Applications of Silicone Overmolding
Manufacturers use overmolding and insert molding to produce products for a wide range of industries. Here are some examples of products that are commonly made through one or a combination of these processes:
Look around your home, and you’re likely to spot more than a few plastic objects that are one solid piece made up of multiple colors. You can bet that many of those products were manufactured using overmolding. This popular manufacturing process is used to make everything from bowling pins and children’s game pieces to storage bins and plastic containers.
Toothbrushes, cell phone cases, and thumb drives are commonly produced using overmolding and/or insert molding. Overmolding is used to make a variety of two-tone plastic furniture, such as step stools or patio chairs. Plastic housing for GPS units and navigational devices are often manufactured using overmolding and insert molding, as well.
Electrical sensors, gears, fasteners, and other automotive parts that consist of a combination of metal and plastic or rubber material are commonly manufactured using insert molding. Overmolding is used to create solid two-tone interior components, such as door and dash panels, handles, knobs, and various controls. Certain motors and batteries also go through a process of insert molding.
The medical industry relies heavily on insert molded and overmolded parts because plastics are easier to sterilize than electrical and computer components. Defibrillators, medical cables, and wiring are often encased in plastic using insert molding both to protect the fragile interior components and make the finished device easier to clean for use.
Medical devices, such as pacemakers, designed to be implanted inside the body are commonly manufactured using insert molding. Manufacturing facilities also use insert molding to produce a variety of camera equipment used for internal imaging, such as those employed to conduct endoscopies and colonoscopies.
Electrical wires are made safer and, in certain cases, weatherproof by insert molding a rubber exterior. Manufacturers often coat wiring components in rubber to make products, like cellphone and computer chargers, safer for consumers. Sometimes, multiple wires are encased in one layer of rubber, and other times, wires are separated out and differentiated using contrasting colors, like blue and red.
Overmolding and insert molding are routinely used to make cosmetics packaging more attractive. They enable designers to create custom packaging with unique surface textures and multiple colors. Products such as compacts, makeup brushes, and perfume bottles can all be manufactured using overmolding and/or insert molding.