Unlike the team at Rex Plastics, you probably don’t think too much about the insert molded plastic products that surround you every day. It’s different for us because we specialize in injection molded plastics, so they’re something to which we devote considerable time, effort, and attention. If you’re curious about what insert molding is, how it works, and whether it’s right for your next product, read on — or simply contact us for more information about getting your next product to market.
Insert Molding: What it Is, and How it Works
In the simplest possible terms, injection molding heats granulated plastic and sends it into a mold. Insert molding uses the same injection molding process, but adds one more step: another material, like metal or plastic, is inserted into the mold and the injected plastic formed around it. Rather than assembling pieces by hand, insert molding allows one component to be integrated within another for strength, durability, and speed of manufacture.
Benefits of Insert Molding
Insert molding leads to parts that are stronger, lighter, and more compact. It’s also more cost effective. While it’s true that mold making can be expensive, it’s a one-and-done process when it’s done properly. Product manufacture and assembly, on the other hand, can be very labor-intensive over a longer period of time. Insert molding ends up more cost-effective than higher assembly costs when viewed over the longer term.
Insert Molding in Everyday Life
Insert molding is everywhere. The screwdrivers in your toolbox or junk drawer are insert molded. So are the casters on your office chair, many of your car’s key components, coffee filters, mesh strainers, key fobs, and countless other doodads and gadgets.
Other Types of Specialty Molding
To the uninitiated, insert molding is often confused with two-shot molding and overmolding. There are some differences between them, however. Two-shot (or multiple material) molding injects two different materials into the mold at the same time. It’s commonly used in electronics, for example, where silicone or plastic keys are shot over another type of plastic, or metal contacts. Overmolding injects plastic into the mold, then molds another type of plastic over the first. If you own a toothbrush, you’ve seen overmolding.
Choosing the Right Injection Molding Process
You can do more with injection molding than you probably realize. You use injection-molded products on a daily basis, and your next product could benefit from the ease of manufacture, labor savings, and durability that these processes provide. Knowing the right process, and arriving at a design that gets the desired results, is an art and a science. We have perfected both over a history that spans four decades. To see how we can help your business with American-made plastic molding, contact Rex Plastics for design services, product prototyping, and more.