Best Plastic Injection Molding Materials

Choosing the right materials for plastic injection molding ensures high-quality end results. It also provides compatibility with the usage needs you have. The good news is there are many to choose from. If you’re not sure which ones are right for you, our team at Special Tool and Engineering can help you decide.

What To Consider When Making a Choice

Materials bring different strengths and limitations to the table. These are just some of the many factors you should keep in mind:

  • Flexural Modulus of Elasticity: How well the material can bend without losing its original shape is important. Its elasticity determines this.
  • Tensile Strength: This is similar to resistance. It refers to how well a material holds up to tension without the part failing.
  • Impact Strength: Some materials hold up to impact better than others because of base strength. This is especially important for mechanical and outdoor applications.
  • Water Absorption: Sometimes, not being waterproof is a good thing. To measure absorption capabilities, engineers consider how much water the material absorbs after 24 hours.
  • Heat Deflection: There are two reasons you might need a material with good heat deflection properties. You might need it to provide insulation or to withstand high temperatures.

The Available Plastic Injection Molding Materials

Now that you know what to look for when making a choice, it’s time to consider your options. Here are the 10 best materials you can choose from.

1. Thermoplastic Rubber

Because it is a recyclable material, its use has experienced an uptick. It exhibits properties of both rubber and plastic. Manufacturers commonly use it in headphone cables.

2. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene

This engineering-grade plastic is a commonly used material in the tech industry, such as when making keyboard keys and wall socket covers. This material is inexpensive and can stand up to heat and high impact.

3. Thermoplastic Olefin

This plastic injection molding material is a blend that often contains rubber, thermoplastics and filler material. It is commonly used for roofing applications because of UV resistance.

4. Nylon

Also known as polyamide, this is a durable and chemical-resistant material used for making tough products and mechanical parts. You often find it used in automotive applications or even camping gear.

5. Polyesters

As one of the most common one-use plastics, this material has developed a bad reputation for contributing to pollution. This plastic injection molding material is commonly used in fashion and food packaging.

6. Polyethylene

Considered a darling of the industry dedicated to manufacturing items for children, you will commonly find this in children’s toys, milk bottles and medicine. Ironically, it is also a common choice for trash cans and laundry detergent.

7. Polycarbonate

This thermoplastic material is extremely durable and is stronger than even acrylic. One of the most common applications is making compact discs. Note that it is not suitable for food or potable water applications because it contains BPA.

8. Polypropylene

Not only can this plastic injection molding material be used to prepare food and store hot meals; it can also be used as a solution for long-term water storage. Its most important property is that it does not allow the leaching of chemicals into food and water.

9. Acetal

This product offers a wide range of applications that range from food to the automotive industry. The material has good memory and excellent surface lubricity. It is also resistant to chemicals.

10. PC+ABS

Manufacturers often turn to this material for a polished final look, resistance to heat and flexibility. It is commonly used in low-volume manufacturing and is excellent for 3D printing.

A final thing to note is that it is possible to modify these plastic injection molding materials so that they better suit your needs. To accomplish this, our team can use UV stabilizers, lubricants or special fibers.

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