Injection Molding Thermoset Plastics
Thermoset plastics have been widely used in manufacturing for parts requiring protection against high operating temperatures and electrical currents. From the historic bakelite materials to new age composite formulations used in advanced automotive, aerospace, and electrical markets; thermosets are a material of choice for challenging applications and aggressive operating elements. Aside from determining the correct material to make a component from, engineers and molders must take into consideration the best manufacturing process to use for their application. As a molding material, thermoset plastics may be injection, compression, injection-compression hybrid, and transfer molded; with each different molding process providing certain benefits and disadvantages such as cost, throughput, and material properties.
Why Injection Mold Thermosets?
The single biggest advantage of injection molding thermosets compared to a compression molding process for example, is the increase in production throughput an injection molding process can achieve. High volume programs requiring long or continuous production runs benefit from faster cycle times injection molding provides over compression molding. The increase in throughput allows molders to produce more parts in a given day or hour, allowing further capacity on a machine for other jobs to run. Injection molding can also allow for designing a mold or tool with higher cavitation than a compression process. Thermoset injection molders can offer a lower unit cost on a component or part based on running more parts in an hour through higher cavitation tooling. Industries that rely on thermoset injection molding for higher throughput include the automotive, electrical, and appliance markets; all of which can require millions of parts annually to meet production requirements.