22nd November 2022
How are phone cases made?
Phone cases are an essential accessory for many people, as they not only protect our expensive smartphones from damage, but also allow us to personalise and accessorise them. But have you ever stopped to think about how phone cases are made? In this article, we will explore the manufacturing process of phone cases, the history and properties of the material used in many phone cases – polycarbonate plastic – and its other applications.
The process of making a phone case begins with the selection of materials. Phone cases can be made from a variety of materials, including silicone, leather, metal, and plastic. Polycarbonate plastic is a popular choice due to its durability and impact resistance. Other plastics, such as polyurethane and acrylic, may also be used.
Once the material has been chosen, the next step is to create a design or mould for the phone case. This can be done using computer-aided design (CAD) software or by hand, depending on the complexity of the design. The design is then used to create a mould, which can be made from metal or another durable material.
The mould is then used to shape the phone case material. For plastic phone cases, this is typically done through a process called injection moulding. In this process, the plastic is melted and injected into the mould under high pressure. The mould is then cooled, causing the plastic to solidify and take the shape of the mould. The finished phone case is then removed from the mould and undergoes any necessary post-processing, such as sanding or painting.
Now let’s take a closer look at polycarbonate plastic, the material used in many phone cases. Polycarbonate plastic was first developed in the 1950s and is a type of strong, stiff plastic known for its durability and impact resistance. It is made from a polymer called bisphenol A (BPA), which is derived from petroleum.
One of the key properties of polycarbonate plastic is its toughness. It is able to withstand high levels of stress and impact, making it a good choice for applications where it will be subjected to rough handling. It is also resistant to UV radiation, making it suitable for outdoor use.
Polycarbonate plastic can be coloured in a number of ways. One common method is to add pigment to the plastic during the manufacturing process. Alternatively, the plastic can be painted or coated with a coloured finish.
In addition to phone cases, polycarbonate plastic has a wide range of other applications. It is used in the production of electronic components, such as computer and smartphone screens, and automotive parts, such as headlights and taillights. It is also used in the construction industry as a replacement for glass, due to its strength and transparency. Other applications for polycarbonate plastic include eyewear, medical devices, and sporting goods.
So just how strong is polycarbonate plastic? It is one of the strongest and most durable plastics available, with a tensile strength (resistance to being pulled apart) that is several times greater than that of acrylic plastic and an impact strength that is around 10 times greater than that of glass. It is also resistant to chemicals and temperature extremes, making it a versatile material with a wide range of uses.
In conclusion, phone cases are made through a process that involves the selection of materials, the creation of a design or mould, and the shaping of the material using techniques such as injection moulding. Polycarbonate plastic is a popular choice for phone cases due to its toughness, impact resistance, and UV resistance. It has a wide range of other applications and is known for its strength and durability.