Injection molding is a process of forcing or injecting a fluid plastic material into a closed mold. The process generally has the advantages of being more readily automated and of permitting finer part details. Injection-molding compounds are thermoplastic or thermosetting materials and their composites that are specifically formulated for the injection-molding process. This article discusses the injection molding process, which includes the two basic categories of thermoplastic and thermoset injection molding, and lists the common thermoplastic and thermoset molding compounds and applications. It also describes the operation of the different types of injection molding machines as well as mold design and process controls. The article also describes the selection of injection-moldable thermosets, and provides an overview of part performance, properties, blowing agents, and aesthetic concerns related to thermoplastic structural-foam injection molding.
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