Plastic Insert Molding Creates Fasteners That Are Useful For Many Applications
Plastic insert molding is very similar to other plastic molding techniques, but there are several key differences between all these different processes. Insertion molding involves injection of one or more melted plastic resins into an existing mold to make a single molded part. The plastic is melted and fed into the mold in its unformed form, so the plastic does not have to be formed prior to being added to the mold. Once in the mold, the plastic is leveled and allowed to cool, and then the part is added to the mold as a whole. While the process is identical to that of other plastic molding techniques, the way the plastic is fed into the mold is different, and it can make a significant difference in the end result.
One of the main concerns about plastic insert molding has been increased labor costs due to the nature of the technique. Because the plastic used in this molding technique must be allowed to cool, the production of a large number of identical products requires significantly more plastic than with other methods. In addition to increased labor costs, a large number of identical products would require even more plastic to make the same amount of merchandise, meaning an even larger boost to overall manufacturing costs. Plastic molding can often be combined with other techniques to reduce the overall mold costs. For instance, it is often combined with low-volume injection molding or with heat molds for rapid plastic mold production.
Plastic insert molding can also be combined with other techniques to add a plastic insert to the product. For example, instead of using two plastic layers, it is possible to add a plastic insert that will form the base of a previously molded part. In this way, the mold costs are reduced and the part production costs are reduced as well. It is sometimes possible to buy plastic inserts that already have holes bored through them, but in most cases it is best to drill new holes before adding an insert.
When plastic insert molding is used to manufacture parts that will only be used one time or that will not need to be replaced for a long period of time, it is called a soft grip material. These materials are generally less expensive than either hard plastic or high-density polyethylene. Typically, the manufacturers who produce these kinds of products will sell them in larger quantities because they cost less per piece to produce. However, there is no advantage to overloading these parts because the cost of producing them will still be greater than using any other technique.
Another type of plastic molding that is used for applications where a more stable plastic resin is needed, such as in airplane parts, is called a hard resin. This application requires a mechanical bond to the surface of the part and hardener to hold the plastic resin between two pieces of metal. This resin is then applied to the appropriate area with a machine that can bond the resin to the metal by applying pressure. The advantage to this type of application is that the parts manufactured with this process will last longer than those produced with resin or hardener alone.
Fasteners are fastening elements that are placed on the inside or outside of an object. These fasteners are necessary because objects that have to be mounted on machinery or other structures do not have the capability to exert sufficient force to fasten the fasteners. Plastic insert molding allows manufacturers to create fasteners that are useful for many different applications. Because plastic resin is able to be formed into different shapes, including hollow shapes, fasteners are used to connect hollow plastic parts to support structures.