Today, the United States is one of the world’s most prolific plastic producers, with molding and plastic manufacturing facilities being found throughout the country, playing a vital role in our economy. In fact, plasticseurope.org showed that In 2018, the USA was the first trade partner of the European Plastics Industry. To aid in the production of plastic, new technology such as plastic injection molding can produce plastic products quickly and efficiently, from everyday essential items, to high fashion, furniture, the list is virtually endless.
Problems with Plastic Injection Molding
However, though plastic injection molding technology has increased the production of plastic, several factors can negatively impact products and create unattractive, and even weakened plastics. In addition, wasting plastics due to faulty nozzles, defective products, or hanging tags in plastic products can create thousands of lost dollars in revenue for plastic manufacturers. Because of this, it is essential to understand the role even small, molding machine nozzles have in plastic production, and how they can greatly reduce mistakes made during plastic injection molding. In addition, other options to reduce plastic waste, such as valve gate systems, are also worth noting.
Types of Machine Molding Nozzles
Three types of molding machine nozzles exist, including general-purpose, reverse-taper, and free-flow. All are made with the intention of injection molten material into a mold, which then is converted through metals or other materials into products, plastic or otherwise. It’s simple, but important to understand that of all of these, general-purpose is the one that is least reliable and faulty, yet most commonly used during plastic injection molding.
General-purpose machine nozzles create a large pressure drop due to their long land, create dead space located inside their tips that are difficult to clean, and also produce higher viscosity and temperatures, creating costly mistakes that must be fixed in each of the nearly 16,000 facilities of plastic production in the United States. These mistakes are things such as discoloration, hazes, blots, or halos on produced products.
Valve Gate systems can also reduce costs
Choosing the appropriate molding machine nozzles, ensuring the nozzle tip temperature is the same as the melt temperature (that is controlling nozzle-body and tip temperature), possibly using insulators for different production design, and also making use of valve gating that closes instantly and prevents extra plastic from forming hanging plastic tags can all greatly reduce hidden costs associated with plastic waste.