Reaction injection molding (RIM) is a popular part molding process used to create large, complex parts in relatively small production volumes. The process involves combining liquid polymers and injecting them into a heated mold where they undergo a chemical reaction to expand and fit the tool before solidifying.
When choosing a part molding process, it is important to be aware of the various benefits of each option so that you can make an informed decision. As such, we’ve compiled a list of some of the key advantages of reaction injection molding to help you deliberate.
Low Tooling Cost
For those seeking to produce larger, more complex parts in lower production volumes, reaction injection molding is one of the best part molding processes for the job. The reason why RIM is so advantageous for such applications is largely due to its low tooling cost. Because RIM doesn’t require extremely high pressures or temperatures throughout its processes, it doesn’t need a highly durable steel tool like most other processes.
Instead, tooling for RIM is created from aluminum which costs substantially less than more durable metals. Due to the lower tooling cost, it is often more economical to use RIM when creating parts that have lower production volumes since the lower individual part production cost of other processes won’t offset that of a highly expensive tool.
Another one of the key advantages of reaction injection molding is the high amount of design freedom that it offers. The design flexibility that RIM offers is virtually unparalleled by any other part molding process. When creating a part through reaction injection molding, designers have the option to:
- Encapsulate materials such as metals or more fragile items such as PCBs and electronics
- Mold in attachments
- Create parts with significant variations in wall thicknesses
- Mold stiffening ribs
Such capabilities not only have the potential to enhance the aesthetic appearance of a part, but can also greatly expand its functionality. As such, RIM is ideal for those seeking to create complex, aesthetically pleasing parts.