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household items
intricate details
cost effective method
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The Process Of Plastic Casting In The UK
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The casting process is a method used to produce plastic materials with very intricate details, usually employed by plastic suppliers to produce small toys, model kits and even smaller parts for household items such as tools and plug covers. Some of the time, these casted plastics are supplier to the customer in their unfinished form, such as model kits, for the customer to put together and paint themselves.

The casting process generally begins as with the plastic resin which is then fed into a mould, often made of latex or another strong plastic or metal. In most cases the mould will be made of metal as this retains the heat from the reaction and will also cool slowly. The significance of the casting process is the absence of applied pressure therefore making this a more cost effective method of plastic production. There is also very little temperature required to begin the manufacturing process and plastics do not need to reach their melting point or be completely liquefied; this also provides an advantage, particularly when utilising polymers with very high melting points. There is also very little wastage as the resin can be measured before beginning the process.

Casting is often applied to plastics such as polyester, acrylic, polystyrene and epoxy. The process begins with the resin mixed with a catalyst or setting agent, is poured directly into the mould and left to solidify at room pressure and temperature. The presence of the catalyst causes a reaction between itself and the plastic resin that releases enough heat energy to allow the moulding process to begin, without the need for additional heat. The plastic can solidify in minutes in many of the reactions. Once the plastic has hardened sufficiently, it is broken out of the mould and the finishing touches such as waxing or painting or even cutting to the required size, is performed.

There is only one disadvantage to using the casting method; this is the number of products that can be produced from each cast, particularly when the cast is made from latex or plastic. The reaction is usually so aggressive and the heat produced very strong and therefore will cause the mould to become quickly degraded. This obviously limits the number of products that can be produced from each casting process. Usually each cast will produce between 25-100 products. However, this usually offsets the savings made from not needing to apply temperature and pressure during the process.


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