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Sprues, runners, and gates

Release time:2018-08-20

In injection molding, sprue refers to the passage through which a liquid material (such as polystyrene or polyvinyl chloride) flows into a die, where the material solidifies to form parts. Sprue also refers to the material that solidifies in these passages, forming a framework that attaches the parts in a roughly planar arrangement.

Sprues, runners, and gates[edit]

Some moldmakers distinguish the sprue, the gate, and the runner. The sprue is a large-diameter channel through which plastic flows, usually around the edges of the part or along straight lines. The runner is a smaller channel from the sprue to the individual part. An analogy may be found in a water system that employs a water main (sprue) and smaller pipes (runners) to individual houses. The gate is the location at which the molten plastic enters the mold cavity and is often evidenced by a small nub or projection (the "gate mark") on the molded piece.

Many scale-model kits are made from injection-molded plastic. Hobbyists typically remove the parts of a model kit from the runner using a sharp craft knife or razor saw. The sprues usually form a rectangle with the runners and parts inside which makes them easier to box.

Model makers sometimes use sprues or runners as raw material to fabricate additional parts, such as railings on model ships, antenna wires on airplanes, or greebles on fictional spacecraft.

Sprues in model kits often include engravings to identify the parts by number.