Thermoplastic Injection Molding

Thermoplastic Injection Molding

NDDMold is your trusted thermoplastic injection molded parts supplier in China.

  • Decades of manufacturing experience
  • High part accuracy
  • Fast turnaround

What is Thermoplastic Injection Molding?

It is an adaptable manufacturing technique where heated plastic pellets are injected under high pressure into a mold cavity, creating the required shape upon cooling and solidification.

Due to its effectiveness and reproducibility, use this technique to manufacture intricate and robust plastic parts across various industries.

Benefits of Using Thermoplastic in Injection Molding


Thermoplastic materials are less expensive than other options, and the injection molding technique enables huge manufacturing numbers, which lowers per-unit prices.


Thermoplastic components have the potential to be very durable, with resistance to impacts, chemicals, and temperature changes, increasing the life expectancy of the finished product.

Rapid Production

Thermoplastic injection molding is a reasonably quick technique that makes it possible to fulfill deadlines and run production cycles.


Since weight is a factor in many applications, such as automotive and aerospace components, thermoplastics are a great choice.


Shape into various forms and sizes to make them appropriate for applications in different sectors.

Design Flexibility

The injection molding method allows for complicated geometries, detailed patterns, and the fusion of several elements into a single piece, which minimizes the need for assembly.

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Examples of Injection-molded Thermoplastic Parts

  • Vents on an automobile dashboard
  • Electronics housings made of plastic
  • Cycling Pedals
  • Disposable Cutlery
  • Covers for electrical outlets
  • A cable clip
  • Cap on a plastic bottle
  • Bodies of medical syringes
  • A laptop’s keyboard
  • Garden hose connectors, cup lids

Limitations of Injection Molding Thermoplastics

· Part Size     

Small to medium-sized parts are often better suited for injection molding.

Too big components could need specialist tools and procedures, which might raise the price.

· Material Choice

There are many different thermoplastic components available, each with its distinctive qualities.

Situations like high temperatures and corrosive chemicals can call for specific, more expensive materials or alternative production techniques.

· Initial Setup Fee

Creating and designing injection molding molds, sometimes referred to as tooling, may be expensive when producing complicated parts.

· High Initial Investment

Investing much in equipment, molds, and expert labor is necessary to set up an injection molding enterprise.

· Material Waste

Until you establish the ideal parameters, material waste can be substantial during the setup and testing phase of injection molding.

· Lead Time 

For projects that need quick attention, the lead time to develop molds will be several weeks or months.

· Design Restrictions

It is hard to create intricate geometries minus problems like warping, sink marks, or difficulties in ejection from the mold, such as sharp corners or thin walls.

· Limited Flexibility

Once you make the mold, any design alterations can be expensive and time-consuming since they need mold revisions, which add to the downtime.

· Environmental Effect

Although many thermoplastics are recyclable, there is still worry about the total environmental effect of thermoplastic manufacture and disposal, particularly in light of increased sustainability consciousness.

Design Considerations in Thermoplastic Injection Molding Process

· Draft Angle  

Add a 1-2 degrees draft angle to the vertical sides to make ejection from the mold easier. It guarantees a smooth part release and eliminates sticking.

· Wall Thickness

Maintain a constant wall thickness to avoid warping, sink marks, and inconsistent cooling.  Assuring consistent cooling and reducing stress requires avoiding sudden changes in thickness.

· Gate Position

Carefully choose gate positions to have the least possible influence on component strength and aesthetics.

· Undercuts  

Reduce or remove undercuts since they make ejection more difficult and could necessitate complicated mold systems. Use sliders or other sophisticated features in the mold if necessary.

· Material Selection

Understanding material characteristics like melt flow index, shrinkage rates, and temperature resistance can help you choose the correct material.

· Parting Line

Design the separation line to reduce the number of apparent seams.

· Assembly

Design for simplicity of assembly if the finished product requires more than one piece. Take into account alignment features, snap-fit features, and other assembly aids.

· Gate Design

Material flow and component quality require the right gate size and form. Undersized gates results in fill-related complications, while oversized doors can result in aesthetic concerns.

· Corners and Fillets

Reduce the possibilities of cracking, stress concentration, and warping by using rounded corners and large fillets.

· Surface Finish

Early on in the design process, express your intended surface treatments.

· Ventilation

Ensure the mold has enough ventilation for air and gases to escape throughout the injection process.

Poor ventilation can result in aesthetic flaws like burning or splaying.

· De-Molding

Plan for quick part removal from the mold during de-molding. Avoid intricate shapes or narrow recessed areas that might trap the component in the mold.

Types of Thermoplastic Materials for Injection Molding

  • Polystyrene – PS is a lightweight, rigid material with high electrical insulating qualities.
  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – ABS are easily molded versatile materials with excellent shock resistance for toys, automobile components, and consumer electronics.
  • Polycarbonate – PC has a high degree of transparency, temperature, and impact resistance. Eyewear, automobile components, and electrical enclosures all use it
  • Polyethylene – Use for packaging items, containers, and automotive parts. PE is renowned for its durability and flexibility.
  • Polypropylene – PP is a low-density material with strong chemical resistance frequently used in packaging, automotive parts, and consumer products.
  • Polyvinyl Chloride – PVC is stiff and flexible with good chemical resistance for vinyl flooring, cable insulation, and pipelines.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate – Use in bottle packaging because of its stiffness, transparency, and recyclability.
  • Nylon – It is a material with exceptional mechanical qualities, such as high strength and tensile strength, and wear resistance used in automobile parts, bearings, and gears.
  • Polyurethane – Depending on the formulation, PU is either stiff or flexible.
  • Polyoxymethylene – It is a sturdy, stiff polymer with less friction which works well for precision parts like gears and bearings.
  • Polyethylene Chlorotrifluoroethylene – Polyethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene is a high-performance polymer with exceptional chemical resistance in electrical applications and severe chemical environments.
  • Polyetheretherketone – It is a high-performance thermoplastic with outstanding mechanical, chemical, and thermal resistance used in industrial, medicinal, and aeronautical applications.

