Injection molding machines consist of two basic parts, an injection unit and a clamping unit.Injection molding machines differ in both injection unit and clamping unit. The name of the injection molding machine is generally based on the type of injection unit used.
Types of injection molding machines
Machines are classified primarily by the type of driving systems they use: hydraulic, electric,or hybrid.
Hydraulic presses have historically been the only option available to molders until Nissei Plastic Industrial Co., LTD introduced the first all-electric injection molding machine in 1983.The electric press, also known as Electric Machine Technology (EMT), reduces operation costs by cutting energy consumption and also addresses some of the environmental concerns surrounding the hydraulic press.
Electric presses have been shown to be quieter, faster, and have a higher accuracy, however the machines are more expensive.
Hybrid injection molding machines take advantage of the best features of both hydraulic and electric systems. Hydraulic machines are the predominant type in most of the world, with the exception of Japan.
The injection unit melts the polymer resin and injects the polymer melt into the mold. The unit may be: ram fed or screw fed.
The ram fed injection molding machine uses a hydraulically operated plunger to push the plastic through a heated region. The high viscosity melt is then spread into a thin layer by a “torpedo” to allow for better contact with the heated surfaces. The melt converges at a nozzle and is injected into the mold.
Reciprocating screw A combination melting, softening, and injection unit in an injection molding machine. Another term for the injection screw. Reciprocating screws are capable of turning as they move back and forth.
Injection molding reciprocating screw An extruder-type screw rotates within a cylinder, which is typically driven by a hydraulic drive mechanism. Plastic material is moved through the heated cylinder via the screw flights and the material becomes fluid. The injection nozzle is blocked by the previous shot, and this action causes the screw to pump itself backward through the cylinder. (During this step, material is plasticated and accumulated for the next shot.) When the mold clamp has locked, the injection phase takes place. At this time, the screw advances, acting as a ram. Simultaneously, the non-return valve closes off the escape passages in the screw and the screw serves as a solid plunger, moving the plastic ahead into the mold. When the injection stroke and holding cycle is completed, the screw is energized to return and the non-return valve opens, allowing plastic to flow forward from the cylinder again, thus repeating the cycle.