injection molding surface finish

Table of Contents

Injection molding surface finish play a crucial role in the plastic injection molding process, impacting the appearance, functionality, and overall quality of the final product. In this article, we will explore different surface finishes used in plastic injection molding.

plastic injection molding surface finish

Factors consideration for selecting the injection molded part surface finish

1, Plastic parts design. Wall thickness, draft angles, gate location, the design of ribs, bosses, and injection molding surface finish features affect the molded part surface finish.

2, Plastic material selection. Different materials have their own properties, like flow, shrinkage, and surface appearance. These properties affect the surface quality, texture, and overall look of the molded parts. We can not get the high gloss injection molding surface finish on the material with lots of glass beads or fibers.

3, Mold steel selection: Mold steel has many properties that affect the surface finish of injection molded parts. These properties include hardness, polishing capability, corrosion resistance, machinability, and thermal conductivity.

4, Mold Design. Proper mold design can help minimize surface defects like sink marks, weld lines, and flow marks.

5, Injection Molding Surface Finish. The surface finish of the mold cavity directly affects the surface finish of the molded part. A mold surface that is smooth and polished will create a glossy finish on the part. A texture mold surface will result in a matte or textured look.

6, Molding processing parameters. Factors such as injection pressure, injection speed, melt temperature, and mold temperature can impact the injection molding surface finish of the part. Optimizing these parameters can help achieve the desired surface finish while minimizing defects.

7, Secondary Finishes. In some cases, additional post-molding processes may be required to achieve the desired surface finish. These processes include painting, chrome plating, or metallization.

injection mold surface textures types

  • Glossy finish: This type of texture provides a shiny, reflective surface on the molded part. It’s commonly used for cosmetic parts, electronics housings, or automotive trim components.
  • Matte finish: A matte finish provides a non-reflective surface, which can help reduce glare and fingerprints. It’s often used in consumer electronics, automotive interiors, and other applications where a subtle appearance is desired.
  • Grain textures: These textures resemble natural materials like wood, leather, or stone. They can add a unique and aesthetically pleasing appearance to molded parts.
  • Geometric patterns: This category includes textures with repeating shapes or patterns, such as diamond or checkered patterns, which can be used for grip enhancement or visual appeal.
  • Custom textures: Companies can develop their own custom textures, logos, or designs to differentiate their products and create a unique brand identity.

Texture application methods

  • Chemical etching: This process involves applying an acid-resistant mask to the mold surface, exposing the desired texture pattern, and then using an acid bath to etch the texture into the mold. It’s suitable for fine to medium textures.
  • Laser engraving: This method uses a high-powered laser to etch the texture directly into the mold surface. It provides precise control over the texture pattern and depth, making it suitable for complex or custom textures.
  • Electrical discharge machining (EDM): EDM uses electrical discharges to create the texture pattern on the mold surface. It’s a useful method for creating very fine textures or for working with hard or conductive materials.
  • Machining Surface: This process uses cutting tools, such as CNC milling machines, to carve the texture into the mold surface. It’s often used for larger or coarser textures, as well as for adding logos or other custom features.

VDI3400 Draft Angel

Mold tech Texture Draft Angel AB

Mold tech Texture Draft Angel CD

injection mold surface texture standards

There are several texture standards available, but the three most widely used are:

  • Mold-Tech (MT) Series. It has many textures, ranging from fine to coarse, and offers options for various applications. For example, MT-1100, 1100 represent the texture number.
  • VDI (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure) 3400. The VDI 3400 textures are classified into 6 main groups: VDI-0 (without texture), VDI-9 (gloss), VDI-18 (matte), VDI-27 (fine texture), VDI-36 (medium texture), and VDI-45 (coarse texture).
  • YS (Yick Sang) Series. It provides a range of textures suitable for various applications, such as high-gloss, fine, medium, and coarse textures. The textures are represented as “YS-XXXX”, with “XXXX” being the texture number.

SPI surface finish

The SPI (Society of the Plastics Industry) Injection Molding Surface Finishe is a widely recognized classification system used in the plastics industry to define the surface finishes for injection molded parts. The SPI standard classifies finishes into various grades based on the level of polishing or texturing applied to the mold surface.

Selecting the right surface finish for your plastic injection molding company is essential for optimizing aesthetics, functionality, and product performance. By understanding the different types of finishes available and considering factors such as part design, material, function, and aesthetics, you can choose the best injection molding surface finish to meet your project requirements and ensure a successful outcome.

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