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Blow Molding-the Secret to Intricate Plastic Molds
We all admire a unique plastic design and it leaves a question mark in our mind. How did they get so much detail in this tiny plastic thing, we often ponder when examining some cool toys. The most efficient way to manufacture such detailed plastic items is through blow molding. Just as the name suggests, there is some blowing included in the process. Blow-molding is a method of making hollow plastic items.
Upon close scrutiny of plastic shapes, we can notice the lining where the parts got joined. There are many ways of joining and they are not limited to using screws, glue, and other techniques.
There are popular two forms of plastic molding and they are: injection molding and blow molding. Essentially blow molding is much cheaper and efficient as compared to injection molding. Whereas it is easy for anyone to master blow-molding, injection molding requires an advanced level of skill.
Here are more differences between two molding.
Statistics suggest that the high number of plastic waste originates from blow molding process as opposed to the injection molding method. Injection molding produces more complex and smaller plastic end products and blow-molding is popular for bigger more basic designs. The basic designs are termed as basic in comparison to the complex ones from the injection design.
Injection molding is used to manufacture plastic parts that become mechanism support for machinery, for example, gears. Blow molding is used mostly for common household items that are used for diverse purposes where chief among them is for storage. These are items like cutlery and water containers.
Blow-molding is recommended for a do-it-yourself project and this is because of how expensive and technical injection molding is. For effective injection blowing, industrial grade machinery is required. Blow-molding can be done efficiently at home. It has to be noted that special machinery is required to make blow-molding a success.
There are three methods of blow-molding. These are injection stretch, extrusion, and injection blow molding. By far the easiest in the comparison between the three is extrusion blow-molding.
Here is a basic description of the process of extrusion blow-molding:
The process starts by taking a hot melted down plastic and forming it into a shape called a parison. In plastic blow-moulding, a parison is a shape that resembles a tube made from a molten plastic material that is straight from melting. This plastic tube should have an opening only on one side. The tube is then locked into a mold. High-pressure air is blown into it and the plastic will take the shape of the mold. After this, the mold opens once the formed shape will be removed once it has cooled and become hard.
Advantages of blow molding:
1. It results in fast manufacturing.
Unlike other methods, plastics can be made faster and in high numbers by blow-molding. This is because the process is straight forward and does not require any special engineering.
2. It is a cheaper option.
Extrusion blow molding uses little pressure as compared to the injection method and this lowers the cost of operating the machinery. The process can be performed by fewer laborers as compared to other molding processes.
3. It has a wider end-user application range.
A large percentage of all the plastic items in use around the world was made through blow-molding. This method is well suited for daily use consumption like all kinds of containers including liquid ones. This shows that the demand for products made from blow molding is higher than that of products made from other plastic molding processes.
4. It has boosted productivity all over the world.
Advancement in blow-molding has allowed manufacturers to output larger quantities of quality products in a very short time. This has encouraged the emergence of more manufacturers unlike in other specialized plastic molding processes that can only be done at specific areas.
5. It has encouraged automation.
Japan developed a machine that can automatically perform blow molding. The sufficiency of the process makes it easier to automate it and therefore resulting in more efficient manufacturing methods and products.
Blow-molding products that were created automatically have been seen to be made of lesser material and resources without compromise on the quality.
The negative side of blow-molding:
Blow molding is a better manufacturing process but it carries negative effects still.
1. Dependence on a huge quantity of petroleum
Petroleum is one of the ingredients in the process of plastic making. The rate of oil consumption is alarming especially considering how many gallons are required for the production. The natural oil reserves seem to be diminishing while the blow molding industry keeps on draining the available petroleum.
2. The environmental factor
Plastic is the main culprit when it comes to the destruction of the environment. Plastic takes a very long time to biodegrade.
There is a lack of balance when the production of plastic products is increased when the proper disposal of the same moves at a very slow pace.
3. Limitations of producing certain items
One disadvantage is that the resulting thin walls cannot be easily controlled in blow-molding. This makes it difficult to apply the same process in manufacturing other products. Therefore blow molding is limited to plastic products that can only be formed best using compressed air.
The fact that blow-molding can only produce products that are hollow creates a possibility for wastage. When the plastic material is molded into tubes, a certain percentage becomes unusable because it cannot be made hollow.
5. More resources required
Blow molding has three methods and these will each be done by more labor. It is difficult to make the three processes efficient enough to require fewer resources. Each of these methods needs different machinery and personnel. Then go on to use more energy and scarce raw material. Besides, the additional production methods make it harder to streamline blow molding.
The negative side of blow-molding is only a footnote because of the many opportunities created by the process. These are employment opportunities and alternative ways to create products from plastic and in the long run, refrain from using endangered material like trees and metal ore.
Shenzhen J&D Drinking Water Equipment Co.,Ltd. is a leading manufacturer of producing beverage bottling equipment and providing related solutions. If you are interested in blow molding or more information, please contact us.