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aBS injection molding processing guide and cost

2022082804025299

ABS injection molding is a transformative process that plays an important role in the production of plastic parts across various industries. It combines strength, elasticity and high temperature resistance, making it an industry favorite. Whether it’s children’s toys that stand up to countless hours of play, or rugged components in machines and vehicles, ABS injection molding has it covered.
In this article, we will study the ABS injection molding process, the advantages and disadvantages of ABS injection molding, what should be paid attention to in ABS injection molding processing, and how to make the cost most economical and feasible during the ABS injection molding process.

What is ABS Plastic?

ABS is short for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, an amorphous thermoplastic that is opaque and can resist impacts. It is one of the most popular material options for injection molding, and it is a polymer made of three monomers, as illustrated in its name. Since it is an amorphous material, it has no true melting point.The styrene gives the plastic a shiny, impervious surface. On the other hand, the polybutadiene content offers excellent toughness at a wide range of temperatures. It is also possible to modify the chemical structure of ABS. Consequently, the modification improves various characteristics of the plastic-based on specific applications.

ABS plastics are thermoplastics and have applications in many industries requiring strong and impact-resistant materials manufacturing. As a thermoplastic material, ABS does not burn upon heating. Instead, it becomes liquid during the ABS molding process to ensure easy injection molding and recycling.The most common applications of ABS plastic are seen in keys of computer keyboards, plastic protective coverings, power-tool housing, LEGO toys, and more.

ABS plastic optimization

What is the ABS Injection Molding Process?

The ABS injection molding process mainly includes the following steps:

  1. Material pretreatment:Before you use a piece of ABS plastic for fabrication, it needs to be properly dried. Use drying temperatures in the range 80 – 85°C for 2 – 4 hours. Another drying method is to use a drying hopper with a temperature of 80°C. However, the latter process only lasts 1 – 2 hours.
  2. Calibration of injection molding machines:After processing the material, the next step is to prepare the ABS molding machine. This will involve setting parameters such as compression ratio, clamping force and injection pressure. Typical values ​​for these parameters include a compression ratio greater than 2, a clamping force ranging from 4,700 to 62,000 tons per square meter (t/m²) and an injection pressure greater than 1,500 bar.
  3. Mold and gate design:The mold is critical in determining how the finished ABS product will turn out. Therefore, the design of the mold and its gates is very important in the process. The thickness of the ABS mold ranges from 0.025 – 0.05 mm, while the gate length is set to less than 1 mm. Furthermore, the diameter of the channel through which the molten ABS flows was set to 3 mm, while the exhaust hole width ranged from 4 – 6 mm. Finally, the mold temperature used is always around 60 – 65°C.
  4. Injection molding temperature:The injection temperature used in a specific ABS injection molding process depends on the quality or grade of ABS used.
  5. Injection speed:Injection molding speed depends on the grade of ABS plastic and finished product requirements. For example, flame-retardant ABS plastic can only be molded at slower injection speeds. In addition, products requiring precision surface treatment may require multi-stage, higher injection molding speeds.
  6. residence time:Residence time is the time required for plastic particles to move from the injection barrel to the injection mold. For ABS plastic, residence time is typically between 5 – 6 minutes at temperatures below 265°C. However, with flame retardant grade ABS plastic, the residence time is shorter and the temperature is lower.
  7. back pressure:It is recommended to keep the back pressure of the ABS injection molding process as low as possible to prevent wear. Acceptable pressure is usually around 5 bar.
  8. clean up:Certain ABS grades tend to stick to the mold screws after the part is removed. Therefore, the best way to clear this problem is to wait for the residue to gradually disappear and then thoroughly clean the compartment of the injection molding machine with polystyrene.
  9. Other operations:Other activities performed during the ABS molding process include decorative moldings using laser marking or hot stamping, ultrasonic welding, etc.

What are the advantages of ABS injection molding?

1.High production efficiency

Injection molding is an efficient and productive manufacturing technique and is the preferred method for making ABS parts. The process generates limited waste and can produce large quantities of parts with less human intervention.

2.Design of complex parts

Injection molding can produce versatile, complex parts including metal inserts or overmolded soft grips. Part complexity is limited only by a sound set of Design for Manufacturing (DFM) guidelines developed specifically for injection molding.​

3.Increase strength

ABS is a strong, lightweight thermoplastic that is widely used in many industries due to these properties. Therefore, ABS injection molding is ideal for applications that require increased durability and overall mechanical strength.

