How plastic injection molding has transformed the automotive industry

How plastic injection molding has transformed the automotive industry

Plastic.  It’s in our everyday life from water bottles to cell phones to automotive body parts.

So what is injection plastic molding?  Essentially, anything plastic can be made by plastic injection molding.  It is the manufacturing process which plastic injection molding companies use to manufacture thousands and hundreds of thousands of the same part.  It starts off with material in a liquid state, then injected into molds.

It’s considered economical as the bulk of the costs goes into the molds, and the material used for the parts.  Of course, there’s more to this process that makes mass identical plastic parts, but the point we want to talk about is how this process has impacted the automotive industry.

Plastic does things that metals cannot.  It absorbs vibration, insulate, and allows the car to absorb energy from a moderate crash meaning it lessens the chance of injury.

The first cars on the road were really heavy!  That’s because they were mostly all made of metal, especially steel and that created too much weight on the motor. This also led to heavy fuel consumption.

As time went by, plastic became a more important material to incorporate into car manufacturing, in fact, in this day and age it is a crucial component.  The use of plastic parts in cars began decades ago and now mass production has been simplified and more cost effective.

You can clearly see this, for example, in bumpers, which were once steel made are almost all now sturdy plastic in private vehicles.  Also, new technological features in the interior of your car have advanced so much that plastic is always needed such as in built-in screens.  The use of plastic injection into car parts has made vehicles lighter, and provides for a smoother and a less noisy ride.

Why is plastic injection important in cars?

Lessens Weight

The foremost reason is to make a car lighter in weight.  A car that weighs around 1,500 kilos has about 20% of plastic components. When weight is lessened, gas consumption is also lessened.  You can reduce fuel consumption by approximately 0.4 liters per 100 km in a car lessened in weight by 100 kilograms.

Safety

Bumpers use a type of plastic (a thermoplastic polymer) that is around 50% lighter than metal.  They also absorb 4-5 times more upon impact.  This provides a safety for both driver and pedestrian. Some windshields are made from lamenting glass that is shatterproof because of a thin sheet of plastic wedged between two layers of glass.  Plastic fuel tanks can also be made which are seamless because they’re manufactured as one part.  This protects the tank from corrosion.  Plastic, in general, protects the car from overall corrosion.

Wild with New Designs

Plastic has come a long way and has been integrated into pretty much every aspect of our lives, and the automotive industry is no exception.  It’s easier to design with plastic than with heavy metals. This gives auto designers a freer hand to design new concepts and get innovative.

Besides low costs, plastic in cars has contributed to more energy efficiency, lower CO2 emission, corrosion resistance, design flexibility, durability, and better performance.