Thermoplastics are the most common materials used in 3Diligent’s injection molding service—the most common way parts are manufactured. In the polymer class, thermoplastics can be melted or softened using heat and returned to a solid state through cooling. Once molded, thermoplastics can be reheated and processed again because it is a physical change that does not affect the chemical makeup of the material.
Here are some thermoplastics used for injection molding:
An opaque thermoplastic and amorphous polymer, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), is a copolymer that is made by combining three monomers, Acrylonitrile, Butadiene, and Styrene. The resulting product is a lightweight and flexible material.
ABS can be modified to provide advantages over other materials for improved impact resistance, toughness, and heat resistance. High heat is used to add gloss finishes and instill a heat resistance in the final product and low temperatures make for strong products that are more impact resistant.
ABS is often used to make vehicle parts, drain pipe systems, and LEGOs®, as well as being ideal for high-impact applications such as golf club heads.
Polyethylene is also a thermoplastic polymer but one that has a variable crystalline structure.
A very common material, polyethylene is used for an expanding range of products due to its high versatility. The most common types of polyethylene are high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE).
Often used for plastic bags, films, and bottles, polyethylene offers high ductility, tensile strength, impact resistance, and moisture resistance. Highly recyclable, for polyethylene materials the more density the product has, strength, rigidity, and heat resistance you gain.
Often used for products such as green houses and bullet-proof glass, this naturally transparent amorphous thermoplastic is used to produce products where impact resistance along with transparency is needed. Unlike many other materials in the thermoplastic class, polycarbonate (PC) plastics can withstand drastic deformations without breaking or cracking.
For medical, automotive, sports, apparel, and industrial products, nylon manufacturing services from 3Diligent offer the ultimate solution. Nylon (polyamide) is used in applications that benefit from its electrical properties, strength, durability, and resistance to chemicals, abrasion, and impact.
Polystyrene is a brittle material that when combined with other materials, such as rubber, can gain impact resistance. Typically low-cost it fares well in features such as stability and rigidity. Non-toxic, there are FDA grades available that are used in the manufacturer of food containers.
Though highly flammable, there are injection molding grades that boast flame retardants and are available with a high gloss finish.
Another common plastic, polypropylene offers a high melting point, high stress and crack resistance, high impact strength, and does not degrade easily when used with water, acids, or detergents. Like polystyrene, polypropylene is used for food containers since its chemical makeup is stable and does not leach. It is used for products such as utensils, sportswear, and automotive parts.
We worked with 3Diligent on a urethane casting project. The breadth of materials and services they offered, including flame retardant and color options, made them a great partner on this program. We were very satisfied with the experience.
The evolution from prototyping to production is different for every project, calling for different machines, materials, and investments every step of the way. No provider can offer everything you could need under a single roof, especially in the rapidly evolving space of digital manufacturing—and when companies try, it makes even the most basic jobs exorbitantly expensive.
That’s where 3Diligent has been designed to be different. Using the power of cloud computing, 3Diligent leverages a global network of qualified manufacturers to complete custom manufacturing projects on demand.