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The Injection Molding Process: The Technology That Shapes the Future

The injection molding process is an important technology widely used in the manufacturing industry. Plastic is melted and then injected into a mold for molding. It is widely used in automobiles, electronics, packaging, medical equipment and other fields. This exquisite skill transforms liquid plastic into solid products in a variety of forms that shape our modern lives.

 Overview of the injection molding process

The injection molding process mainly includes four steps: plastic melting, injection, cooling, and demoulding. First, the plastic particles are melted into a liquid state at high temperatures and then injected into the mold through high pressure. In the mold, liquid plastic fills every corner of the mold to form the desired shape. The plastic is then cooled and solidified in the mold, and the finished product is finally removed from the mold through a demoulding operation.

Key elements of the injection molding process

Plastic selection: In the injection molding process, the choice of plastic is crucial. Different plastics have different physical and chemical properties and are suitable for different application scenarios. For example, polyethylene (PE), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)  and polypropylene (PP) have good corrosion resistance and are often used in packaging containers; while polyamide (PA) and polyester (PET) have high strength and heat resistance and are suitable for Automotive and electronic equipment and other fields.

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Mold design: The mold is the core component in the injection molding process, and its design directly affects the quality and production efficiency of the product. The design of the mold needs to fully consider the shape, size, tolerance and other factors of the product to ensure that the plastic can fully fill the mold and form a good structure.

Injection molding parameter control: During the injection molding process, the control of parameters such as temperature, pressure, and time has an important impact on the molding quality and performance of the product. Reasonable parameter settings can ensure that the plastic is fully melted, the mold is evenly filled, and defects such as bubbles and shrinkage cavities are avoided.

Advantages and challenges of the injection molding process

The injection molding process has the advantages of high production efficiency, high molding precision, and high material utilization. However, the injection molding process also faces some challenges, such as high mold costs and poor production flexibility. In addition, the waste and environmental pollution problems generated during the injection molding process also need to be solved urgently.

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Future prospects of the injection molding process

With the continuous advancement of science and technology, the injection molding process is developing towards intelligence, greenness and efficiency. The emergence of intelligent injection molding machines has made the production process more automated and precise, reducing the need for manual intervention. At the same time, the development and application of environmentally friendly plastics and green production technologies help reduce environmental pollution during the injection molding process. In the future, injection molding technology will be applied in a wider range of fields, promoting continued innovation and development in the manufacturing industry.

Here is some data about the injection molding industry:

  1. Capacity and output:

  • China’s injection molded product production capacity will be 43.75 million tons in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 0.8%.
  • Output was 31.35 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 2.7%.
  • Demand was 26.3 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 2.4%.
  1. Market size:

  • The market size of Chinese injection molding products industry in 2022 will be approximately 614.4 billion RMB, a year-on-year increase of 8.3%.
  1. Injection molding machine market:

  • Global injection molding machine market space: approximately 99.4 billion RMB in 2020, and is expected to grow to 141.4 billion RMB in 2028 at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5%.
  • China’s injection molding machine market: growing from 21.1 billion RMB in 2016 to 26.2 billion RMB in 2021, with an average annual growth rate of 4.3%. China has become the world’s largest injection molding machine market and production base, accounting for 65% of its output in 2019.
  • Import and export situation: In 2022, China’s injection molding machine import volume will be 6,979 units, with an import value of US$609 million; export volume will be 60,317 units, with an export value of US$1.622 billion. Main export destinations include Vietnam, Türkiye, Mexico, etc.
  1. Injection molding machine industry applications:

  • Injection molding machines are widely used downstream, and the main application areas are general plastics, automobiles, home appliances, packaged beverages, etc. Among them, the general plastics field accounts for the highest proportion, accounting for 28%; the automotive field accounts for 26%.
  • Competitive landscape: In the domestic market, leading companies occupy the mid-to-high-end market, while a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises occupy the mid-to-low-end market. In the international market, European and Japanese companies have occupied the high-end market with their accumulated experience, such as Germany’s Engel, Arburg, KraussMaffei, etc.

Please note that the above data is for reference only and actual market conditions may vary due to a variety of factors. For more detailed data or the latest information, it is recommended to consult relevant industry associations or professional research institutions.