So many things that we have in our daily and working lives stem from injection moulding. Injection moulding is a brilliant process that allows us to create and manufacture pretty much any shape we need. This means that it can make toys, packaging or items for industrial machinery. With the increase use of 3D shaping and modelling these designs can be even more complicated. A company that knows a lot about the process of Injection Moulding can be reached at https://www.meadex.co.uk/services/#injection-moulding should you have the need of such a service.
Injection moulding dates back to 1872 and John Wesley Hyatt’s invention. The mould was carved and pressed out and then the polymer plastic was injected into the moulds with something akin to a hypodermic needle and a heated barrel. The industry was not massive. For the most part it made mass produced items like buttons, handheld combs and collar stays to keep them rigid. The plastic that was used was cellulose nitrate. This was fine but if it was heated too much it could easily catch fire. Cellulose acetate, invented in 1903 was a much better prospect as it wasn’t as flammable. It became an even better prospect when it was turned into powder form as this made it much easier to transport, melt and inject.
This progress takes us up to World War two and the process finds itself at the forefront of development. Both sides need to develop items quickly and cheaply and the injection moulding process. James Watson Hendry made a breakthrough in America when he was able to introduce a screw injection machine. The rate of injection had greater control and the quality of the products was better. Once he added a gas injection powered system there was no stopping him in terms of speed in which products could be produced, like water cans, eating utensils and torches for the war effort. More importantly the system was able to use recycled plastics for the first time either on their own or mixed with new. The gas injection system also allowed for the moulded products to be hollow as well as solid.
This innovation meant that plastic production outstripped steel as we could now make plastic pipes and packaging, Construction materials for buildings, the automotive industry and aerospace parts. It also accounts for a huge amount of toy production. Along way from buttons and combs.