Common Plastic Materials and Development Process of Electronic Cigarette Shells
Electronic cigarette shells are typically made of ABS plastic, PC polycarbonate, or PCTG. ABS plastic is resistant to chemicals and heat, has high elasticity and toughness, and is relatively inexpensive to process, making it a good choice for electronic cigarette shells. PC plastic has high transparency, strong impact resistance, and heat resistance, making it suitable for products with transparent or translucent shells. PCTG materials are widely used in multiple parts of electronic cigarettes due to their safety, transparency, toughness, and heat resistance.
The manufacturing process of electronic cigarette plastic shells includes design and development, mold making, injection molding, post-processing, assembly, and packaging. These steps ensure that the product’s appearance and performance meet high standards.
Common Plastic Materials for Electronic Cigarette Shells
- ABS plastic
ABS plastic is a terpolymer of acrylonitrile (A), butadiene (B), and styrene (S). The properties of ABS plastic are a combination of the properties of the three components. A makes it resistant to chemicals and heat, and has a certain surface hardness. B gives it high elasticity and toughness. S gives it the processing characteristics of thermoplastic plastics and improves electrical properties.
ABS plastic is widely used in electronic cigarette shells due to its good mechanical properties, processing properties, and relatively low cost. It has good impact resistance, durability, and high thermal stability.
- PC polycarbonate
PC polycarbonate is a strong thermoplastic resin. It is named for the -O-C(=O)-O- group within it. It can be synthesized from bisphenol A and carbon chloride (COCl2). The most common method currently used is the melt ester exchange method (bisphenol A and bisphenol diphenyl carbonate are synthesized through ester exchange and condensation reactions).
PC plastic has very high transparency and impact resistance, as well as good heat resistance, making it suitable for products that need transparent or translucent shells.
PCTG, also known as PETG, is a copolyester modified with cyclohexanedimethanol. It is obtained by replacing part of the ethylene glycol with other diols (copolymer monomers) in the synthesis of PET.
According to the different proportions of copolymer monomer CHDM, there is further division. Some data show that the copolymer polyester with CHDM content greater than 50% is called PCTG, and the copolymer polyester with CHDM content less than 50% is called PETG.
PCTG materials are widely used in storage tanks, atomizer tanks, bases, mouthpieces, and lids due to their safety, high transparency, good toughness, and heat resistance.
Development Process of Electronic Cigarette Plastic Shells
The development process of electronic cigarette plastic shells mainly includes the following steps:
- Design and development
- 3D modeling: Use CAD software to design the three-dimensional model of the electronic cigarette shell.
- Prototype making: Use 3D printing or CNC machines to make prototypes for testing and verification.
- Mold making
- Mold design: Based on the final product design, conduct detailed design of the mold.
- Mold machining: Use high-precision CNC machining centers, EDM machining, and grinding machines to make molds.
- Injection molding
- Material selection: Select the appropriate plastic material according to product requirements.
- Injection molding: Heat the plastic granules to a molten state, then inject them into the mold cavity, and cool and solidify them under high pressure.
- Demolding: The molded plastic shell is taken out of the mold after cooling to a certain extent.
- Deburring: Remove burrs and flash generated during molding.
- Grinding and polishing: Grind and polish the surface of the shell to achieve the required smoothness.
- Spraying and painting: If a specific color or texture is required, the shell can be sprayed or painted.
- Printing: Add patterns, logos, or text to the shell using silkscreen printing, pad printing, or digital printing.
- Assembly: Assemble the plastic shell with other parts of the electronic cigarette (such as battery, atomizer, circuit board, etc.).
- Quality inspection: Perform functional and quality inspection on the assembled electronic cigarette.
- Final inspection: Perform final quality and functional inspection before packaging.
- Packaging: Package according to product requirements for storage and transportation.
These steps may vary depending on the specific product design and the manufacturing process of the manufacturer. For example, some shells may require additional processing, such as laser engraving, heat transfer, water transfer, or special surface coating. High-quality electronic cigarettes typically require precision molds and fine processing techniques to ensure that the product’s appearance and performance meet high standards.