Category Archives: Plastics Molding

Is Gas Assist Molding with DeKALB Right for You?

When you see a smooth-looking finish on an industrial panel or on the blades of an air turbine, there is a good chance gas assist molding was used to manufacture this product. Many products we use every day require a brighter, smoother finish that will help enhance its performance, and gas assist molding achieves that every time. Through this process, nitrogen gas hollows out thick wall sections in a molded product. Then by combining air pressure with heat, the process creates a strong, robust part with a perfectly smooth finish.

DeKALB Molded Plastics delivers aesthetically pleasing, high-quality products for your industry with the help of gas assist molding. There is no room for error in the work we do, which is why all our products made with gas assist molding are flawless and functional.

What is Gas Assist Molding?

Gas assist molding is a highly technical type of injection molding that reaches beyond traditional design capabilities and processing limitations. This type of injection molding produces large plastic parts with complex designs. DeKALB Molded Plastics manufactures products through gas assist injection molding that makes life a little better and safer.

The high-speed, low-pressure injection method that DeKALB Molded Plastics uses in production is a competitive advantage. We utilize Milacron LPIM-Structural Web and Bauer Gas Assist technologies in our gas assist molding processes.

How Gas Assist Molding Works

Like standard injection molding, the process begins when a molding machine injects a short shot of resin into the mold. Then, just as the name suggests, high-pressure nitrogen gas is injected into the melt stream following the resin injection to assist. The nitrogen displaces the resin in flow or gas channels within thicker sections of the molded product. The end product will be hollow and have thick wall sections without sink marks or the swirl appearance typically characteristic of structural foam.

The flow path of the nitrogen gas depends on the resin flow in the cavity. Resin flow is determined by the volume and viscosity of the resin, not the nitrogen gas injection. Most thermoplastic materials can be used in gas assist molding.

What is Necessary for Success

In gas assist molding, the mold design and construction must be done correctly by experienced engineering and design teams. It is vital to have a shot control on the injection-molding machine that is both repeatable and accurate. Furthermore, the precision of time and pressure is necessary for achieving desired results with this technology. DeKALB Molded Plastics takes away any stress connected to these factors as we have the premier technology, tooling, and expertise to get the job done right.

Benefits of Gas Assist Molding

With less plastic material needed to produce the part, because the hollow areas are created with nitrogen gas rather than resin, gas assist molding can be a greener solution. The process of gas assist often allows for the consolidation of multiple parts into one. The process reduces or eliminates any need for secondary assembly processes. Additionally, with less clamping force required and a reduced amount of components under stress, gas assist molding can produce higher volumes with less frequent mold maintenance or repairs.

Gas assist molding has many other benefits, including:

  • The product will be lightweight while still being strong and firm. The nitrogen gas can form hollowed-out areas within parts (such as steering wheels, handles, etc.).
  • Gas assist injection molding produces more aesthetically pleasing parts. There is a reduced risk of flaws, sink marks, and shrinking with this technology.
  • When compared to standard injection molding, gas assist reduces cooling and overall cycle time.
  • Gas assist injection molding is an easy way to convert existing large metal parts to plastic, providing a better quality alternative.

Is Gas Assist Molding Right for You?

There are numerous benefits to gas assist injection molding as an alternative to various molding disciplines, including injection molding, rotational molding, blow molding, SMC, BMC, and die cast. If the product you need has a complex design, thick geometry, or both, gas assist molding is a great option to consider.

The DeKALB Difference

DeKALB Molded Plastics has earned its best-in-class quality reputation in the structural plastics industry. We are committed to solutions, and we manufacture products that make a difference. DeKALB provides large, high-quality components with value-add options such as painting, fabricating, assembly and more. Our highly skilled team trains to produce quality molded plastics every time.

At DeKALB Molded Plastics, we’re committed to your goals. Ready to start the conversation? Contact us today to learn more.

DeKALB Receives Primex Award for Outstanding Partnership

DeKALB Molded Plastics received the 2017 award for Recognition of Outstanding Partnership with Primex, announced Steve Boyd, Materials Manager at DeKALB.

The award was bestowed upon DeKALB for dedication and reliability when working with Primex. Each year the award is presented to Primex customers that have created successful partnerships by working together and developing effective programs that are a win-win for both the supplier and customer. The recognition from Primex confirms DeKALB’s passion for our people, products, customers, and suppliers. Through relationships like these, DeKALB hopes to cultivate long-term benefits that will influence future projects.

“DeKALB manages our relationships with the highest level of professionalism, respect, and courtesy with both suppliers and customers,” says Boyd. “We also aim to demonstrate the courage to shape a more profitable future for our whole team.”

The entire DeKALB organization is honored to receive recognition from their peers, especially from a partner with such a stout reputation as Primex.

About Primex

Primex Plastics is a subsidiary of ICC Industries Inc., a worldwide leader in trading, distribution, marketing and manufacturing, primarily of chemicals, plastics and related products.

What are some plastic assembly requirements that DeKalb Plastics has performed?

Transcript:

We’ve had everything from whether it’s just bolting another piece on to cutting their part and hot plate welding a cover piece back onto a sheet onto it, to liner assembly. We have particular one that it’s a pickup truck toolbox and parts come out. We have some little pieces that are molded elsewhere, hardware is all right there. It comes out and runs through an assembly, goes into the box with the instructions with the mounting hardware, gets the in customers barcode label on the corner of the box. If you go to the store, nobody else has touched it. The way it went away from our machine is exactly the way the customer gets it. We provide that level of solution if that’s what’s needed.

