If you are an engineer, you may have to combine two or more distinct materials to create a new product. Traditional procedures (gluing or screwing materials together) vs. techniques like overmolding are at the heart of the dilemma here.
What is Overmolding?
Integrating various materials into a single component or product via overmolding among the different forms of injection molding services is possible. Using overmolding, you may blend multiple colors of the same material or combine materials to give a product a soft grip.
You can use multiple materials in an overmolding process to produce very robust, long-lasting, and reliable products. Each item may be made from a variety of different materials. Fortunately, many resins are widely used in the industry, each with unique benefits.
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Among the most widely used polymers in the industry, HDPE is among the most adaptable. Significant components that need exceptional physical performance, such as corrosion-resistant pipes, plastic lumber and several other goods, may benefit from its features. HDPE offers several additional advantages, including:
- Extremely durable and lightweight at the same time
- Maintain product quality in harsh locations by being impact and weather-resistant.
- The material is very pliable, and you can shape it into any form desired.
- Excellent for substituting bulky materials and promoting environmental responsibility.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
When it comes to overmolding operations for products like consumer electronics or automobile components, the industry relies on ABS as the material of choice. Furthermore, the market growth of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene keeps on rising. ABS is a low-cost manufacturing material that offers a slew of extra advantages, including:
- Easy to employ in procedures like injection molding or 3-D printing because of its low melting point
- Products requiring electrical insulation must have intense heat and electricity conductivity.
- Recyclable to a high degree
- It is a smooth, glossy surface that you can use with a wide range of adhesives and paints
- If you want to match the needs of a particular project, you can color this material.
- If you want to survive both environmental conditions and intensive usage, this material is very resistant to chemical degradation and physical shocks
- Intuitive to work with and relatively strong.
Polymethyl Methacrylate Acrylic (PMMA)
Use PMMA for applications that need superior optical, light, transmittance, and weather ability at a low cost. Lighting and optical applications are among the most common goods. Because PMMA is a lightweight, shatterproof substitute to glass, it is frequently referred to as acrylic glass. A few of the benefits are as follows:
- Anti-UV and weathering properties
- Optical clarity and high refractive indices
- Light transmittance is excellent (white light transmittance can be as high as 95%)
- Its surface hardness is the highest of any plastic, making it particularly resistant to scratching.
- If you want to get a particular shade of color, dyes may be applied.
- Resilience to chemicals
The overmolding process might get daunting if you attempt to balance the needs of your component with the unique properties of each material, especially if you are working on a new product.
Overall benefits of overmolding
One of the most excellent injection molding methods needs precise planning and rigid plastic overmolding design criteria. Among the many reasons:
- Low cost
You can reduce production expenses by using overmolding. Various pieces may be assembled into a single product instead of requiring injection molding. The mold design is pricey, but it avoids the need to build the identical item a thousand times in the manufacturing process. Overmolding is possible with a wide range of materials, so you can always find the most cost-effective combination for your manufacturing process. With overmolding, you can improve product performance at a low cost.
- Rapid cycle times
Once you have made the molds for overmolding, the rest of the procedure is much quicker than assembling. Pick-n-place overmolding, in contrast to two-shot molds, may be completed in a matter of weeks rather than months. The latter, on the other hand, can manage far more output. In either scenario, compared to standard injection molding procedures, the manufacturing process is expedited swiftly after manufacturing the molds.
- Ideal for low-volume production
PnP overmolding is an excellent option for low to medium-volume manufacturing. While human work is required, two-shot overmolding does not have the significant operational expenses connected with it. Pick-n-place overmolding is a superior option if you need prototypes before full-scale manufacturing starts. With pick-n’-place manufacturing, you may easily alter the molds if necessary at a lesser cost than you would with two-shot molds.
When it comes to product design, overmolding may be a powerful tool, but it demands a great deal of care and attention. If you want to compensate for this additional expense, overmolding may raise the product’s value and minimize long-term production costs.
A custom injection molder with scientific molding knowledge can help you weigh the benefits and drawbacks of employing overmolding on your project and lead you to the best selection for your application and bottom line, along with an experienced custom injection molder.