There are a wide range of specialized features that might be utilized within the creation of plastic products, and hinges are a great example. Allowing parts to be more flexible and potentially move rotationally in new ways, hinges are commonly used across a variety of part types – are they right for your needs?
At EnviroTech Custom Injection Molders, we’re happy to offer a huge range of custom injection molding services ranging from bulk injection molding to slab stock molding, near net shape molding and more. Here’s everything you need to know about plastic hinges for your parts – what they are and how they work, how they’re made, and some of their top advantages and applications.
What Are Plastic Hinges?
Plastic hinges refer to specialized features that are designed and manufactured to allow parts to be more flexible, allowing for rotation and movement. These hinges can range in design from simple rotating parts to complex mechanisms with multiple pivot points.
Hinge designs are meant to withstand repeated bending and flexing, making them ideal for a range of parts and applications. They allow for rotation within a part without inserting another separate material, which is why they are so commonly used in plastic product designs.
How Are Plastic Hinges Made?
Plastic hinges are generally manufactured through injection molding. This process involves injecting molten plastic into a custom-made mold with the desired shape. The plastic cools and hardens, and then the part is ejected from the mold once it’s been set.
The process for making plastic hinges is much the same as with any other injection molded part, but there are some specific considerations to keep in mind. Hinges require a high level of precision and accuracy to ensure they can move and rotate correctly – if they’re not properly designed or manufactured, it could lead to a range of issues such as jamming or wear and tear.
What Are the Benefits of Plastic Hinges?
Plastic hinges provide several distinct advantages when compared to other forms of moving parts, including:
- Durability: Due to their construction, plastic hinges can withstand a lot of wear and tear without losing their shape or structure. This makes them an ideal choice for parts that will be used in high-volume, continuous motion applications.
- Cost-effectiveness: Plastic hinges are generally much more cost effective than metal or other moving parts such as bearings. This makes them a great option for parts that require quick and affordable production.
- Lightweight: In addition to being cost-effective, plastic hinges are also much lighter than their metal counterparts. This makes them for parts that need to be light and easy to move or transport.
- Corrosion resistance: Unlike metal hinges, plastic hinges are resistant to corrosion and other forms of degradation. This makes them ideal for outdoor applications as well as parts that will come into contact with moisture or chemicals.
- Non-conductive: In addition, plastic hinges are non-conductive, making them a great choice for electronic or electrical parts that require insulation.
What Are the Applications of Plastic Hinges?
Plastic hinges can be used in a wide range of products and applications due to their durability, flexibility, cost-effectiveness and other qualities. Some top examples include:
- Containers: Plastic hinges are commonly used in containers and other packaging products, such as lunch boxes or coolers. They provide a secure closure while still allowing access to the contents inside.
- Appliances: Hinges can also be used in appliances such as blenders, mixers and more. This allows for easy access to parts that need to be cleaned or maintained, without compromising the structural integrity of the appliance.
- Device enclosures: Plastic hinges are also used in device enclosures, such as those for cell phones or computers. This allows the user to access the internal components of the device easily and securely.
- Automotive: Finally, plastic hinges can be found in a wide range of automotive parts and accessories. This includes everything from dashboards to doors, hoods and more. This is perhaps the widest range of applications for plastic hinges, due to their strength and flexibility.
No matter what type of product you’re designing, plastic hinges can provide a unique solution that allows for flexibility and movement in your parts.
If you’d like to learn more about how EnviroTech Custom Injection Molders can help, we invite you to reach out and speak with one of our experienced team members. Our experts can provide you with the information and guidance to help you make an informed decision about whether or not plastic hinges are right for your needs. We look forward to hearing from you and helping to bring your ideas to life!