What is PVC Injection Molding?

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By Jeremy Losek, Dec 28th, 2022

Can PVA be injection molded?

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is an industrial thermoplastic used to create a wide variety of plastic goods, including pipes, siding, containers, and more. PVC has excellent strength and durability, making it suitable for many projects. PVC is a high-demand material and ICOMold by Fathom has the knowledge and experience to guide you through your next PVC injection molding project.

What is PVC?

PVC is a popular thermoplastic polymer. Untreated PVC is white and can be brittle until additional plasticizers are added. PVC was first used commercially by the B.F. Goodrich Company during the 1920s. PVC can be manufactured as a rigid polymer or as a flexible plastic. Plasticized PVC will have more flexibility. Examples of flexible PVC include flooring for homes and insulation on electrical wires. Flexible PVC is often used as a replacement for rubber. The rigid form of PVC is most commonly used as a construction material found in pipes for plumbing, vinyl siding on buildings, and machine housings for electronics.

Characteristics of PVC

PVC plastic is budget-friendly material. It is resistant to environmental degradation, chemicals, and alkalis. PVC is a high-density material with great tensile strength and hardness. PVC is also easy to recycle. The material’s durability and manufacturing flexibility is the main reason it has become so widely used. These long-lasting characteristics make it the ideal choice for many industrial applications.

Can PVC be Injection Molded?

Yes. PVC can be liquefied and easily used in the injection molding process. Like other thermoplastics, PVC can be heated into a liquid state, cooled, and then reheated again without degradation. PVC exhibits excellent durability and resistance to chemicals, fire, and abrasion. PVC also has great dimensional stability and is highly impact-resistant. PVC is available in a range of rigidity, making it an excellent material choice for a wide variety of injection molding applications.

PVC Injection Molding Processing Guide

ICOMold’s PVC injection molding processing guide follows the blueprint of most injection molding projects. PVC plastic begins as a pellet or powder. The pellet is then melted into a moldable state. The optimum PVC molding temperature is generally 345°F to 375°F. It is very important to process PVC at the correct melt temperature to avoid severe decomposition problems. The material is injected into the cavity of a two-part mold after the material has reached the melting temperature. The PVC will solidify almost as soon as the mold has been filled. After the material has fully cooled, the two sides of the PVC mold open to eject the part. The part drops into a collection bin and the process starts over. PVC shrinkage is around one to two percent but can vary based on hardness, holding time, melt temperature, mold temperature, and type of additives used. ICOMold by Fathom has decades of combined experience with PVC injection molding and possesses the equipment to ensure a speedy and seamless process.

PVC injection molding offers the benefit of being able to use the PVC mold multiple times, resulting in a high production output rate. This is highly cost-effective and efficient when compared to other manufacturing methods. Injection molding allows customers to manufacture parts with greater detail and the ability to combine multiple assembly steps into one process.

What are the Advantages of Injection Molding PVC?

There are many benefits to injection molding PVC. Some of the top reasons for using PVC include:

  • Inexpensive
  • Widely available
  • High density
  • Strength
  • Hardness
  • Excellent dimensional stability
  • Weather resistance
  • Chemical resistance
  • Abrasion resistance
  • High production rates
  • Minimal finishing
  • High material stability
  • High durability
  • Recyclable
  • Lightweight
  • Good color retention

What is the disadvantage of PVC Molding?

Injection molding, in general, includes higher up-front costs when compared to other manufacturing methods. Injection molding requires to use of a custom made mold. The mold is made of metal and typically has two sides. The mold is placed in a specialized injection molding machine that will hold the mold closed, melt the thermoplastic material, and then inject that material into the mold. The cost of tooling a mold can range from $3,000 to over $100,000 or more. The high cost of the mold should be weighed against the eventual total part run. The overall cost of the mold could then be spread out over hundreds, thousands, or even millions of parts. ICOMold by Fathom only uses high-strength steel when tooling molds. Steel molds will last a very long time, can be used over and over, and can be repaired under certain circumstances, saving the customer thousands of dollars on the cost of a new mold.

Injection Molding PVC Specifications

PVC is a thermoset material. It will liquefy at its melting point between 212°F to 500°F, depending on any additives used. PVC can be melted for injection molding purposes, cooled, and then heated again without degradation. Different additives may be used, including lubricants, processing aids, pigments, stabilizers, impact modifiers, and fillers. Properties of PVC include:

  • Melting temperature: 212°F to 500°F
  • Mold temperature: 68°F to 158°F
  • Injection speed: slow to avoid degradation
  • Tensile strength: 6,500 psi
  • Packing pressure: up to 100MPa
  • Drying temperature 75°F to 90°F
  • Low shrinkage: 0.002 mm to 0.006 mm or 0.2% to 0.6%

PVC Injection Molding Processing Guide Step-by-Step

PVC material comes in pellet or powder form. The pellets or powder is fed down a barrel and heated. Plasticizer may be added to improve fluidity. Stabilizers are added to address thermal stability. Lubricants are added so the PVC part can easily be ejected from the mold. Fillers and colorants may also be added to achieve a desired look and feel. The liquefied PVC is injected into a custom, two-sided mold. Once the PVC has cooled, the mold is open, and the custom part is ejected. The part falls in a collection bin and then moved to post-processing for any finishing touches.

Applications of Injection Molding PVC

PVC is a widely used material that can be utilized in a variety of different industries. Dashboards, bottle caps, pipes, and packaging have all been made using PVC. Some common products made from PVC using the injection molding process include:

  • Automotive parts
  • Packaging
  • Bottle caps
  • Wire spools
  • Pocket combs
  • Plumbing
  • Construction
  • Window handles
  • Siding

Get a Quote on Injection Molding PVC Today 

ICOMold by Fathom has used PVC for a wide variety of applications. We are ready to work on the design and production of your custom PVC part. Get an instant quote today. 

ICOMold has the team and process in place to meet the needs of your PVC project. Our fast and dependable service, low prices, quick quotes, and online project management systems provide a seamless customer experience. 

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