How Has Plastic Injection Moulding Evolved & What to Expect

Plastic injection moulding has become a fundamental part of many industries and is an essential step in producing plastic parts and products. Over time, injection moulding has evolved due to technological advancements however, the process has remained virtually the same. So, how has plastic injection moulding evolved and what can we expect to see in the future?

What is Injection Moulding?

The concept of plastic injection moulding is relatively simple, unlike the process of injection moulding.Plastic injection moulding is essentially a process where plastic pieces are melted and injected into specific, custom-made moulds. The moulds are cooled which allows the plastic to harden. Once the plastic is set, it is removed from the mould and you’re left with the final part/product.

The Evolution of Plastic Injection Moulding

First invented in the late 19th century, the very first injection moulding machines were very simple and used hydraulic pressure to force the melted plastic into the mould. These machines were limited in the size and complexity of the parts they could produce. In 1872, John W. Hyatt and his brother Isaiah patented the first injection moulding machine. The very first machine used a simple plunger mechanism to push celluloid through a heated cylinder and into the mould.

In the 1940s, screw injection moulding machines were developed and revolutionised the plastic injection moulding process. These machines use a rotating screw to melt and inject the molten plastic into the mould. This process is much more effective and produces higher-quality parts than the previously used hydraulic press method.

In the 60s, the development of new plastics further expanded the capabilities of plastic injection moulding. Plastics such as nylon and polyester were produced and proved to be much stronger and more durable than other options.

In more recent years, plastic injection moulding has evolved and developed even further. For example, the development of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software has made it much easier to design and manufacture complex and customised moulds. The injection moulding process has also been made more efficient in recent years through the help of automation, reducing the need for manual labour. Finally, more materials are constantly being produced, creating cheaper and even environmentally friendly materials such as biodegradable plastics.

The Future of Plastic Injection Moulding

Plastic injection moulding has been an integral part of plastic part and product manufacturing for decades, the use and demand for injection moulding are only going to increase with several new technologies showing a great degree of promise. The use of sustainable materials, automation and new technologies and software are all going to fuel the growth of the injection moulding industry.

Injection Moulding Manufacturer in the UK

At Protomould Plastics, we have a large team of industry specialists on hand to assist with all of your injection moulding requirements. We specialise in low to medium-volume injection moulding, focusing on annual volumes from 500-150,000. If you’re looking for a leading injection moulding manufacturer in the UK, we are your experts. Contact our team today to discuss your requirements.