The Differences Between Injection Molding And Extruding: Could You Work Either Job?

Plastics and how they are used to form numerous objects comprise a big part of the labor market's needs. If you have experience as an extruder of plastics, and you see a job posting or recruiters for injection molders, you may be wondering if you could apply for this kind of work. There are some definitive differences between injection molding and extruding, however, and you may lose the job opportunity to someone with actual injection molding experience because the employer may feel that you would require too much training. If nothing else, you could still "wow" the interviewer or recruiter with the following information on the differences between injection molding and extruding.

Injection Molding and Injection Molders

Injection molding is the process whereby melted plastic is injected into a mold, pressed tightly, and cooled before the molded pieces are released onto the conveyor for the next steps. Although the machine does most of the work, an injection molder still has to be present to operate the machine and program it to inject, mold, release and even coat the plastic components made in the machine. While this is similar to plastic extruding in that you are forcing melted plastic material through an opening to be made into a specific shape, the similarities in the process end there. This job requires more knowledge about different types of plastic/acrylic, their melting points, their solidification points and the speed at which to inject a specific type of molten plastic to get the desired results.

Plastic Extrusion and Extruders

Plastic extrusion requires that you take a semi-solid chunk of plastic that is usually hot and still malleable and push or press it through a cutter and/or shape molder. (The best way to think of this is to think of a toy you may have had as a kid. The toy required you to put a lump of salt dough into a chamber and then use the press handle to push the dough through the shape extruder that covered the opposite end and opening of the press.) Instead of injecting molten plastic into a confined mold, you are pushing or pressing the semi-solid plastic through a shape cutter. While the word "extruder" more often than not refers to the machine that presses the plastic chunks into cut and shaped pieces, it can still refer to the person that does this job.

If You Still Want the Job and Think You Can Do It

If you still want the job as an injection molder and you think your extrusion skills will transfer nicely, then you should apply through the posting or the recruiter who is looking for more molders. There is a chance that some of your extruder skills and knowledge could transfer over to the molder's job, but there is also a lot more that you will have to learn. It almost requires a degree in plastics and engineering, but whatever knowledge you can pick up before you talk to a recruiter or interviewer will definitely help you "talk shop" properly with them while they consider your application for the job. Contact a business, such as Molding Business Services, for more information.