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Picture shows lightweight parts made of plastic

Injection Moulding Process for Lightweight Parts made of Plastic

Warpage and Weight Reduction of Your Plastic Parts

Would you like to reduce the weight of your injection moulded products and thus also contribute to CO2 savings? With ENGEL's injection moulding processes, you can produce high-quality lightweight plastic components. You save up to 20 % in weight compared to the compact variants.

Advantages of our Processes for the Production of Lightweight Parts
Lightweight plastic parts with consistent stability
Picture shows lightweight component in black

The requirements for plastic products are becoming more complex. The weight and distortion of plastic parts should be reduced. Mechanical properties such as stability and crash behaviour should remain similar. In weight-sensitive areas such as automotive manufacturing, the total weight of the end product contributes significantly to energy savings. We offer the optimal injection moulding processes for the production of lightweight plastic parts: Foaming technology and glass or carbon fibre reinforced organic sheets.

Reduced costs thanks to material savings of over 20%.
Image shows resistant component from the field of lightweight construction

In foam injection moulding, the plastic mass is foamed in the mould. Part of the material is replaced by gas. This enables a material saving of over 20% for lightweight plastic part compared to a compact component. Less material means lower part costs. The mechanical properties of the component, such as resistance, remain unchanged.

High-quality surfaces thanks to versatile injection moulding processes
Picture shows component with high-quality plastic surface

Since foamed lightweight plastic components are partly made of gas, small gas streaks can appear on the component surface during foaming. If you use the right material and apply additional injection moulding processes, the surface of foamed components can be upgraded: The variothermal hot-cooling process gives components more gloss and a superior appearance. Foil back-moulding enables high-quality component surfaces.

Save energy through reduced injection and clampng pressure
Picture shows view into an injection moulding machine

Foaming reduces the viscosity of the injected material. The injection process therefore requires a lower injection pressure, which in turn results in lower clamping force requirements. Our tie-bar-less machine series is suitable for the injection moulding production of large lightweight components. Thanks to the larger mould installation space, a smaller clamping unit is sufficient even for large moulds.

Would you like to get Weight Reduction and Distortion Reduction of your Plastic Parts?

Use our know-how for the optimal design of lightweight elements. Reduce your parts costs and save energy. We will be happy to advise you.

Injection Moulding Processes for Lightweight Plastic Parts - an Overview

Procedure Product name Industry Application Process
Foam injection moulding, MuCell foammelt Automotive & Transport, Technical Injection Moulding, Electronics Interior, structure, logistics, Structure, connector, housing Produce injection moulded parts with foam structure
Gas Injection Technology (GIT) Water Injection Technology (WIT) fluidmelt Automotive & Transport, Technical Injection Moulding, Electronics Oil dipstick, furniture, logistics Producing hollow bodies by injection moulding
Composite / Lightweight construction organomelt, UD tapes, In-situ, SMC, HP-RTM Automotive & Transport, Electronics Structure, engine compartment cover, cover for electronic components Producing thermoplastic composite components
Injection stamping coinmelt Automotive & Transport, Electronics Headlights, light guides, glazing, television housings, covers for electronic components Produce particularly precise components by embossing
Multi-component injection moulding combimelt Automotive & Transport, Technical Injection Moulding, Electronics Interior/Exterior trims Combining different types of plastic in one component
What our Customers Say About Warpage and Weight Reduction
Picture shows production of a lightweight plastic element
100% Material Utilisation
Using Regranulate from Organic Sheet Trimmings in Injection Moulding

Thermoplastic composites pave the way for lightweight plastic components to enter the circular economy. With an ENGEL injection moulding process, regranulates can be processed from organic sheet metal offcuts while retaining the material properties. The result: composite raw materials are kept in the cycle.

Picture shows plasticising screw from ENGEL
Particular Strategies on the Way to Sustainability
New Developments in Thermoplastic Foam Injection Moulding

Lightweight plastic components, energy-saving processing or the combination of several process steps can be combined under one keyword: Sustainability. Thermoplastic foam injection moulding is a favourable process for this.

Injection Moulding for Lightweight and Distortion-Free Plastic Parts in Detail
Picture shows part produced by foam injection moulding
Foam Injection Moulding
foammelt (MuCell®)

With foammelt (MuCell®), you can create distortion-free, lightweight technical plastic parts. The metered propellant gas is released in a controlled manner during the injection moulding process. The foaming process begins. The cell distribution in the foam structure is homogenised once again by a negative embossing process.

