What is Insert-Molding?
Insert-molding is a highly efficient process by which metal stampings, bushings, electromechanical parts, filtration materials, and other discrete parts are combined into a single component through the injection of thermoplastic around the carefully placed parts (inserts)
What are the steps to insert molding?
- A custom-built mold is loaded with inserts. Inserts may be loaded robotically or manually.
- Molten plastic is injected into the mold.
- Upon cooling, the mold opens and the components are removed.
- Components are separated from the sprues and inspected.
- Post-molding assembly can include a variety of secondary operations, such as:
- Die cutting of stampings into discrete circuits
- Circuit testing
How can insert molding help me improve my next component?
Insert molding can be a highly efficient alternative to the assembly of discrete parts using soldering, connectors, fasteners, or adhesives. Its benefits over such methods include:
- Reduced assembly and labor costs
Because insert molding joins numerous components with thermoplastic, assembly and labor costs are greatly minimized. For example, a single stamping can be overmolded, then perforated to create multiple circuit paths.
- Reduced size and weight
By eliminating fasteners and connectors, and by combining the physical strength of resin and metal inserts, insert molding yields smaller and lighter components.
- Increased reliability
With every part tightly secured in thermoplastic, an insert molded component prevents part loosening, misalignment, improper terminations, and other problems. The thermoplastic resin also provides improved resistance to shock and vibration.
- Increased design flexibility
Designers appreciate the virtually unlimited configurations that insert molding allows. For example, in creating a 3D circuit board, overmolding permits circuitry to move freely through the part, from inside to outside, up walls, down in holes-and the plastic ties it all together.