermosetting parts must be allowed to cool in the mold in order or remove them without distortion. Thus thermosetting cycles can be faster.Of course the mold must be heated rather than chilled,as with thermoplastics.