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The Importance of Thermoplastic Materials To Plastic Product Manufacturing

Thermoplastic MaterialsThe Importance of Thermoplastics To Product Development & Material Efficiency:When it comes to plastic prototype development or plastic product manufacturing, it is useful to understand which material to use. Typically, there are two types of plastic materials: thermoplastic and thermosetting resin.

To make a long story short, thermoplastic materials can be melted, cured (cooled down such that they become solid), melted again, cured again, and so forth. There is a limit to the number of times this process can be repeated depending on the particulars of the given material but the point is that thermoplastic materials can be melted multiple times without significantly degrading the material.

Thermoset materials, by contrast can only be melted once. After a thermoset material cures, attempting to heat it again to its melting point would cause it to burn (rather than melt) the material. It is useful to think of a 2-part epoxy when trying to understand thermoset plastics. An epoxy, like a thermoset material, is liquid prior to setting. Once the resin dries, however, it is not possible to melt it again.

When it comes to plastic injection molding, it is easy to misjudge the importance of thermoplastic and thermosetting materials. By the way, both thermoplastic and thermosetting materials can be injection molded. The major difference, when using a thermoplastic or thermosetting material, applies after the injection molding cycle when the molded plastic solidifies. During the molding process, plastic is heated and injected into a metal mold. To get to the cavity of the metal mold, however, the molten plastic first needs to pass through an array of entry points and tunnels known as sprues, runners, and gates. The plastic cools within the mold cavity as well as inside the channels that lead to the mold cavity. The plastic that solidifies inside the channels is not the component or part of the final product. It is just a waste.

Now, what happens to the “waste” during plastic injection molding?

Thermoplastic Materials

If a thermoplastic material were used for injection molding, the waste could be recycled and used again. The solid plastic left within the sprues, runners and gates can be combined with the raw material that goes into the injection molding machine. The same thing can happen with the material from rejected plastic parts. All the waste plastic can be collected and recycled back to the onset of the process. This all sums up into higher efficiency, and eventually means, lower costs of the final product and better margin for the producer.

Thermosetting Materials

If a thermosetting material were used for injection molding, the solid plastic from the sprues, runners, and gates is simply a waste, which has no practical use whatsoever. This means that the cost of the final product will be more.

To conclude, thermoplastic materials offer some major benefits to plastic product manufacturers, consumers, and even the society,as such materials are recyclable that we are more responsibly stewarding our natural resources. Indeed, when it comes to plastic prototype development or plastic product manufacturing, the manufacturer should choose and use thermoplastic materials.

OK industry has served the injection molding industry for over 15 years and has a team dedicated to providing you with the most cost effective solutions for design and manufacturing injection mold.Please visit us at :okmolding.com or contact us via info@jweimolding.com.

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