Anyone familiar with the automotive industry is aware plastic parts made via the injection molding process compose a significant portion of a car’s interior and exterior design. The plastic molding industry has revolutionized the production of automobiles; without such technology, the safety, cost, weight, and production rates of cars today would be unattainable.
Whether you are adopting the injection molding process in your business or seeking an understanding of its capabilities, these depictions of how injection molders have shaped the automotive industry will enlighten and inspire you to learn more about this profound technology.
3 Ways Injection Molding Has Shaped the Automotive Industry
1. Durability and Visual Appeal
Although plastic is a naturally durable material, injection molding can increase its strength, a vital bonus in the automotive industry. By adding supplemental materials to the injection molding process, such as glass fibers, a plastic molding company can create features, like oil pans, which are resilient enough to put on rugged SUVs and trucks.
Combining materials to enhance characteristics is a standard in the injection molding industry, but many companies also utilize a unique process called overmolding. Also known as two-shot molding, overmolding combines plastic with a second substance, such as metal or another resin. Overmolding can enhance the cosmetic appeal and performance of a product. Overmolds not only are aesthetically pleasing but can seal and protect a product from electric shock, water or dust damage, and sharp underlying metals. It’s also possible to mold over metal inserts that provide a more durable fixture point.
2. Production Efficiency
Manufacturing an automobile is an efficient work of art. Today, innovations in technology have allowed manufacturers to build a standard car in only 18 hours. This progress would not be possible if not for the parts made via injection molding. Plastic injection molders have paved the road for fast-paced, cost-effective part production without skimping on quality.
Speed, volume, and affordability: the features of injection molders have transferred possibilities into manufacturing automobiles.
A recent application in the plastics industry, carbon-fiber injection molding has given new possibilities to producing lightweight but powerful products. Similar to traditional glass fibers, carbon fibers are combined and compounded into the molding process but are tenfold stronger. This development has revolutionized automotive manufacturing, which can now, without decreasing durability, implement featherweight parts into a car’s structure. By replacing heavy metal with carbon-fiber injection molding, one can minimize the weight of a car. Ultimately, weight reduction can cut manufacturing costs, improve a car’s gas mileage and safety, and regulate fuel emissions to better the environment. Believe it or not, using plastic in cars is helping the industry “go green.”
Injection Molding is Necessary for the Automotive Industry
In the automotive industry, injection molding is becoming necessary for manufacturers to keep up with competitors and climbing production rates. Aside from building parts with efficiency and affordability, injection molders have also been instrumental in reducing the cost of heavy metals by opening new material possibilities. Today, the possibilities in the automotive industry are vast: improvements in weight, speed, safety, and structure are all due to the profound developments and investments in injection molding technology.
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