MuCell® is a registered trademark of Trexel, Inc.

Your Advantages with the Foammelt Process
Lightweight Parts Made of Plastic

Lower weight due to microfine foam with homogeneous cell structure.

Controlled foaming process

Addition of propellant gas (nitrogen or carbon dioxide) directly into the plasticising unit.

Lower Clamping Force

Patented low-pressure injection moulding process.

Security

Foam injection moulding with optimum machine operating comfort and productivity.

Result
  • High quality

  • High-precision, low-warpage and dimensionally stable moulded parts

Picture shows green wheelbarrow
Gas Injection Technology (GIT) and Water Injection Technology (WIT)
fluidmelt

fluidmelt is the perfect option when it comes to forming hollow areas, complex pipe structures or avoiding shrinkage contraction. Fluid injection technology helps you produce moulded parts with greater wall thickness or considerable wall thickness differences without unwanted surface disturbances.

Your Advantages with the fluidmelt Process
Less Material

Targeted cavities help to produce in a material-saving and cost-effective manner.

Versatile Application

For all moulded parts with greater wall thickness and considerable wall thickness differences.

Result
  • Precise surface

  • Reduced wall thickness

Injection-Moulded Bicycle Frame with V-frames

In this video, you will see the first injection-moulded bicycle frame made of lightweight plastic components. Made from thermoplastic composites and a hollow, closed tube geometry.

Video shows injection moulded bicycle frame
Picture shows lightweight plastic component
Lightweight Construction

The weight reduction and reduction of distortion as well as the replacement of metal in components are the trend today. Functional integration and multi-material design ensure sustainable and economical production. With our innovative injection moulding processes, you can produce lightweight plastic components efficiently and in high quality.

Injection Moulding Process for the Production of Lightweight Plastic Parts

Precision and performance - layer by layer

The laying and consolidation of the tapes takes place in sync with the injection moulding process. A pick-and-place tape laying cell with optical image processing is followed by a consolidation press that can be integrated into the overall process. In this way, we enable a tape lay-up that is precisely adapted to the component geometry, which is followed by the subsequent processes without trimming.

Your advantages with UD-Tapes

  • Fast, high-resolution camera technology: Errors and inaccuracies can be reliably detected and compensated for.

  • Experience from our own production: ENGEL uses thermoplastic UD carbon tapes in the production of the e-pic robot series.

  • Technology centre for lightweight composites: Research and development as well as implementation of customised plant solutions.

Result

  • High precision despite high ejection rate

In-situ technology opens up new opportunities for the production of fibre-reinforced lightweight plastic components with a thermoplastic polyamide matrix. The application spectrum ranges from thin composite components to highly stressed structural components. Starting from dry, preformed reinforcement textiles, polymerisation and moulding processes are combined here.

Your advantages with in-situ polymerisation

  • Efficient manufacturing concepts: For fully automated parts production.

  • Extended range of components: Easy to weld and functionalise.

  • Tailor-made component design: Fibre reinforcement exactly where it is needed.

  • Optimum bond adhesion: Thanks to thermoplastic matrix.

Result

  • Highest precision through servo-electric drives

  • Excellent process stability due to specially developed software tools

Replace steel and aluminium sheets with lightweight components. ENGEL organomelt is the ideal process for producing components with high stability and the best mechanical properties.

Your advantages with the organomelt process

  • One-shot manufacturing: Highly integrated, automated thermoforming and injection moulding process for organic sheets.

  • Saving costs: Cost- and resource-saving production of ready-to-use lightweight construction elements.

  • Various fields of application: Innovative lightweight plastic technology for automotive parts, portable electronic devices, etc.

  • Technology centre for lightweight composites: Research and development as well as implementation of customised plant solutions.

Result

  • Maximum stability thanks to composite technology

  • Durable bonding of thermoplastic fibre semi-finished products with high-quality plastics

Fibre composite technology with duromer systems

Efficiently manufacture large, stable lightweight components: ENGEL HP-RTM fibre composite technology gives you better shaping and the best properties for large-area parts in the automotive sector. In this process, dry semi-finished fibre products are impregnated with injected resin and then cured under heat.

