2 shot molding is a manufacturing process that allows a second injection of material into a molded part during the same cycle as the first injection. This enables businesses to produce parts that have the best features of each material, creating strong and attractive products with multiple layers of materials.
The main benefit of the process is that it eliminates the need for secondary assembly, making it an efficient and cost-effective way to manufacture a variety of components and finished goods. It also reduces the amount of waste produced and can produce more items in a single machine than traditional injection molders. This helps companies keep their production costs down and keeps the end price of a product competitive.
Unlike traditional insert and overmolding techniques, the two-shot process is done in one machining cycle. This is because the initial molded part is rotated during the process so that it can be injected with the second material. This allows for better accuracy and less handling of the product, eliminating human error in the process.
The chemistry of the materials involved will dictate whether they can be successfully bonded together. This is not always the case, as some materials simply do not like to adhere to each other. However, if the proper selection of materials is used, a molecular bond can be formed which will be much stronger than conventional assembly and overmolding methods.
A significant advantage of the process is that it enables designers to create ergonomically designed products. This is because it is compatible with soft materials, allowing for the production of more comfortable and aesthetically appealing products. This can help businesses make products that are more user-friendly, such as handles on appliances or medical devices.
Often, it is possible to incorporate both hard plastic and soft materials in the same product using this technique. This can lead to the creation of unique and innovative designs that can solve problems in specific industries. For example, a handle could be made from a stiff, sturdy nylon while the gripping section could be manufactured from a more supple TPE or TPU. This can be extremely helpful for businesses that require the best mechanical properties from their parts, while still achieving the aesthetics and functionality that consumers want from their product.
It is important to note that while the process can be very beneficial, it can also add to the overall production costs. This is because the two-shot process can require a more complex mold design and two injection units, as opposed to a standard injection mold. This means that a company may need to invest more in machinery and tools when switching to this method of production, which is why it is important to consider the cost-benefit analysis carefully before making any changes to an existing product. This is especially important when producing high-volume parts. However, the initial investment is usually offset by labor and assembly savings on larger production runs.