ICOMold makes the best custom fiber-reinforced plastic injection molded parts that are durable and lightweight. Whether you are making automotive, aerospace, commercial, or consumer goods, our team of experts understands that selecting the best material for your molding project is very important. We will work with you to choose the best material based on the intended application, functionality and material properties.
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) is a cost-effective material that results in lighter weight products with increased durability. They are a composite material consisting of a resin and select fibers such as glass or carbon. By adding fibers to resin, the material receives additional support. Fiber-reinforced plastic for injection molding lowers material and labor costs, reduces production time and creates minimal waste. The result is a product that is durable and resistant to warping and cracking. Fiber-reinforced plastic has many advantages and applications when used in the injection molding process.
Advantages of Injection Molding Fiber-reinforced Plastic
Fiber-reinforced polymers are used when a product requires increased stiffness, durability and impact resistance. The fibers help the plastic to withstand heavy and repeated impacts. Some of these primary benefits of using fiber-reinforced plastics for an injection molding project include:
- Warp resistant
- Lowers cost
- Lowers production time
- Minimal waste
- Temperature resistance
- Corrosion resistance
- Heat resistant
- Mold and mildew resistant
It should be noted that while there are many advantages to fiber-reinforced plastics, they are difficult to reuse or recycle. This is because once the materials have been combined inside the mold, it is impossible to separate them. They decompose slowly, or not at all.
There are multiple kinds of fibers to use when creating a fiber-reinforced plastic. The most common material is glass, which is combined with polyester or polyurethane to make fiberglass. Common applications of fiberglass include insulation and other load-bearing parts. Carbon and aramid fibers may be used when a product requires elasticity. Basalt fibers may be used when the product must be heat, chemical and salt resistant. Wood fibers may be used when tensile strength is desired.
Injection Molding Fiber-reinforced Plastic Process
The fiber-reinforced process begins as a pellet that contains a fiber encased in plastic. To begin the injection molding process, the pellets are heated until liquified. The fiber-reinforced plastic is then injected by pressure into a two-sided mold to create the desired shape. Once the item has cooled, it is dropped into a bin and then moved into post–processing for finishing touches. The advantage of using injection molding for your fiber–reinforced plastic part is that once the tool has been made, it can be used over and over again, producing a large volume of high-quality products.
Applications of Injection Molded Fiber-reinforced Plastic
Carbon fiber-reinforced plastics are good materials for products that must be durable and lightweight. Fiber-reinforced plastic is very popular and used across multiple industries for both commercial and consumer goods. Some common uses of fiber-reinforced plastic in injection molding include:
- Automotive parts
- Aerospace parts
- Equipment interiors
- Equipment covers
- Medical equipment
- Toilet parts
- Industrial equipment
- Industrial parts
- Agricultural equipment covers
- Parts for boats and other aquatic parts
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