Material Selection Considerations for Injection Molding

Injection Molding Material SelectionMaterial selection is one of the most crucial factors when developing an injection mold design. There are a lot of excellent material suppliers offering quality materials for the injection molding process. Many also offer different grades or blends of materials to choose from. However, one wrong decision can have major effects on the production process and the final product.

Material Selection for Injection Molding

Generally, material selection is dependent on the use of the part being manufactured or fabricated. Although almost every part is unique, there are certain, consistent aspects that you should consider while choosing injection-molding materials. These considerations can help you save both cost and potential headaches for your project.

Some of the most important considerations are as follows:

Raw Material Quantities – Order The Right Amount
Try to order enough material at one time.  No one wants to be left with surplus raw material, but you also don’t want to be short or run out in the middle of a production run.

Choose The Right Material
It may seem like an obvious statement, but different types and grades of plastics and polymers have different uses and properties. Be sure that the material you have selected is appropriate and compatible for the use of the end product.  The plastic requirements for a medical part may be significantly different than that of a sub assembly component for an automotive application. Considerations like temperature, biological and chemical interactions, food or animal contact and more must be considered.

Minimize Secondary Processes
Minimizing secondary processes like custom inserts, trimming and even pad printing, can help reduce the overall cost of a project. All these processes entail additional costs and setup time. And in many cases can be eliminated based on the end us of the product, or in the initial design of the mold. In some cases, changes in the material used or even the use of different mold release (like Nanoplas’ Nano Mold Coating) can help reduce or eliminate the need for some secondary processes or a tooling modification.

Mold Design
This is truly an art and science in and of itself. The design of your mold can have significant impact on the materials that can be used, the secondary processes that will be required and the final appearance of the part, to name just a few.

Material selection is complex process. It’s important to select materials that meet the specifications and the end use while also taking into account cost, design and service conditions. It is also imperative to follow the material manufacturers’ data sheets and performance matrix.

One aspect of material selection that is often overlooked is how the mold maintenance and mold release products that are used can impact the materials selected. The ability to mold through a rust preventative or grease without bleeding or the ability to use an existing tool without modification because of a new mold release technology can save time, cost and hassle.

To learn more about how the integrated family of Nanoplas products can help reduce scrap, increase production efficiencies and save time for your injection molding operation, contact us today!