What is Urethane Injection Molding?
Injection molding is the process of injecting melted thermoplastic polyurethane pellets into a mold cavity at high pressure where it cools and hardens.
When to Use Injection Molding
Urethane Injection Molding is used in producing high volume and low-cost manufacturing. It is best for situations where it is preferred to mass produce a part that is created thousands of times.
Advantages of Injection Molding
While the initial cost of creating the form is higher than other forms of molding, the use of it over time makes it vastly cheaper than other processes.
High volume and speed
Built for large, repeatable part manufacturing.
Dual injection possible
Easy to automate
Waste is reusable
Low scrap rates compared to other manufacturing processes.
Ability to mold complex parts
Disadvantages of Injection Molding
Limited shapes and thickness
Shapes are limited and must be close to same wall thickness.
Material properties are not as good
Due to heat history.
Tooling is very expensive
Inserts are difficult to mold in
Part is subject to knit lines and warping
Urethane injection molding is technology used in scenarios where the need is for a mass production of a part. It combines consistency and repetition for a lower cost form. While not a perfect choice for every customized project, it can be a viable choice for many mass produced projects.
Injection molding is a great technology for finished production on a massive scale. It is also useful for finalized prototypes that are used for consumer and/or product testing. Prior to this late stage in production, however, 3D printing is much more affordable and flexible for products in the early stages of design.