What is DeKALB's plastics manufacturing size capabilities?

Transcript:

Many people come to DeKALB Molded Plastics because we can make large parts. Large parts, structural foam, gas assist, very, very well. We can make products up to 150 pounds at our facility, but really it’s the type of process that we can do. Because they are so large, we can be cost effective with the rate reduction, and again, providing the characteristics that you need for your large part. We present warp, creep, all the building stresses that come with an injection molded part go away with structural foam.

Metal to Plastic Conversion

DeKALB Molded Plastics is a leader in the plastics industry with a specific focus on providing injection molded solutions for structural plastics. Our team has the advanced capability to offer metal to plastic conversion, which offers several advantages to OEMs looking for reduced costs and efficient manufacturing. This process has proven that large, plastic components can be manufactured to be just as durable and strong as their metal equivalents, which means significant advantages for our customers:

Reduced Costs of Final Products

  • Production of plastic parts is more consistent
  • Product weighs less and reduces shipping and operational costs
  • Less waste and more consistency of final products

Improved Manufacturing Process

  • High tensile strength with proper structural design
  • Reduction in part weight
  • More flexibility for design

Therefore, if you are looking to cut down on weight and cost, while never comprising the integrity of your product, our metal to plastic conversion specialty is worth investigating. We also offer engineering and design assistance, including program management and product development.

While there are many reasons why metal to plastic conversion might be beneficial to you, below are some answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Metal to Plastic Conversion Q & A:

Why is metal to plastic conversion beneficial?

Customers who have problems with their current metal products, such as inconsistent dimensions or increasing costs for metal often look to plastic conversion as an alternative solution.

What challenges does DeKALB face when using this manufacturing process?

The practicality of metal to plastic conversion has to be considered. Our team is great at communicating challenges and offering both material and design suggestions.

What opportunities are created by using this process? How many of DeKALB's customers either require and/or prefer metal to plastic conversion?

Specialty Material Handling market segment would provide the greatest opportunity for conversion of metal to plastic. Those converted products could include pallets, bins, totes, and carts.

What is a product that was made using the metal to plastic conversion process?

A customer was having issues with a heavy metal automotive seat pallet that was damaging production lines within their facility. They needed something durable yet non-abrasive and plastic conversion was a great alternative.

DeKALB Molded Plastics has completed metal to plastic conversion for a wide array of industries. Communicate directly with our engineering team today to discover the possibility of transforming your metal products to plastic.

How can DeKALB Molded Plastics help with the tooling process?

Transcript:

I have a product engineer that is very intimate with the tooling process. He does a very close negotiation with the customer and their design staff. He interfaces very closely with the tool shops. We don’t necessarily select or control the operations at the tool shop, but we are very intimate with making sure that it accomplishes what the customer would like to see. That interface between the customer, the tool shop, and my product engineer is very integral to making sure that that all comes together in a successful job.

Can DeKalb Plastics help with a metal to plastic mold conversion?

Transcript: DeKALB has worked with people doing metal to plastic product conversion before, specifically in the cargo boxes for some of the ATVs, the utility-type ATVs. We’ve worked with three or four different groups and ended up you don’t always win every one, unfortunately, but we do have one that we’re doing right now that’s been going for several years now and a very successful thing. Matter of fact, we’ve had a couple of other people call up about that and ask some questions trying to get some confidential information, which of course, we can’t share. That’s one area that we’ve seen very successful transfer.

How can DeKALB help with my plastic product design?

Transcription: I think DeKALB is very in tune with what the customer likes to see. We have the technical expertise here. We are not necessarily design responsible, but we have the ability to support, determine what structural parameters need to be into the design, so we assist with that. We assist with the tooling design to make sure that it’ll produce the part that they would like to see. We assist with material selections so that it will help the customer achieve the characteristics that they’d like to see, the performance criteria they would like to be able to achieve in their product design.

What Does It Mean to be a Custom Plastics Molder?

We do not design custom plastic molding from scratch.  We are a custom molder.  DeKalb Molded Plastics takes designs that other people have to create the product.  Sometimes that has been a napkin that may even have had a beer or coffee stain on that napkin and start to work with that so we can estimate the job.  We can get other people involved, like actual design firms, and help move this idea to a product in hand.  DeKalb is not set up to be plastic product designers for product molders.

Benefits of Converting Metal, Concrete and Wood to Plastic

The conversion of metal, concrete and wood components to plastic have delivered significant, and in many cases unmatched cost savings.

Most materials have a set of properties and characteristics that are commonly known for their current design and use. The primary consideration for a possible plastic material in any application is the effect of “normal” operating conditions. Characteristics of plastics are offered in a wide range to suit your needs for tensile strength, heat tolerance, and chemical resistance with over 70,000 resins available. Various fillers and additives allow flexibility in most plastic resins to meet specific criteria.

Things to consider in plastic selection:

  • Temperature requirements-what environment will the plastic be exposed to?
  • Can plastics reduce the steps required to make a product?
  • What are the dimensional requirements?
  • Will the part require physical characteristics for heat or electricity conduction?
  • Does the part come in contact or have exposure to chemicals? What kind?
  • Investment in tooling

The primary benefits of plastic are:

  • Weight reduction
  • Strength to weight ratio
  • Lower cost
  • Reduce the number of components in an assembly
  • Incorporate recyclable materials
  • Can be integrated with other materials
  • Reduce manufacturing scrap costs

DeKalb Molded Plastics offers expertise in plastic product design, material selection, molding, finishing and decorating that provides the solution to your product needs.