Expanding the Use of Post-Consumer Resins (PCR) in Injection Molding

Plastic waste poses a challenge to today’s global community, but not plastic in general. The number of uses for injection molded plastic products continues to grow as the malleable substance takes the shape of virtually anything. Plastic industry leaders who expand their operations to include Post-Consumer Resins (PCR) in their injection molding projects can turn the challenge into an opportunity while simultaneously reducing their processing costs. Recent innovations in plastic injection molding technology now facilitate the use of wider-grades of PCR with existing molds without losing end product quality. And that cutting-edge injection molding technology is provided by iMFLUX.

The demand for plastic products continues to grow as industries discover more ways to use them:

  • Plastic injection molding products are critical components in millions of larger products. The automotive industry uses them to reduce vehicle weight, and the renewable energy industry uses them to provide the structure for solar panels and building insulation.
  • The health care sector continues to rely heavily on injection molding plastics to deliver billions of COVID-19 shots and tests. Syringes, pill bottles, gloves, gowns, and many more health care delivery services are facilitated using plastic products.

iMFLUX Technology Leads Plastics Industry Evolution

Several aspects of the iMFLUX technology differ from the conventional injection molding process:

First, traditional injection molding machines use high pressure to force melted resin into uniquely shaped molds. The high pressure often contributes to part failures because it can cause gaps and holes in the fill and packing.

This conventional method also works best with a consistent resin, typically a virgin resin, made from petrochemical feedstock. Product quality can suffer when PCR resins are introduced into the conventional process. PCR resins are generally made up of various recycled materials (think about how many different plastics go into the recycling bin) and will have varying levels of viscosity or ability to flow.

Low-Pressure Injection Molding Improves Product Quality

The Low Constant Pressure Injection Molding platform responds directly to the challenges listed above.2 It converts any high-pressure molding machine into a low-pressure molding machine, then adds a melt pressure sensor and software system to oversee the entire injection molding process. A convenient dashboard display provides operational capacity and records incoming data for later analysis. Further, it installs directly into any injection molding machine, including electric, hydraulic, and hybrid machines. The result is a higher quality product that maximizes the value of existing machinery investments:

  • Low constant pressure throughout the shot improves material flow, fill, and pack.
  • iMFLUX can adapt to material changes in real time. iMFLUX’s groundbreaking Auto Viscosity Adjust™ (AVA) technology automatically senses and adjusts to variation in viscosity of the resin
  • The technology lengthens the life of the mold. Molds are expensive to create, and failures can cause your production to shut down while you make needed repairs or build replacements. Reduced pressure on the molds means they can work as intended while maintaining their structural integrity for a longer lifespan.

Not least significant is how the iMFLUX platform can help reduce labor costs as well. The software automates the injection molding processand adjusts automatically when utilizing PCR material. . As a result, the need for human intervention drops considerably when you compare an automated system to a traditional human-managed injection molding system. These employees are then free to focus on other aspects of their work.

On the sustainability front, the automated low-pressure injection molding process also reduces plastic waste.3 iMFLUX creates a way for injection molders to incorporate more PCR. The ability to process PCR will create demand for PCR and will in turn results in less plastic in the landfill.

The demand for plastic injection molded products will continue to grow as more uses are discovered. iMFLUX’s innovative low-constant pressure injection molding platform ensures your plastics production enterprise will thrive into the future by optimizing the usage of PCR for plastic parts production. The molding process proceeds uninterrupted, more product is produced in less time, and the company can run more smoothly as it relies on the new injection molding system. Contact iMFLUX today to get started.