Mitch Nichols • September 13, 2021
When developing a new product there are many key factors that Design and Engineering needs to consider. What design features will the product require? What wall thicknesses or variations will need to be incorporated? Will there be other components like metal, PCBA’s or hardware that will need to be over molded as part of the assembly? Finally, what is my project timing, annual volumes, tooling budget and does the ROI on the tooling and part cost justify the investment?
When designing large parts OEM’s consider various options including sheet metal fabrication, plastic injection molding or thermoforming but typically do not consider Reaction Injection Molding or RIM. If you have a product that has lower volumes, requires design flexibility, and a more cost effective upfront investment, then RIM might be an option to consider.
Benefits of RIM
- Lower tool costs
- Complete design freedom
- Higher Strength to Weight Ratio
- Improves or eliminates secondary operations
- No sink marks
- Reduced part weight
- Wide range of physical properties
- Excellent thermal stability
- Easier and less expensive design changes
Reaction Injection Molding is similar to injection molding in that it mimics the physical characteristics, but the process is quite different. The RIM process consists of impinging two liquid polymers together at high pressure and then injecting them into a mold to react, polymerize, and cure. It is a low pressure, low temperature thermoset process. With continuing innovations in the field of polyurethanes, finished products can be exhibit a wide range of aesthetics and physical properties. Another key advantage over injection molding is that it allows for more intricate part designs providing ergonomic flexibility.
The advantages that RIM offers can be leveraged in a diverse list of product applications across many market segments and industries including but not limited to:
- Transportation/Commercial Vehicles
- Heavy Equipment/Agriculture
- Healthcare & Medical devices
- Laboratory/Scientific/Diagnostic devices
- Telecommunications & Electronic devices
- ESVE Charging or Petrol Refueling systems
- ATM/Financial/Cash Handling/POS
- Kiosks & Self Service Portals
- Casino & Gaming Devices
- Various other Industrial/Commercial or Aerospace products
AdvancTek offers five (5) different RIM systems including VCR/IVCR, I-Skin/T-Skin, Microcellular Urethane (MCU), Structural Rigid and Solid Elastomeric Urethane. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of RIM and which system is the best option for your product and application.
Interested in learning more about how AdvancTek can help you?
Article written by Mitch Nichols- Director of Business Development.