Difference between Thermoplastic and Thermoset Injection Molding

Material Conduct

Thermoplastics don’t significantly degrade when repeatedly melted and hardened.  They have a reversible characteristic of softening when heated and solidifying when cooled.

Whereas with thermosets materials, during curing, they pass through a chemical reaction that results in a cross-linked, long-lasting molecular structure. They cannot be melted and molded after curing without degrading.

Mold Design 

Thermoplastic materials do not require the same temperature and pressure control during molding. Whereas when molding thermosets, they call for exact temperature and pressure control.  The cost of tooling might go up due to this complexity.

Physical Characteristics    

Thermoplastics have molecular structures that frequently demonstrate superior impact resistance and toughness. Unlike thermosets, they have better dimensional stability when fully cured and are heat resistant.  Their impact resistance, however, could not be as good as that of other thermoplastics.


Thermoplastics can be melted down and reshaped hence more ecologically friendly when it comes to material reuse. Unlike thermosets, they typically can’t be recycled by melting and thus are not easy to dispose of.


Thermoplastics can melt, always use them for products that need to be recycled, such as packaging, automobile parts, and consumer goods.

While thermosets frequently employ in situations where electrical insulation, chemical resistance, and heat resistance are crucial such as in electrical components, aircraft parts, and some composite materials.

Step-by-step Thermoplastic Injection Molding Process

  1. Design the parts you plan to make features, tolerances, dimensions, and material specifications to create the mold.

Create a mold that replicates the part’s intended form.

  1. Choosing and preparing materials

Considering the part’s intended application, mechanical qualities, surrounding circumstances, and other factors, choose a suitable thermoplastic material.

  1. Achieve good melting and flow throughout the injection process and preheat the thermoplastic material to a specified temperature.
  2. Setup for an injection molding machine

Fill the hopper of the injection molding machine with the warmed thermoplastic material.

Put the substance into the barrel, which uses a revolving screw to heat and combine.

  1. Phase of Injection

The injection phase starts when the molten plastic achieves the proper temperature and consistency.

  1. The injection device forces the liquid plastic into the mold cavity at a high pressure of between 1000 and 30,000 psi.
  2. Refrigeration and solidification

The molten plastic quickly cools by cooling systems inside the mold, which causes it to solidify.

  1. Mold Exiting and Opening

The mold splits open after the plastic has hardened, releasing the material.

The component is forced out of the mold cavity using ejector pins or other devices.

  1. Trimming and supporting activities

The ejected item could need to go through post-processing procedures, such as removing extra material, adding inserts, or going through further assembly phases.

  1. Quality Assurance

Check the components and confirm they adhere to the requirements and quality standards.

Deal with any problems identified throughout the inspection procedure.

  1. Process Improvement and Repeatability

Repeat the injection molding procedure to make more components.

Get the best component quality, consistency, and efficiency by adjusting the process settings.

  1. Distributing and packaging

Pack the final pieces for delivery or additional assembly.

Defects on Thermoplastic Polymers Injection Molding


When a part cools unevenly, differential shrinkage results causing warping or twisting.

Always increase mold temperature control, employ homogeneous wall thickness, and optimize cooling channels.

Think of adding ribs or gussets to increase stability.

Quick Shots    

Incomplete components come from a lack of material filling the mold cavity.

To ensure complete cavity filling, adjust the melt temperature, speed up injection, or change the gate design.

Burn Marks

The cause of localized overheating and discoloration is excessive heat generated during injection or an extended melt residence period.

Lower the melt temperature, slow the injection rate, and make sure the venting is perfect to let trapped air out.


High injection speed induces turbulent flow.

To encourage more uniform material flow, reduce the injection speed, widen the gate, and improve mold design.

A Sink Mark

Surface depressions result from differential cooling brought on by variations in wall thickness.

To reduce voids during solidification, increase the gate size, employ consistent wall thickness, and modify packing pressure.


The cause of the thin layer of extra plastic at the separating line is that excess material escapes between the mold’s two parts.

To stop leaking, tighten the mold, check the parting line alignment, and increase clamping force.

Voids and Sinks

The component develops depressions or voids due to uneven solidification and shrinkage brought on by inadequate cooling.

To reduce voids during solidification, employ consistent wall thickness, improve cooling channels, and modify packing pressure.


Stress-induced cracking and increased component weight might result from excessive packing pressure.

Flow Marks

Visible lines and ripples on the component surface will result from rapid cooling or insufficient melt flow.

To encourage more uniform material flow, raise the melt temperature, modify the injection speed, and ensure enough venting.

Uneven Cooling

Differential shrinkage and distortion result from non-uniform cooling rates.

Implement effective mold temperature management, maintain consistent wall thickness, and optimize cooling channel design.

Insufficient Clamping Force

Material escapes between mold halves as a result of inadequate clamping force.

Boost clamping force, check mold integrity, and ensure mold parts are well aligned.

One Stop Plastic Injection Molding Expert

We are your one-stop plastic injection molding services provider that offers cost-effective solutions and high-quality plastic components.
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