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Picture shows lightweight products made of plastic

Injection Molding Process for Lightweight Plastic Parts

Warpage and Weight Reduction of your plastic parts

Would you like to reduce the weight of your injection molded products and also contribute to CO2 savings? With ENGEL's injection molding processes, you can produce high-quality lightweight plastic parts. You save up to 20% in weight.

Advantages of our processes to produce lightweight components
Lightweight plastic parts with consistent stability
Picture shows a carbon fiber reinforced lightweight part in black

Requirements for plastic products are becoming more complex. Warpage and weight reduction of cars and of plastic parts are an important thing. Mechanical properties such as stability and crash performance should remain similar. In weight-sensitive areas such as automotive manufacturing, the total weight of the product contributes significantly to energy savings. We offer the right injection molding processes to produce lightweight plastic parts: Like different foaming technologies, the organomelt process, forming and back injection of fiber-reinforced semi-finished products.

Material savings of over 20% lead to reduced costs
Image shows resistant lightweight component

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

High-quality surfaces thanks to versatile injection molding processes
Since foamed lightweight plastic parts are partly made of gas, small gas streaks can appear on the part surface during foaming. If you use the right material and additional injection molding processes, the surface of foamed parts can be visually improved:   The variotherm hot-cooling process gives parts more gloss and an attractive appearance. Foil back molding enables high-quality component surfaces. Picture shows part with high-quality plastic surface

Since foamed lightweight plastic parts are partly made of gas, small gas streaks can appear on the part surface during foaming. If you use the right material and additional injection molding processes, the surface of foamed parts can be visually improved: The variotherm hot-cooling process gives parts more gloss and an attractive appearance. Foil back molding enables high-quality component surfaces.

Reduced injection and clamping force saves energy
Picture shows the inside of an injection molding machine

Foaming reduces the viscosity of the injected material. The injection process therefore requires a lower injection pressure, which results in lower clamping force requirements. Our tie-bar-less machine series is perfect for the injection molding production of large lightweight parts. Thanks to the larger mold area, a smaller clamping unit is sufficient even for large molds.

Would you Like to Gain Warpage and Weight Reduction of your Plastic Parts?

We provide you with our knowledge for the design of lightweight components. Reduce your costs and save energy. We will be happy to work on a project together.

Injection Molding Processes for Lightweight Plastic Parts - An Overview

Process Product name Industry Application Procedure
Foam injection molding, MuCell foammelt Automotive & transport, technical injection molding, electronics Interior, structure, logistics, connector, housing Produce injection molded parts with foam structure
Internal Gas Pressure Technology (GIT) Water Injection Technology (WIT) fluidmelt Automotive & transport, technical injection molding, electronics Oil dipstick, furniture, logistics Producing hollow areas by injection molding
Composite / lightweight construction organomelt, UD-Tapes, In-situ, SMC, HP-RTM Automotive & transport, electronics Structure, engine bay cover, cover for electronic components Producing thermoplastic composite components
Injection compression/coining coinmelt Automotive & transport, electronics Headlights, light guides, glazing, television housings, covers for electronic components Produce precise components with low residual stresses via injection compression/coining
Multi-component injection molding combimelt Automotive & transport, technical injection molding, electronics Trim interior/exterior Combining different types of plastics or thermosets in one part
What our Customers Say about Warpage and Weight Reduction
Picture shows production of a lightweight plastic part
100% Material Utilization
Using regranulate from organic sheet trimmings in injection molding

Thermoplastic composites pave the way for lightweight plastic components to enter the circular economy. With ENGEL injection molding processes, regranulates can be processed from organic sheet metal trimmings while keeping the material properties. The result: composite raw materials stay in the cycle.

Picture shows plasticizing screw by ENGEL
Special Processes Become Sustainable Standard Processes
New Developments in Thermoplastic Foam Injection Molding

Lightweight plastic components, energy-saving processes or the combination of several process steps, all of it can be summarized as: Sustainability. Thermoplastic foam injection molding is a promising process.

Injection Molding of Lightweight and Warpage-Free Plastic Parts
Picture shows component produced by foam injection molding
Foam Injection Molding
foammelt (MuCell®)

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

Adding propellant gas (nitrogen or carbon dioxide) directly into the melt.

Lower Clamping Force

Patented low-pressure injection molding process.


Foam injection molding with optimum ease of use and machine productivity.

  • High quality

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

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

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

Your Advantages with the fluidmelt Process
Less Material

Defined cavities allow a material-saving and cost-effective production.

Versatile Application

For molded parts with greater wall thickness and considerable wall thickness differences.

  • Precise surface

  • Reduced wall thickness

Injection Molded Bicycle Frame with V-frames

In this video, you will see the first injection molded bicycle frame created with lightweight plastic parts. Manufactured with thermoplastic composites and a hollow, closed tube geometry.

