There are a few key elements to be considering when ordering any kind of plastic injection molded part or product, and one that must not be ignored is wall thickness. There are various walls, ribs and gussets that are often part of injection molded parts when they’re finished, and proper thickness for these areas can have an impact on several major areas. 

At EnviroTech Custom Injection Molders, we’re here to offer a huge range of plastic injection molding services, from custom jobs to over-molding, slab stock molding and numerous others. Here are some basics on why wall thickness is important for plastic injection molding, the ins and outs of minimum and maximum wall thicknesses, and some general tips on how to choose the ideal thickness for any part – a process that, naturally, our professionals are always here to assist you with. 

Why Plastic Injection Molding Wall Thickness Matters

Firstly, there are a few specific reasons why wall thickness needs to be considered for any plastic injection mold project:

  • Part quality: First and foremost, wall thickness impacts the overall quality and durability of any molded part. It will dictate how well the part holds up to stress and wear over time, for one, but will also play a role in several other quality areas.
  • Production consistency: Wall thickness can also impact how consistent production is, and whether certain parts will come out as desired or not. Generally speaking, greater thickness consistency means better overall part quality.
  • Raw material reductions: Another area affected by wall thickness is raw material usage. Generally speaking, even minor changes in wall thickness can lead to significant differences in how much plastic must be used for a given job.
  • Production cost: And finally, since thicker walls often mean more plastic used, there’s a cost element here too. In cases where thinner walls can still provide the same quality and functionality as thicker ones, going with the former can save large sums of money.

Minimum and Maximum Wall Thicknesses

When it comes to minimum and maximum wall thicknesses for plastic injection molding projects, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Different materials will have different optimal ranges, and each specific part will also come with its own unique considerations. 

However, there are some general guidelines that can be followed:

  • Minimum thickness: Generally speaking, a minimum wall thickness of 0.040 inches is required for most plastic parts, though some materials may require more. Thinner walls can lead to issues with part quality and durability.
  • Maximum thickness: On the other end of the spectrum, thicker walls can also present problems. They may cause shrinkage or warping during production, and can also lead to increased costs due to raw material usage.

Choosing the Ideal Thickness

So how should you choose the ideal wall thickness for a given plastic injection molding project? Here are some tips:

  • Consider part function: The primary purpose of the part will play a role in determining the ideal wall thickness. Parts that require high strength or durability may need thicker walls, while those with more aesthetic functions may be able to get by with thinner ones.
  • Analyze design: The overall design of the part will also impact wall thickness considerations. Parts with complex geometries or varying wall thicknesses may require more careful planning. For instance, a rib or gusset may need a thicker wall to support it properly.
  • Compare to past projects: In many cases, previous experiences and projects can provide a good baseline for determining optimal wall thickness.
  • Consult with professionals: And finally, when in doubt, always consult with experienced professionals who specialize in plastic injection molding. They will have the knowledge and expertise to help you choose the ideal thickness for your specific project.

This last bullet point is particularly important given how many different resins and plastics are available for injection molding. Each will have its own unique performance characteristics, and walls must be sized accordingly to take full advantage of these benefits. 

For more on choosing the ideal wall thickness for any plastic injection molding project, or to learn about any of our custom injection molding services, speak to the staff at EnviroTech Custom Injection Molders today. Additionally, feel free to continue browsing our site to learn more about our various services and capabilities. We look forward to helping you create the perfect plastic parts for your needs!