Author Archives: Woodland Plastics

  1. How Can Inserts be Used in Thermoset Molding

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    Designing a part for injection molding can allow for complex part geometry. Aside from molding intricate and complex parts, designers must also take into consideration how different parts are assembled or fastened together in a product assembly. One of the most common and inexpensive way to join two parts together is through the use of threaded inserts. Designers and OEMs rely on inserts as fastening mechanisms to mate multiple parts of an assembly. In thermoset molding, inserts can be installed in a secondary process after the part is molded, or they can be molded in and assembled within the molding cycle. Each process has it’s own benefits and advantages. (more…)

  2. Using Thermosets for High Heat Molding Applications

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    Thermosets are used in molding applications requiring an end-part or product assembly to remain dimensionally stable within challenging and aggressive environments. These environments may include exposure to high temperatures, corrosion, or chemicals. Molded thermoset parts exhibit very good dimensional stability, even in high heat and high operating temperatures. Thermosets have heat resistance up to continuous temperatures of 400-500F depending on the material formulation, whereas thermoplastic molding materials such as a nylon or ABS may disfigure, melt, or carbonize and jeopardize the integrity of a product or assembly. Parts molded from a thermoset remain dimensionally stable, allowing the molded component or assembly to remain protected and durable over the lifespan of a product. If your part or product assembly must withstand high operating temperatures and aggressive end-use elements, choosing a thermoset as your molding material may help keep your product assembly remain safe and functioning as intended.
    Applications such as electrical housings, covers, and terminal blocks must remain dimensionally stable under high temperatures to protect internal components from being damaged. In automotive applications, some powertrain or transmission parts may also see high operating temperatures from the engine or transmission, which can even be magnified in the summer months or with continuous use. Additionally, electrical insulators and circuit breaker applications require an insulative material to limit heat dissipation into internal electrical components or cabling. Grill handles, oven/ range components, and bases and covers for small consumer cooking appliances all rely on thermosets to not only protect internal components but allow safe handling for the customer and product user. Outside of high-cost aerospace materials, thermoplastics do not offer the same level of heat resistance and temperature deflection properties as a molded thermoset will.

  3. Molded Thermoset Use in Automotive Industry

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    As a performance-based material, thermoset composites offer molded components with material property advantages of chemical resistance, corrosion resistance, and the ability to remain dimensionally stable and durable within applications experiencing high heat and operating temperatures.  These properties allow molded thermoset parts to be used in automotive applications exposed to tough environments where thermoplastic components could degrade and/or compromise the safety and performance of a product assembly.  Due to the safety nature of automobiles and rigorous testing components must pass, automotive under the hood and structural applications have long used molded thermoset parts and components. (more…)

  4. Thermosets in the Utilities Industry

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    Due to the excellent material properties with regards to heat and corrosion resistance, and it’s ability to withstand different outdoor elements and weather, parts and components molded from thermosets are commonly used within the Utilities and Power Grid industries. OEMs rely on thermosets for electrical protection to keep lines up without being jeopardized when exposed to aggressive outdoor elements such as snow, heat, and rain. These applications include electrical housings and enclosures that house electronics and wiring, along with traditional circuit breakers and power blocks to not only protect internal components and electronics from damage, but keep the assembly safe to handle and install for line-workers and maintenance. (more…)

  5. Converting Metal Parts to Thermoset

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    Thermosets

    Engineers and product designers convert existing products from metals or metallic materials to thermosets in applications for a variety of advantages and benefits to the application. Thermosets offer the moldability of plastics in that they can be molded in a variety of complex geometrical shapes. Whereas metal product applications may require costly secondary machining, lapping, or honing operations to finish a part; thermosets may be molded to tolerances of +/-.005”. In addition to saving on secondary operations, utilizing thermosets in a product design can consolidate multiple parts of an assembly, as well as lower part weight over metal components and assemblies. For high-volume applications, thermosets offer a scalable solution to meet increasing product demand and volume requirements. (more…)

  6. Thermoset Molding for High Temperature Applications

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    High Temperature Applications

    Thermosets are used in molding applications requiring an end-part or product assembly to remain stable within challenging environments. These environments may include exposure to high temperatures, corrosion, or chemicals. Molded thermoset parts exhibit very good dimensional stability, even in high heat and operating temperatures. Thermosets have heat resistance up to 400-500F depending on the material formulation, whereas thermoplastic molding materials such as a nylon or ABS can disfigure, melt, or carbonize and jeopardize the integrity of a product. Parts molded from a thermoset remain dimensionally stable, allowing the molded component or assembly to remain durable over the lifespan of a product. If your part or product assembly must withstand high operating temperatures and aggressive end-use elements, choosing a thermoset as your molding material may help keep your product assembly remain safe and functioning as intended. (more…)

  7. What Materials are Thermosets?

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    Thermoset Plastics are a niche grade of molding material compared to common engineered thermoplastics such as PA66 (nylons), ABS, Polypropylene. While thermosets are much less known, they have actually been around much longer. The first plastic material created, bakelite, created by Leo Baekeland in 1907 was a type of thermoset composite. Despite use dating back a century ago, thermosets are much less widely used in molding applications. For applications that do not require stringent material properties, many designers and OEMs look to thermoplastics, which are commodity grades that can be remelted and remolded. Using thermosets on the other hand require an application needing a material with much stronger properties such as temperature and corrosion resistance, high electrical strength, and low deflection properties. (more…)

  8. Gate Types in Thermoset Injection Molding

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    In an injection molding process, material flows from the molding machine into the mold cavity with a sprue or runner channel system. The area where the runner meets the molded part is called the gate. In thermoset injection molding, mold designers and processors have various gate options at their disposal to mold acceptable parts with as little waste. One variable in a mold design is the gating including gate types, locations, and gate sizes. Different gate types include edge gates, sub-gates, and center sprue gates. Even among different gate types, the geometry and size of the gates can be modified based on the molded part, its drawing specifications, and requirements to properly fill the part in the mold. (more…)

  9. Inserts in Thermoset Molding

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    Molded thermoset composites provide end products and assemblies with excellent material performance in dimensional stability, heat resistance, and electrical properties. With it’s dimensional stability and stiffness to molded parts, manufacturers generally utilize inserts as fastening mechanisms to mate multiple parts in an assembly. Whereas thermoplastics can be designed with locking mechanisms and snap fits, thermosets stiffness do not allow for these details to be designed into a part and require a secondary fastening option. Threaded inserts are one of the most common fastening mechanisms used in thermoset assemblies due to their ability to be molded into the part or tapped in a secondary operation. Depending on the part and assembly requirements, each option has its own benefits and advantages. (more…)

  10. Using Molded Thermosets for Outdoor Applications

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    Outdoor Applications

    As a performance-based material, thermoset molded parts are resistant to heat up to 400-500F, corrosion, and chemicals. These properties lend thermosets to be used in a variety of end markets. One market using thermosets is outdoor applications. Components and products that live, or are used, in the outdoors must stand up to aggressive weather elements throughout various climates. Whether a part is used in the deserts of Arizona, or in cold weather in Canada, molded parts must not degrade when exposed to weatherability. Whether a part has an aesthetic look, protects internal components, or a combination of aesthetics and performance; using thermosets as a molding material helps products remain durable over its lifecycle. Applications including outdoor grill components, light housings, enclosures, and infrastructure, utility, and energy components all live outside and are exposed to varying weather elements. (more…)