Video shows injection molded bicycle frame >
Picture shows lightweight plastic component
Lightweight Construction

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

Injection Molding Process to Produce Lightweight Plastic Components

Precision and performance - layer by layer

Stacking and consolidation of the tapes takes place in line with the injection molding process. A pick-and-place tape stacking unit with optical image processing is followed by a consolidation unit that can be integrated into the overall process. In this way, we enable a tape stack that is precisely adapted to the component geometry, the next process steps can be done without the need for trimming.

Your advantages with UD-tapes

  • Fast, high-resolution camera technology: Incorrect geometries and inaccuracies can be reliably detected and corrected.

  • Experience from our own production: ENGEL uses thermoplastic UD carbon tapes for the production of the e-pic robot’s swivel arm

  • Technology center for lightweight composites: Research and development as well as implementation of customized machine solutions.


  • High precision despite high deposit speed

In-situ technology opens new opportunities for the production of fiber-reinforced lightweight plastic components with a thermoplastic polyamide matrix. The application ranges from thin composite components to structural components that are under high stress. Starting from dry, preformed reinforcement textiles, polymerization and molding processes are combined.

Your advantages with in-situ polymerization

  • Efficient manufacturing concepts: For fully automated parts production.

  • Extended range of components: Easy to weld and make functional.

  • Customized part design: Fiber reinforcement where it is needed.

  • Optimum composite adhesion: Thanks to thermoplastic matrix.


  • Highest precision through servo-electric drives

  • Excellent process stability due to specially developed software tools

Replace steel and aluminum 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 molding process for organic sheets.

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

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

  • Technology center for lightweight composites: Research and development as well as implementation of customized machine solutions.


  • Maximum stability thanks to composite technology

  • Durable composite of thermoplastic fiber semi-finished products with high-quality plastics

Fiber composite technology for thermosets

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

Your advantages with HP-RTM

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

  • High process reliability: Process monitoring and documentation.

  • Perfectly designed production: Fully integrated control of the resin injection system.

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


  • More efficiency

  • High quality parts

  • Maximum stability for roof systems and body parts.

In SMC technology, a stack of carbon or glass fiber-reinforced, flexible semi-finished blanks is usually processed in a compression molding process and a heated mold. 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 part.

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

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


  • Structural lightweight elements with excellent strength values

  • High performance in automotive lightweight construction

  • Production of Fiber-reinforced Lightweight Plastic Parts

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

  • In-situ Polymerization for Continuous Fiber Composites

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

  • Production of thermoplastic composites

    Fully automatic production of an maintenance access hatch for the fuselage of passenger aircraft with ENGEL organomelt.

  • Process steps of a tape laying cell

    UD tapes are picked up fully automatically, optically inspected and accurately deposited.

Picture shows injection molded part made of several components
Multi-component Injection Molding

Produce innovative molded parts from different materials in a single step.


  • Multi-color parts

  • Hard - soft composites

  • Thermoplastic - rubber composites

  • Thermoplastic - LSR composites

  • Assembly injection molding

Your Advantages with the combimelt Process
One-Shot Process

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

Save Space and Energy

Machines for composite injection molding with short cycle times.

Improving the Design

The process enables different color 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.

  • Superior product features

  • Many color combinations

  • Additional component functions

Multi-Component Injection Molding in Practice

Experience combimelt technology - Integration of design and functionality on a tie-bar-less victory 120 combi injection molding machine.

Video shows integration of design and functionality on a tie-bar-less injection molding machine >
Picture shows application of injection compression/coining
Injection Compression / Coining

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

Your Advantages with the coinmelt Process
Reduced Clamping Force

For optimum melt distribution at large components.

Homogeneous Cavity Pressure

Perfect for low-warpage, large-area parts.

Precise Manufacturing

Active parallelism control of the clamping unit.

  • Best performance: Highest repeatability and optimized dynamics

  • More efficiency: application-optimized equipment packages


Flow molding (compression molding) is a processing method for Sheet Molding 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 molding. Our technology for this is called foammelt.

Discover More Injection Molding Processes for your Plastics Production

Over 20 proven injection molding processes for greater economic efficiency and different applications

Picture shows surface finishing of a plastic component by ENGEL

Surface Finishing and Functionality

Injection molding process for demanding component designs with additional functional integration

Picture shows transparent component by ENGEL

Optical and Transparent Components

Injection molded components made of transparent plastics for a perfect view

Picture shows plastic parts manufactured by precision injection molding

Precision Injection Molding

For more geometric accuracy, 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 molding

Picture shows recycled material

Injection molding process for recycled materials

More safety and consistently high product quality despite recycled material.

Image shows plastic parts manufactured by ENGEL using injection molding processes

Overview of all injection moulding processes

Over 20 Proven Injection Molding Technologies for More Profitability

Markus Lettau

Molding Industry Business Advisor

+1 (717) 767 2016

Write us

The ENGEL team is happy to support you with extensive knowledge in the field of injection molding.

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