The injection moulding machines that are widely used in different manufacturing sectors have the ability to fabricate plastic parts precisely and in larger quantities. From bottle caps to toys and automotive dashboards, it is possible to create a range of plastic products with this manufacturing process.
However, did you know that the popularity of plastic injection manufacturing spiked in 1939 during the Second World War! The considerable demand for inexpensive and mass-produced products during this period led to the rapid expansion of the plastic industry.
The Humble Origin!
The concept of injection moulding process in truest sense was introduced by John Wyatt and his brother Isaiah, more than a century ago. In 1868, a billiard making company, Phelan and Colander asked Wyatts to come up with a way to make billiard balls more uniform and efficient. The Wyatt brothers set to work and created the first injection moulding machine in 1872. The machine was relatively basic but served the purpose (Dienamics).
The injection moulding machine got a total revamp in 1946 when American inventor James Watson Henry developed the first extrusion screw injection machine. It gave manufacturers the flexibility to control the speed of injection and produce quality products. They could also mix colored and recycled plastics before injecting it in the machine to get the desired products. This method is still widely employed by a range of manufacturing sectors around the world.
In 1950s several new thermoplastics became available, and materials such as polyethylene, polystyrene, and other special materials started replacing traditional materials such as metals, woods, leather and glass. Later in 1979, injection moulding production processes overtook steel manufacturing processes.
Modern Day Injection Moulding Machines
The plastic injection moulding has evolved considerably over the years. Today plastic injection moulding has become an integral part of manufacturing industry. It has become possible to produce a large range of products with more specificity.
Also, with the development of knowledge-based parametric and feature-oriented computer technologies such as CAD/CAE, ANSYS, etc, the different steps of injections moulding process such as designing, editing, and reviewing has only become more streamlined. So, the next time you see a billiard ball, we hope it reminds you of the incredibly useful technique – the injection moulding process!
A Short History of Injection Moulding. (2010), Retrieved from http://www.avplastics.co.uk/a-short-history-of-injection-moulding
The History of Plastic Injection Moulding. (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.dienamics.com.au/blog/history-plastic-injection-moulding/