Injection molding offers many advantages to a wide range of industries, enabling the mass production of precision parts and assemblies with high quality and consistent repeatability. Considering the numerous advantages that injection molding offers the aerospace industry, the advantages offered to other industries are magnified. Injection-molded parts designed with reinforced thermoplastics have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than lightweight alloys such as titanium or aluminum.
Injection-molded parts produced using high-strength thermoplastic resins, including carbon fiber and glass-filled reinforced resins, provide highly durable plastic parts that are comparable to or higher in strength than lightweight metal alloys. These injection-molded parts perform well in any critical application, are resistant to high temperatures and corrosion, and provide reliable performance in harsh environments.
Any aerospace or aerospace application is very concerned with weight. Weight is an important consideration for airline and aerospace component performance and cost efficiency. While one knob or baffle made of plastic versus metal won't make much of a difference; having dozens of heavier parts for an entire plane or missile increases fuel usage, creating a huge over time cost difference.
Injection molding offers a high-volume production method with repeatable high precision. Injection molds are designed to meet geometric requirements with tight tolerances of ±0.001. Precision parts are mandatory in aerospace products with zero margin of error. The precision provided by injection molding increases safety, thereby protecting companies, goods, people and profits.
One of the biggest key quality performance indicators in high volume production is repeatability. Clear plastic injection molding allows to define optimal work instructions for press settings and cycle times. Once the process is partitioned to meet all specifications including critical dimensions, the process can easily be reused for the next tens of thousands of parts.
Injection molding allows a variety of mold designs, including multiple cavities to produce multiple parts at once, such as 2-cavity molds, 8-cavity molds, and even 16- to 32-cavity molds for smaller assemblies. Multiple molds can be constructed to produce the same part to meet high-volume needs, or one mold can be scheduled to run intermittently when parts are needed. Injection molding offers great flexibility in meeting delivery requirements.