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Moulding of Plastics

Thermoplastic Materials and

Classification of Plastics

Thermoplastic Materials
Fluidic when subject to heat, harden when
Usually rigid
Thermostatic Materials
Fluidic or powder form before processing, cure
permanently when subject to heat or mixed with
Rigid or elastic
General Purpose Thermoplastic
 Polyethylene (PE)
 Polypropylene (PP)
Microwavable food containers, electric kettles
 Polystyrene (PS)
CD cases
 PolyVinylChloride (PVC)
Sewage pipes, flexible hoists
Engineering Thermoplastic Materials
 Polyamides (PA, Nylon)
 Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA, Acrylic)
 AcrylonitrileButadieneStyrene (ABS)
Product casing
 Polycarbonate (PC)
Outdoor screenings, Bullet-proof windows, Electric
 PolyethyleneTerephthalate (PET)
Soft-drink bottles
Thermostatic Materials
 Melamine Formaldehyde, Urea Formaldehyde
(MF, UF)
Dishes, lamination
 Phenolics (PF)
Ashtrays, Pot handles, plugs and switches
 Polyurethane
Shoe heels
 Unsaturated Polyester (UP)
Fibre-glass installations
 Epoxy (EP)
Glue, filler
Injection Moulding
 The injection moulding machine
consists of a heated barrel equipped
with a reciprocating screw (usually
driven by a hydraulic motor), which
feeds the molten polymer into a
temperature controlled split mould via a
channel system of gates and runners.
The screw melts (plasticises) the
polymer, and also acts as a ram during
the injection phase. The screw action
also provides additional heating by
virtue of the shearing action on the
polymer. The pressure of injection is
high, dependant on the material being
processed; it can be up to one
thousand atmospheres.
 Animation: Injection Moulding
Typical Injection Mould Job-shop
Typical Injection Moulding Plant
Rotational Moulding
 The Rotational Moulding process is
essentially split into four operations:
 A pre-determined amount of polymer
powder is placed in the mould. With the
powder loaded, the mould is closed,
locked and loaded into the oven.
 Once inside the oven, the mould is
rotated around two axis. The ovens are
heated by convection, conduction and,
in some cases, radiation. As the mould
becomes hotter the powder begins to
melt and stick to the inner walls of the
 When the melt has been consolidated
to the desired level, the mould is
cooled either by air, water or a
combination of both.
 When the polymer has cooled
sufficiently to retain its shape and be
easily handled, the mould is opened
and the product removed.
 Animation: Rotational Moulding

Adapted from:

Rotational Moulding

MT3 by Ron Arad

Blow Moulding
 The process is divided in to three.
 The injection blow moulding machine
is based on an extruder barrel and
screw assembly which melts the
polymer. The molten polymer is fed
into a manifold where it is injected
through nozzles into a hollow, heated
preform mould. The preform mould
forms the external shape and is
clamped around a mandrel (the core
rod) which forms the internal shape of
the preform.
 The preform mould opens and the
core rod is rotated and clamped into
the hollow, chilled blow mould. The
core rod opens and allows
compressed air into the preform,
which inflates it to the finished article
 After a cooling period the blow mould
opens and the core rod is rotated to
the ejection position. The finished
article is stripped off the core rod and
leak-tested prior to packing.
 Animation: Extrusion Blow Moulding
 Animation: Injection Stretch Blow Moulding
 Animation: Injection Blow Moulding
Compression Moulding
 Compound or blend is placed in
mould and heated under pressure.
When reaction is complete,
product is cooled and ejected.
 Animation: Compression Moulding
Plastic Resources
Plastic Resources