4.Flexibility in colors and materials

ABS can be easily tinted in a wide range of colors; however, it is important to note that ABS is less weather resistant and its performance will be degraded by UV rays and prolonged outdoor exposure. It’s worth mentioning that ABS can be painted or even plated with metal to increase its environmental resistance.​

5.Reduce waste

Injection molding is an inherently low-waste production technology because it is designed for high-volume production. When millions of parts are produced each year, any amount of waste can have significant costs over time. The only waste is the material in the gate, runners, and flash between the mold halves.

6.Low labor cost

Due to the highly automated nature of injection molding, very limited human intervention is required. Reducing manual intervention reduces labor costs. Lower labor costs ultimately lower the cost of each part.

ABS injection molding processing

What are the disadvantages of ABS injection molding?

1. High Tooling Costs and Extended Lead Times for Setup

Injection molding requires the design and manufacture of molds whose cost and manufacturing time increase with part complexity. As such, the initial investment in injection molding is high, and the cost must be weighed against the expected production volumes. Lower production volumes may not be economically viable. 

2. Partial Design Limitations

Injection molded part designs are limited by a set of rules that were painstakingly developed to improve injection molded part quality and consistency. These rules define wall thickness limitations, the location of reinforcing features like ribs, and the optimal hole location and size. As such, designs must be made to follow these rules to ensure optimal results. In some cases, these rules can make certain designs unfeasible.

3. Costly Small-Run Parts Are a Possibility

Due to the high initial investment cost when injection molding, there is a minimum part quantity required to break even on the costs expended on the design and manufacture of the mold. This break-even point is also dependent on the intended sale price of the final product. If the sale price is high—due to the part being used for a specialized application—it may be possible to have small-run manufacturing. However, low-cost parts require high volumes in the 10s of thousands to be cost-effective. 

What Are the Applications of ABS Injection Molding?

ABS plastic finds use in different industries for a variety of reasons. This polymer has become a favorite among manufacturers due to its ease of molding, low production costs, and resistance to physical and chemical changes. Here are some examples of industries using ABS plastic parts:

  • Automotive Industry – It is particularly suitable for products requiring lightweight and alternative metals. Examples of its materials include door handles, instrument panels, dashboard components, pillar trim, handles and seat belt components.
  • Commercial Applications – This technology can be used in commercial industries, especially in household products. Such products include refrigerator liners, vacuum cleaners, control panels and food processors.
  • Electrical IndustryApplications of ABS in the electrical industry include electronic enclosures and computer keyboards.
  • Construction industry – especially for pipes and fittings. This is because ABS plastic is highly impact-resistant and can withstand chemical and physical changes.
  • Other applications– include the manufacture of musical instruments and sports equipment. It can also be used to make medical materials such as compressors and nebulizers.

What are the cost factors that affect ABS injection molding?

Raw material cost

The price of ABS plastic is affected by many factors such as market supply and demand, crude oil prices, and international exchange rates. The price of purchasing ABS raw materials will directly affect the production cost of the product. ABS may need to add stabilizers, pigments, antioxidants, etc. during the production process. The prices of these additives will also affect the cost.

Mold cost

The design and manufacturing of the mold is a very critical link in the injection molding process. The complexity and precision of the mold will directly affect its manufacturing cost. Molds require regular maintenance and upkeep during use, and these costs also need to be included in the cost.

Equipment cost

Purchase cost of injection molding machine: The injection molding machine is the core equipment of ABS injection molding, and its purchase cost will directly affect the production cost. Injection molding machines require regular maintenance and upkeep during use. At the same time, as the use time increases, the equipment will depreciate, which needs to be included in the cost.

Labor costs

The cost of providing labor during the injection molding process is another key factor that affects the overall cost. Labor costs include wages for maintenance personnel, machine operators and other employees within the plant.

Energy cost

The injection molding process requires the consumption of electricity, water and other energy. The consumption of these energy will directly affect the production cost.
Production efficiency: The level of production efficiency will directly affect production costs. If production efficiency is low, the cost per unit of product will increase.

Scrap rate

During the production process, scrap may occur due to various reasons. The scrap rate will directly affect the production cost.

Management costs

including costs in production management, quality management, logistics management, etc.

Batch size

Batch size has a big impact on cost. High-volume production can reduce unit costs through economies of scale, while low-volume production may face higher costs.

