Choosing the Right Material for Injection Molding

Learn when to use some of the most popular injection molding materials.
Navigating the many options for injection molding materials can be a challenge. That’s especially true when the success of your product hinges on selecting the right one. The material landscape for injection molding is vast. There’s a blend of properties that cater to different product needs, from rigidity to flexibility, transparency to opacity, and everything in between. Let’s simplify things. In this guide, learn about the most commonly used materials for injection molding, their compositions, core benefits, and typical applications.

Material Overview

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

A fusion of acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene offering toughness and a visually-pleasing finish. Benefits:
  • Tough and Impact Resistant
  • Good Surface Finish
Key Applications: Toys, consumer electronics, and automotive parts.

Polycarbonate (PC)

A robust, transparent polymer offering heat resistance. Benefits:
  • Strong
  • Transparent
  • Heat Resistant
Key Applications: Eyewear lenses, optical discs, and protective gear.

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Polyethylene (PE)

Including variants like HDPE and LDPE, this material is straightforward to work with. Benefits:
  • Corrosion Resistance
  • Affordability
Key Applications: Containers, toys, and liners.

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

Crystal clear and strong, PET is especially useful in packaging. Benefits:
  • Clarity
  • Strength
  • Barrier Properties
Key Applications: Bottles, food packaging, and disposable containers.

Polyoxymethylene (POM or Acetal)

This polymer offers rigidity and close tolerances. Benefits:
  • Stiffness
  • Low Friction
Key Applications: Gears, moving parts, and precision components.

Polypropylene (PP)

PP is distinguished by its flexibility and high melting point. Benefits:
  • Flexibility
  • Chemical Resistance
Key Applications: Automotive parts, consumer goods, and packaging.

Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA)

Known commonly as Plexiglas or Lucite, this material can be an alternative to glass. Benefits:
  • Clarity
  • Lightweight
Key Applications: Signs, displays, and light fixtures.

Polystyrene (PS)

This transparent plastic is brittle but known for its clarity. Benefits:
  • Transparency
  • Molding Ease
Key Applications: Cutlery, CD cases, and various molded items.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC is especially versatile. Benefits:
  • Long-lasting
  • Stability
Key Applications: Plumbing pipes, containers, and toys.

Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE)

TPEs are soft and stretchable, offering a mix of plastic and rubber traits. Benefits:
  • Flexibility
  • Soft Touch
Key Applications: Seals, gaskets, and over-molded grips.

Choosing the Right Material

The beauty of injection molding lies in the array of materials available. Depending on your project’s specifications, durability needs, aesthetic requirements, and budget, there’s a perfect plastic out there for production. At MakerVerse, we understand the nuances of each polymer and can offer recommendations tailored to your product. Let’s bring your idea to life with the ideal material.