Injection molding is the most versatile and highly efficient method of producing a wide range of identical and accurate plastic products and components. With advancements in molding technologies and development in plastic materials and their properties, polymers have been widely utilized in several products and applications, ranging from consumer durables to medical devices and more. There are a variety of plastic resins used in injection molding; each has unique characteristics that make it useful for a specific application. To ensure optimal performance and precise finished parts, selecting the appropriate plastic resins is important. Although there are no hard and fast rules to follow when selecting plastic resins for injection molding, there are some important considerations which may help make a wise decision. Are you intrigued to know what these parameters are? What pointers to consider when choosing plastic resins? This post answers the same.
Things to Look for in Plastic Resins
Among the many options available, how do you choose the appropriate plastic resins that suit the application requirements? The selection of plastic resin is of utmost importance to ensure the final product’s quality and performance. Here are some factors that can ease the selection process. So, let’s have a look at them.
- The first and foremost important consideration is to check the intended purpose of the final product. It means one must clearly outline the physical requirements of the parts such as lifespan, strength, chemical exposure, environmental conditions, potential stressors, and more.
- Plastic resins vary based on their tensile strengths, tensile modulus, and elongation at break. Hence, ensure that the plastic resin will meet the mechanical requirement of the application.
- Chemical compatibility comes next. Most of us have concerns about how chemicals interact with plastic resin. In such scenarios, it is always recommended to verify the published testing data from various OEMs and research papers that showcase the performance of the materials.
- One must check the resin’s environmental compatibility. This is because parts can be exposed to cold or hot conditions or other harsh industrial or weather conditions. Heat deflection and long-term service temperatures are important aspects of plastic resins. Other than this, you should also consider exposure to high humidity and UV light, and more.
- It is also important to check whether the resin exhibits the transparency, color, texture, and surface treatment required by the application. Make sure the plastic resin meets the final product’s functional requirements and aesthetic appeal.
- The overall material shrinks during injection molding which has a significant impact on the final product. Thus, select the plastic resin with lower shrink rates whenever possible.
Last but not the least, the plastic resin should meet the required industry standards and regulatory requirements. For instance, if the molded parts will be shipped across the globe to be utilized in medical equipment, or incorporated into high-performance engineering applications, or in food processing applications, the plastic resin should meet those country and industry specific regulatory requirements. This also helps increase their lifespan and performance