Pilot runs, low volume production, bridge tooling
Insert molding is a great way to combine metal and plastics into one single part. It allows plastic to bond to inserts that go inside a mold cavity, helping you to create better parts.
Insert molding is a specialized type of injection molding that combines different materials into a single finished part. While 2 shot molding allows multiple types of plastics to be combined, insert molding allows the inclusion of metal components in a plastic part. For example, you could have a plastic cabinet-door knob with a metal fastening screw embedded during the molding process instead of having to assemble it later.
A wide range of metal components can be used in the insert molding process, including screws, limiters, threaded fasteners, magnets, filtering screens, tubes, clips, mounting brackets, and more. These components can be made from stainless steel, brass, copper, aluminum, nickel, or bronze. Your injection molding company will work with you to select the best combination of metal and plastic based on the part’s requirements.
Good design practices include carefully crafting molds to ensure proper retention of the metal in the plastic part. Some inserts may need to be heated prior to being molded to reduce the thermal difference between the plastic and the metal, which could cause quality issues.
Insert molding is a process in which plastic is injected into a mold that contains a pre-placed insert. The result of insert molding is a single molded plastic piece with an insert surrounded by the plastic. Inserts can be made of metals or different types of plastic. Insert molding is used in many industries. Applications of insert molding include insert-molded couplings, threaded fasteners, filters, and electrical components.
Insert molding has practical uses in a wide variety of industries, from industrial and consumer to aerospace and medical. This process can be used to create:
The insert molding process is similar to traditional injection molding: solid pellets of raw material are melted and extruded into a mold. The plastic is solidified, the press opens, and the molded parts are ejected. For insert molding, the insert is placed inside the mold – either by machine or by hand – before the material is injected into the mold. This allows the material to flow into undercut features in the insert, anchoring it more securely than if it were assembled to a previously molded component.
There are a variety of inserts that can be molded into plastic components, including:
Many industries can benefit from insert molding, such as:
We have a team of skilled engineers ready to support you in your product development journey from prototyping to production.