Your advantages with HR-RTM

  • Compact production unit: Low overall height and foundation load.

  • High process reliability: Process monitoring and documentation.

  • Sophisticated manufacturing: Fully integrated control of the resin injection system.

  • Clamping units with ENGEL ecodrive as standard and proven ENGEL automation

Result

  • More efficiency

  • High quality components

  • Highest quality and stability for roof systems and body parts.

In SMC technology, a stack of carbon or glass fibre-reinforced, flowable semi-finished blanks is usually processed in a compression moulding process and a heated mould. The ENGEL v-duo machine series features high clamping speeds and active parallelism control. It is the ideal prerequisite for fully automated and precise SMC component production.

Your advantages with the SMC process

  • Functional component properties: Complex geometries and function integration possible directly on the component.

  • Fully automated manufacturing: Fully automated manufacturing cells from the semi-finished product to the finished, ready-to-install component.

  • Paintable components: By using in-mould coating, surfaces of high quality can be optimally prepared for subsequent painting.

Result

  • Structural lightweight elements with excellent strength values

  • High performance in automotive lightweight construction

  • Production of Fibre-Reinforced Lightweight Plastic Elements

    The v-duo machine was developed for fibre composite applications. This allows us to offer an energy-efficient solution for a cost-effective production concept.

  • In-situ Polymerisation for Continuous Fibre Composites

    Technical precision moulded parts are produced on a tie-bar-less victory machine.

Picture shows injection moulded part made of several components
Multi-Component Injection Moulding
combimelt

Produce innovative moulded parts from different materials in a single work step.

Procedural variants:

  • Multi-colour parts

  • Hard - Soft Composites

  • Thermoplastic - Rubber Composites

  • Thermoplastic - LSR composites

  • Assembly injection moulding

Your Advantages with the combimelt Process
One-Shot Prozess

Produce components with up to six injection units that can be controlled simultaneously or sequentially.

Save Space and Energy

Machines for composite injection moulding with short cycle times.

Improving the Design

The process enables different colour variations and haptic experiences.

Reduction of Process Steps

The need for subsequent assembly and printing is eliminated. Different controls are produced in a single cycle.

Result
  • Superior product features

  • Varied colour combinations

  • Additional component functions

Multi-Component Injection Moulding in Practice

Experience combimelt technology at first hand. Integration of design and functionality on a tie-bar-less victory 330H injection moulding machine.

Video shows integration of design and functionality on a tie-bar-less injection moulding machine
Picture shows application of injection stamping
Injection Stamping
coinmelt

Produce precise surfaces for particularly high demands. With the ENGEL coinmelt injection-compression moulding process, you can achieve perfect quality for everything from automotive glazing and optical lenses to moulding the finest, microscaled structures.

Your Advantages with the coinmelt Process
Reduced Clamping Force

For optimum melt distribution in large-area components.

Homogeneous Cavity Pressure

Perfect for low-warpage, large-area moulded parts.

Precise Manufacturing

Active parallelism control of the clamping unit.

Result
  • Best performance: Highest reproducibility and optimised dynamics

  • More efficiency: application-optimised equipment packages

FAQ

Impact extrusion is a processing method for sheet moulding compounds (SMC) that has been used successfully for more than 50 years. Especially in the automotive, commercial vehicle, electrical, construction and aerospace industries.

The abbreviation stands for thermoplastic foam injection moulding. Our technology for this is called foammelt.

Discover More Injection Moulding Processes for your Plastics Production

Over 20 proven injection moulding processes for more economic efficiency and different areas of application

Picture shows surface finishing of a plastic component from ENGEL

Surface Finishing and Functionalisation

Injection moulding process for sophisticated component designs with additional functional integration

Picture shows transparent component from ENGEL

Optics and Transparent Components

Injection moulded components made of transparent plastics for a perfect view

Picture shows plastic parts manufactured by precision injection moulding

Precision Injection Moulding

For more geometric fidelity, better surface quality and low component weight

Picture shows plastic component made of special material

Elastomers and Thermosets

A wide range of non-thermoplastics such as silicone, rubber, BMC or HTV can be processed in injection moulding

ENGEL Team

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The ENGEL team will be happy to assist you with comprehensive know-how on the subject of injection moulding.