Incorporating metal into a plastic part is an effective way to strengthen the overall product while improving functionality, design flexibility and cost. This manufacturing process is known as insert molding and combines a preformed metal component with molten plastic to form a new part that has both the benefits of each individual material.
Insert molding is used to produce a wide range of products including automotive, electronics and medical devices. It can be used to manufacture a variety of components such as electrical sockets and wires, dash panels, dials, remote control coverings, handles, scissor grips and much more. This manufacturing process is highly popular among manufacturers looking to improve their product’s durability, increase production efficiency and reduce costs.
A key advantage of this manufacturing technique is the ability to save assembly and labor costs. Unlike over molding, which produces the final product with two separate shots, insert molding involves a single injection molding cycle. This is due to the fact that the inserted metal component is sealed within the thermoplastic during the injection molding process. This allows for a faster turnaround and reduced production costs compared to over molding.
In addition to saving labor and assembly costs, this process also increases part consistency. As the insertion is done during the manufacturing phase, it ensures that all parts produced are identical. This is especially beneficial in cases where large batches are being produced. In order to properly insert a metal component into the plastic, a custom tool needs to be designed and built. The inserted product can be as simple as a rod or blade or as complex as a machined stainless steel component.
The most common types of metals that are incorporated into plastic components are screws, threaded fasteners, magnets, compression limiters, tubes, clips and filtering screens. A quality injection molding company will work with customers to select the appropriate metal inserts for each particular application.
One of the main considerations when selecting an injection molding partner for insert molding is the ability to correctly hold the inserted metal in place during the injection process. This includes ensuring the tool is properly sized to accommodate the metal insert and understanding how forces will be applied to the insert during use. Injection molding companies that offer insert molding can offer either manual or automated loading. The option that is most suited for a customer will depend on the type of production and budget.
It is important to note that while overmolded plastic components can form a chemical bond with each other, this cannot be guaranteed with insert molding. This is because the inserted metal may not be compatible with all types of plastics. To avoid any issues, it is crucial to consult an expert in the field of injection molding before beginning production. This will help to ensure that the best manufacturing process is selected to achieve your desired results. Contact the experts at ICOMold by Fathom today to learn more about how insert molding can benefit your business. insert molding