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Polymer Matrix Composite Injection Molding Processes

Polymer matrix composites constitute a very important place in the composite material realm. There are various kinds of production processes of composite materials. One of these processes is the injection molding process. 

You also know the conventional injection molding process which is generally applied to thermoplastic polymers. There are also thermosetting variations of injection molding processes.

How Th PMCs Are Injection Molded?

We will explain these two types of PMC injection molding processes; Conventional injection molding of PMCs and RRIM process.

General Type Of Injection Molding Of PMCs

A very basic illustration of PMC injection molding(Image Source:-compositeslab.com/composites-manufacturing-processes/closed-molding/reinforced-reaction-injection-molding-rrim/).

For polymer matrix composites, both thermosetting and thermoplastic materials are used as matrix materials. So, there are thermosetting and thermoplastic variations of PMC injection molding. 

For thermoplastic injection molding, the whole process is much more basic than the thermosetting matrices. Because there is a fact that cross-linking occurrence for thermosetting materials. Because of this cross-linking occurrence, very complex heating must be established for all the sections of injection molding machinery to prevent unwanted cross-linking. 

Fiber reinforcements and particle reinforcements can be injected with the matrix polymer. For fiber reinforcements, there can be rotating blades in the nozzle section to cut the fibers into intended lengths. 

Fiber reinforcement inside the polymer melt that is going through the nozzle, is oriented in one direction because of the shape of the nozzle. This gives the advantage of designs of oriented reinforcements in certain directions, to designers. 

Reinforced Reaction Injection Molding

Reaction injection molding which is also called ‘RIM’ is the process that two reactive ingredients are mixed inside a chamber then instantly injected inside the mold. With this reaction, molded component occurs via reaction cross-linking.

Also, fiber reinforcements or glass-fiber reinforcements are added to these reaction injection molding processes. This process is also called ‘RRIM’. 

Conclusion

These are the general applications of injection molding with PMCs 

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