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Plastics and metals can both be injection moulded and recently wood-based composites have been developed that are suitable for injection moulding and extrusion. It is one of the leading processes for manufacturing plastic products, and is ideal for high volume production of identical parts. There are many variations on conventional plastic injection moulding: gas assisted injection moulding is used to produce hollow or foamed parts; multishot injection moulding is used to produce parts with different colours, shore hardness or transparency, without the need for fabrication post-moulding; and in-mould decoration is used to incorporate graphics and visual effects in finished products and eliminates post-mould finishing processes.
Metal injection moulding combines the processing advantages of injection moulding with the physical characteristics of metals. It is a powder process and a similar technique, known as powder injection moulding, is used to shape ceramic materials and metal composites. At present, this process is typically limited to parts no larger than 100 g and up to 50 mm in length.