Composite and fiberglass molding services perform injection molding, blow molding, compression molding, rotational molding, thermoforming, tool / mold making, and dip molding. Molding services create ceramic, rubber or elastomer, plastic, glass, composite, silicone, and metal parts by molding with liquid material, or by pressing solid materials or powders into a die or form. Processes employed by composite and fiberglass molding services include compression molding, compaction, ramming, hot pressing, cold pressing, injection molding, resin injection molding, transfer molding, thermoplastic molding, thermoset molding, rubber or elastomer molding and other specialty molding technologies. A composite molding service can also produce molded composite products from composites such as fiber-reinforced plastic, metal-matrix composites, and engineered wood. A fiberglass molding service produces molded fiberglass products. Blow molding forms hollow plastic parts. There are three main types of blow molding: extrusion blow molding, injection blow molding, and stretch blow molding. In compression molding, the molding material is shaped by applying pressure until the material comes into contact with all areas of the mold. Rotational molding uses heat and rotation to produce hollow, one-piece parts such as oil tanks. Thermoforming stretches a heated thermoplastic sheet or film over a mold. Dip molding immerses heated metal molds in liquid plastisol.
Composite and fiberglass molding services may produce parts in prototype, short-run or high-volume production quantities. Suppliers of molding services may provide additional secondary processes such as machining or forming, prototyping, design assistance, treatment, assembly, bonding or joining and finishing. Composite and fiberglass molding services can belong to several trade associations, including the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), the Association for Composites and Reinforced Plastics (ACP), and the Automotive Composites Alliance.
Composite and fiberglass molding services meet various certification and quality requirements. ISO 9001 is for organizations whose business processes range from design and development to production, installation, and servicing. ISO 9002 is for organizations whose business processes include production, installation, and service, but do not include design and development. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) maintains several standards that apply to composite and fiberglass molding services. For example, Technical Committee 61, subcommittee SC 12 (thermosetting materials) maintains ISO 2577 (plastics – thermosetting molding materials – determination of shrinkage).
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Metal injection molding (MIM) services use a powder metallurgy process to manufacture metal parts.
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Plastic molding services use a number of different molding techniques to produce components, including thermoplastic and thermoset injection molding, blow molding (includes injection blow molding), rotational molding, thermoforming, structural foam molding, compression molding, resin transfer molding (RTM), and others.
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