Design complexity

The complexity of product design will directly affect the complexity and manufacturing difficulty of the mold, thereby affecting the cost.

What Are the Applications of ABS Injection Molding?

What are the costs of ABS injection molding?

This section introduces the various costs of ABS injection molding. We’ll dive into all aspects of injection molding costs, including how these factors can impact your business and what you can do to reduce costs. Then let’s dive into the cost of ABS injection molding!When it comes to ABS injection molding, there are several types of costs you need to pay attention to. The main costs are listed below:

CostElaborate
Cost Of MaterialsThe cost of raw materials used in the ABS injection molding process is one of the most critical factors affecting the total cost of injection molding. Prices for materials may vary depending on quality, size and order quantity.
Labor costsThe cost of providing labor during the injection molding process is another key factor that affects the overall cost. Labor costs include wages for maintenance personnel, machine operators and other employees within the plant.
Energy costsThe energy cost used in ABS injection molding is also an important factor affecting the total cost. Energy costs can vary depending on the type of production process, temperature control settings and other factors.
Equipment costThe cost of purchasing and maintaining injection molding equipment is another important cost factor.
Mold costThe cost of designing, developing and manufacturing injection molds is another important cost factor.
Management expensesOverhead expenses include all costs not directly related to the injection molding process. These costs include rent, insurance, taxes and other charges.

What are some ways to reduce the cost of ABS injection molding?

1.Optimize raw material and excipient management

  • Raw material cost control: Reduce the procurement cost of ABS raw materials through reasonable procurement strategies, such as long-term contracts, bulk purchases, etc.
  • Optimization of the use of excipients: Reasonably select excipients according to product requirements, reduce unnecessary additions, and reduce excipient costs.

2.Optimize mold design and manufacturing

  • Reasonable mold design: Reduce mold manufacturing costs by optimizing mold design, such as reducing mold complexity and improving mold accuracy.
  • Select appropriate mold materials: Select appropriate mold materials according to product requirements, such as using high-performance alloy steel instead of ordinary steel to increase the life of the mold and reduce the frequency of mold replacement.

3.Optimize injection molding machine use and maintenance

  • Choose the right injection molding machine: Choose the right injection molding machine according to product requirements to avoid waste.
  • Energy-saving injection molding machine: Use all-electric injection molding machines and hybrid injection molding machines, which have excellent energy-saving effects and can save 20-80% of energy.
  • Regular maintenance: Perform regular maintenance on the injection molding machine to ensure that the equipment is in good working condition and avoid production interruption and waste caused by equipment failure.

4.Optimize production processes and technologies

  • Optimize the production process: Reduce production costs by optimizing the production process, such as reducing turnaround time, improving production efficiency, etc.
  • Using new heating technologies: such as electromagnetic induction heating, infrared heating, etc., 20-70% heating energy saving can be achieved.
  • Proper use of the cooling system: Equip the cooling water system with an effective insulation system to reduce heat loss.

5.Improve product quality and reduce scrap rates

  • Strictly control product quality: Through strict quality control, we ensure that product quality meets requirements and reduce the scrap rate.
  • Reuse of waste products: classify and process waste products, recycle and reuse reusable waste products, and reduce production costs.

6.Optimize labor and management costs

  • Improve employee skills: Improve employee skill levels through training, improve production efficiency and product quality.
  • Introducing automated equipment: Reduce manual operations and reduce labor costs by introducing automated equipment.
  • Optimize management strategies: Reduce management costs by optimizing management strategies.
aBS injection molding processing guide and cost

How to choose a suitable ABS injection molding service provider?

Professional Competency Assessment

Understand the professional ability and experience of service providers in the field of injection molding, including the product types, materials, processes and other they are good at.Investigate the r & d and development capabilities and technological innovation capabilities of service providers, which can be achieved by reviewing their technology patents, r & d results and cases.

Production Capacity Investigation

Understand the production scale, equipment configuration, and line automation to ensure they can meet your production needs. Ask the service provider about production cycles and delivery times to ensure they can deliver on time.

Quality Control System

Understand the quality management system and certification of service providers, such as ISO 9001, to ensure that they have perfect quality assurance capabilities. Ask the service provider about the quality testing methods and standards, as well as their defective product processing procedures, to ensure that the product quality meets your requirements.

Service And Support

Understand the pre-sales and after-sales service support of service providers, including technical support, training, maintenance, etc. Investigate the response speed and problem-solving ability of the service provider to ensure timely and effective support in the cooperation process.

