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6 popular Injection Molding Material of Enclosure
2019-01-31

We would like to organize 6 popular injection molding materials, that often used for electronic product enclosure, and plastic cases. The information would be a good reference for product designers or mechanical engineers, when they’re going to develop a new product.

The materials we are going to discuss are:  PP, HIPS, ABS, PC, ABS+PC, and ASA.

 

At the beginning, we would like to list the cost comparison of the 6 materials.

It can help us having a quick guide line when preparing a project schedule at early stage.   

What we would like to mentioned about here is that, HIPS is often use as an alternative of ABS. But for rapid tooling, we prefer using ABS, as their unit prices are pretty close, and there is no much difference at low volume production. While HIPS is not as bright as ABS, and not as tough as ABS.



Besides the cost, what we concern about more at enclosures, would be the strength, cosmetic, applications at different environments, and typical usage. We listed their most famous property here:


1) PP is very famous for its folding property, often using at case with integral hinge;

2) PC is very good at strength and its clear, and also bad flowing ability. A very important component for bullet-proof glass.

3) ABS, is the most widely used one at product enclosure and cases.

4) PC+ABS, a compromising choice between PC and ABS, because of their strength and flowing ability.

5) ASA is very famous for its out-door usage, because of its weather resistance.

6) HIPS, often used as ABS alternative at high volume production, for cost saving.

 


In general, we also put their advantages, disadvantages and general applications in  a same form:


Full Name

Advantages

Disadvantage

Application Examples

PP

Polypropylene

Low cost, good at toughness, very good   for hinge

Not strong as other materials,

high shrinkage.

Trash Bins, Glasses Cases, Covers with   hinge

HIPS

High-Impact

Polystyrene

Alternative of ABS, for cost saving.

No as bright, as tough as ABS.

Trash Bins, cases, covers and etc.

ABS

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene

Very good general mechanical property.   Most widely used.

n/a

Bins, Most Cases, Cover, most frequent   used engineering resin.

PC

Polycarbonate

 

Best strength in 6 materials,

High clear

High cost, bad flowing,

not tough as ABS

Defensing Covers, Clear Windows

PC+ABS

Polycarbonate + Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene  

Strength between ABS and PC.

A choice for higher strength but with   material flow concern.

High cost

Most covers, chassis, cases, a comprising   choice between strength and toughness.

ASA

Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate

Weather resistant; static-free,

High cost, not bright as ABS

Bicycle Light, Mountaineering   products, Forest Monitors.



Lastly a general property comparison in density and shrinkage.

Most of the materials are non-crystalline ones, except PP, which is crystalline material.

The other 5 materials have a very closed material shrinkage, around 1.005, which is good for product development. If multi material trials need, because of cost saving, strength testing, weather-resistant testing and etc., they can share one proto mold, as their dimension will be very closed and should not affect general assembly.

 


Full Name

Density

Shrinkage

Remark

PP

Polypropylene

0.91

1.018

Crystalline resin

HIPS

High Impact Polystyrene

1.1

1.005

Non-crystalline,

closed   shrinkage, good for material trials

ABS

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Plastic

1.07

1.005

PC

Polycarbonate

1.15

1.005

PC+ABS

Polycarbonate + Acrylonitrile Butadiene   Styrene

1.25

1.005

ASA

Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate

1.07

1.005

 

Just be notification that the information here is for the general grades, they would be slight variance in different bands. The materials also can be in special usage after adding specific additives, for example in fire retardant, UV resistance, food grade and etc.

Dank Mold will keep sharing more tooling and injection molding knowledge at our website www.dankemold.com, in a more and more organizing and easy-understanding manner.

Should you developing at a consumer product enclosures/cases, or any material enquiries of injection molding, just email us via info@dankemold.com. We will response in 12 hours.


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