Material selection is a key factor for many aspects of your injection molded part or product. It affects some or all of the following, in most cases: the physical properties of the product, its look, its operation, its interaction with other materials and components, and its durability. On top of all that, material selection can play a big role in your material and production costs, and their subsequent effects on your bottom line. Taking all of those factors into consideration, it’s clear that choosing a material for your injection molded product should not be taken lightly.
As with many cases in manufacturing, you have options when it comes to injection molding. While there are a host of plastic materials that lend themselves to the process, they all generally fall into two broad categories: thermoplastic and thermoset materials. Each type of material offers different properties, benefits and strengths; and today, we’re going to focus on the importance of thermoplastic materials.
In the world of product development and manufacturing, 3D printing and injection molding are almost universally acknowledged to sit atop any list of the various methods available. While each of these methods is versatile and well-suited to a number of situations and uses, they are quite different in several ways: method, material, volume, cost and optimal application — just to name a few.