Cost And Price

Ask service providers for quotes and cost structure to see if their prices are reasonable. When comparing prices, do not just pursue the lowest price, but to consider the comprehensive cost performance, including product quality, delivery time, service support, etc.

Sustainability

Understand the environmental policies and sustainability practices and ensure that their production process complies with environmental regulations.
Investigate the measures and results of service providers in resource conservation, energy utilization and waste treatment.

Word Of Mouth And Credibility

To understand the service provider’s reputation and reputation in the industry, we can obtain relevant information by consulting customer reviews, industry reports, media reports, etc. If possible, you can visit the service provider’s production site and management situation, so that you can have a more intuitive understanding of their strength and level.

The Reason For Choosing Longsheng

At Longsheng, whether you need prototype parts manufacturing or mass production, we have the corresponding capabilities and experience to meet your needs. We are committed to providing reliable, quality parts to assist you with success in the competitive automotive market.

  1. Rapid Quotation:Just upload the CAD file, you can quickly understand the manufacturing cost and keep abreast of the order status.
  2. Quick Molding:Longsheng has extensive experience in prototype manufacturing, ensuring that your components are completed with high quality in the later stages of the design and manufacturing process.
  3. ISO Attestation:Longsheng is a ISO 9001 certified manufacturing company, which means that we employ internationally recognized best practices to develop your products and ensure that they meet the standards, regardless of the complexity of the design.
  4. Customized On Demand:Our auto parts manufacturing process is fully customizable according to your specifications, sizes, materials and surface requirements to ensure meeting your unique needs.
  5. Express Delivery:We are committed to providing, fast manufacturing and delivery to meet your production needs while providing you with greater flexibility to quickly respond quickly to market changes. Longsheng is a partner of your auto parts needs.

Conclusion

ABS is one of the most commonly used plastics in injection molding. It is a heat-resistant thermoplastic material that is durable and therefore valuable and therefore useful in many areas of life. Let’s say you’re looking for a relatively low-cost plastic injection molding option. In this case, you should consider ABS plastic molding. Whenever you encounter difficulties in choosing the best injection molding plastic, please contact Longsheng Injection Molding experts for guidance.

FAQs

Is ABS Toxic?

ABS plastic is harmless and non-toxic. This is one reason many experts advise using this material for several applications. Exposure to this plastic does not cause any known harmful effects on the health. On the other hand, some plastics are carcinogenic. When heated, they release harmful fumes that have adverse effects on health. However, it is important to note that the use of ABS plastic for medical implants is discouraged.

What grade of ABS material can be used for injection molding?

ABS material grades suitable for injection molding include general grade, high flow grade, flame retardant grade, heat-resistant grade, transparent grade, glass fiber reinforced and electroplating grade ABS materials are all grades suitable for injection molding. When selecting, the most appropriate ABS material grade needs to be determined based on specific product needs, working environment and usage conditions.

What is the difference between ABS and PET injection molding?

There are significant differences between ABS and PET in material properties, molding process parameters, application fields and molding characteristics. These differences make them each have advantages in different industrial fields and specific applications.

How to improve the product quality of ABS injection molding?

① Equipment selection and adjustment: Select an injection molding machine with excellent performance to ensure that it can provide sufficient injection pressure and temperature control to meet the melting and injection requirements of ABS plastic. Adjust the parameters of the injection molding machine according to product requirements to obtain the best molding effect. ② Mold design and manufacturing: The mold design should be reasonable to avoid sharp corners and dead corners to reduce the flow resistance of the material in the mold. Mold manufacturing should be precise to ensure the dimensional accuracy and surface quality of the mold to reduce defects on the product surface.③ Raw material preparation: Use ABS raw materials with stable quality and avoid using expired or damp raw materials. ④ Optimization of process parameters:
Adjust the injection speed and injection pressure according to product requirements to ensure that the molten material can fully fill the mold, while avoiding product deformation or cracking caused by excessive pressure. Control the mold temperature to avoid excessive melting on the product surface resulting in traces and bubbles caused by too high a temperature, or defects on the product surface caused by too low a temperature.

How to Calculate the Cost of the ABS Injection Molding Process?

To calculate the cost, you need to add each of the materials and tools used. Then divide the total by the number of parts. Next, add the answer to the costs per hour. Finally, divide whatever your answer is by the time of production. This will give you the ABS injection molding costs.

resource

Injection moulding

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene

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