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Microfluidic Chips: Injection Molding
Injection Molding in microfluidics is the last process of the development and launch of a microfluidic product.
Once the whole process of a microfluidic product workflow is done, and the product has interest for the market, the prototyping system has to be abandoned and the manufacturing process changes.
Due to more need of microfluidic chips manufacturing and once the material of the microfluidic architecture is decided, the technique to obtain fast and cost effective pieces is the INJECTION MOLDING.
Injection molding is basically the process to melt a thermoplastic under certain conditions and then, pushed within the cavities of a mold(injected), where it is cooled to a temperature. Once this temperature is reached, the pieces can be removed without deformation.
Once the mold is designed and done(is the main investment at this moment), the manufacturing process is replicable and the production batches can be enlarged and costs reduced. Time and cost shavings make this technique the best one to manufacture large series of microfluidic cartridges.
The molds can have only one cavity or several cavities(which allows to have more production per injection slot but costs are higher) and the polish process is a key element to obtain higher quality microfluidic cartridges.
Once you have the mold totally refined, the company is prepared for mass production of the microfluidic pieces.