Three Key Considerations for Your Multi-Material Molding ProjectSeptember 10, 2014
Using multiple materials in your molded components could be the ticket to taking your product to the next level in terms of product performance and reliability. When you decide to embark on a redesign that is focused on innovation, it is easy to get caught up in the potential of different material combinations and molding processes and create a design that is inefficient or too expensive to produce.
While there is room for innovation in every molding project, keep these three considerations in mind to ensure effective form and function in the finished product.
The materials you choose for your molded part must be appropriate for the intended use of the component. Consider all of the different environments that the component will be used in, along with the stresses it will face in daily operation. Various forces – including tension, compression, tear and creep – can have an impact on the part’s performance. Chemical resistance also plays a role in the longevity of molded plastic parts, particularly medical components that are molded for use in the human body. Implantable devices in particular require precision in material selection to ensure that the component does not break down when exposed to acids and lipids.
You might approach your product design with a set of desired materials already in mind, chosen based on research into their features and benefits. However, it is important to think beyond the capabilities of the material itself and evaluate whether the combination of materials will be effective. Not all materials will work well together, and the properties of your desired materials might not hold up to the manufacturing processes that are required for other elements of the component. Material bonding and stability are two important aspects to consider when planning your product design.
While reducing the expense associated with product development is an overarching goal for many organizations, it is important to maintain the quality and performance of your component in the process. The complexity of your multi-material molded component’s design can often lead to an exorbitant price tag, which is why MRPC strives to work within our clients’ budgets to create the highest quality product at an appropriate per-piece rate. To achieve this, be sure to keep in mind the necessary performance levels for your molded component – this will help keep production costs in check.
MRPC has extensive experience in working with clients to develop truly innovative molded parts that use multiple materials, offering unique product benefits that one-material designs cannot. For more information on our multi-material molding capabilities and additional advice on planning your project, download our white paper.