SPE Library

The SPE Library contains thousands of papers, presentations, journal briefs and recorded webinars from the best minds in the Plastics Industry. Spanning almost two decades, this collection of published research and development work in polymer science and plastics technology is a wealth of knowledge and information for anyone involved in plastics.

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Conference Proceedings

The Optimized Design for Gates Location of Injection Molds Based on Filling Simulation and Industry Application
Shen Changyu, Li Qian, Liu Chuntai, Wang Lixia, Dong Binbin, May 2004

In injection molding process, gates design is of great importance to part quality and productivity. For a certain application, gate design includes selection of the gate number, location, type, and dimension, and it is dictated by the part and mold design. Numerical simulation of the molding process is an effective means that can be used to compare different effects of various gate designs. In this paper gate location design is studied, an industrially practical example illustrate how to use numerical simulation to optimize gate location.

Thin Wall Molding: Achieving Longer Flow Lengths and Decreased Internal Stress with Injection-Compression Molding
Dan Barrows, Peter Hoeck, Chris Cooper, May 2004

Different grades of PC and PC/ABS blends were molded at a wall thickness from 1.5mm to 0.5mm. A comparison was made between high-pressure, high-speed injection molding and injection-compression molding to evaluate flow length, fill pressure, and molded-in stress. In addition several factors specific to injection compression molding, such as mold gap and screw position at the start of compression were examined for their effect on flow length. It was seen that through the use of injection-compression molding longer flow lengths can be achieved and parts as thin as 0.5mm are possible.

Control of the Thermo-Mechanical Environment in Injection Molding
C.A. Silva, J.C. Viana, G.R. Dias, A.M. Cunha, May 2004

A special tool was designed to allow the injection molding of flat disc geometry under a wide window of thermo-mechanical conditions. This can be achieved by controlled mechanical actions of one of the cavity molding walls, which is able to rotate and move axially (in steady or oscillating modes) during the filling and holding stages. The movements are assured by two servo-actuated electric motors allowing for an accurate control of a previously defined moving sequence.This injection tool was used to mold polypropylene under different thermo-mechanical set-ups, including a filling stage under cavity wall movements (in rotation, compression or expansion modes).Polarized light transmission microscopy and small angle light scattering (SALS) were used to observe and assess the moldings microstructure, including the quantification of the core spherulite size.The results evidence a very large range of microstructural patterns, whose features can be associated to the specifically imposed thermo-mechanical conditions.Furthermore, the evolutions of the microstructure along the disc radius was also assessed.

Study on Mechanical Properties and Material Distribution of Sandwich Plaques Molded by Co-Injection
D. Ait Messaoud, B. Sanschagrin, A. Derdouri, May 2004

In the sandwich injection molding process (co-injection), two different polymer melts are sequentially injected into a mold forming a skin/core structure. Sandwich molding is a well established method for producing parts with tailored mechanical performance.In this study the mechanical properties of co-injected plaques have been investigated. Virgin and short glass fiber reinforced (10 and 40%) polypropylene were used in six different combinations of sandwiched layers.Flexural tests were carried out on co-injected samples both parallel and perpendicular to flow direction. Optical microscopy was used to determine the core/skin thickness ratio and to calculate the composite flexural modulus, which was compared to the experimentally measured modulus.

Application and Potentials of Injection Transfer Moulding for Processing Thermoplastics
Walter Michaeli, Martin Koch, May 2004

Injection Transfer Moulding (ITM) is a combination of the well known injection moulding and transfer moulding processes. Although the ITM process provides many advantages compared to conventional injection moulding, ITM is up-to-now only used for the processing of crosslinkable plastics. Research work at the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) made the ITM-Process accessible for the processing of thermoplastic materials by use of a newly developed mould.This paper discusses the mould technology, the course of the ITM process as well as the resulting part qualities. Besides, a comparison of the ITM process to conventional moulds with hot runner systems is shown.

Processing Studies in Reactive In-Mold Coating for Thermoplastic Parts
Konstantin S. Zuyev, Jose M. Castro, Elliott J. Straus, May 2004

In-Mold Coating (IMC) has been successfully used for many years with Sheet Molding Compound compression molded body panels for the automotive and heavy truck industries. The next logical step is to extend IMC technology to injection molded thermoplastic parts. The objective of this paper is to research the factors that affect IMC flow, cure, and final part appearance. We discuss the rheology of coating candidates for thermoplastic parts and show how it affects the coating process. We use 2D non-steady heat transfer computer code coupled with chemo-rheological analysis to predict cure time. Finally, we present a case study to demonstrate the effect of part thickness and initial molding conditions on cycle time.

Prediction of Production Yields in Injection Molding I
David Kazmer, Kaushik Manek, Cybele Lotti, Rosario E.S. Bretas, May 2004

Plastics molders need to continuously improve production efficiency to remain competitive. With increasingly tight specifications driven by Six Sigma quality initiatives, however, such efficiency gains are more difficult to maintain. This paper investigates the use of process capability indices for linear and non-linear regression models based on observed shrinkage data for polypropylene molding parts. Statistical validation of the yield estimates is accomplished through Monte-Carlo analysis. The discrepancy among results indicates that current practices in industry are poor, and care should be taken when using yield prediction methods for process optimization or development.

Thin-Wall Injection Molding Using Rapidly Heated Molds
Donggang Yao, Byung Kim, May 2004

While gains are achieved via cost reduction and increased portability, thinner and smaller parts encounter more difficulty in molding because of the frozen layer problem. Due to coupled filling and cooling involved in standard injection molding, the relative contribution of the frozen layer in the total part thickness drastically increases as the part thickness decreases, thus resulting in increased difficulty of flow. Resin providers recommend using high speed and high pressure to alleviate the increased molding difficulty. However, the high-speed and high-pressure strategy appears inadequate when molding ultra thin wall parts and microstructures and cannot be efficiently used for delicate structures due to localized high stresses. A thin-wall molding process, wherein the mold surface is rapidly heated during the filling stage, was investigated in this paper. By rapidly raising the mold temperature to above the polymer melting temperature, thin-wall cavities can be easily filled without frozen layer induced flow resistance. Characteristics of this molding process were studied and compared with those of standard injection molding with the aid of molding simulation. A thin-wall molding process for an electrical connector is used to demonstrate the advantages of the new molding strategy over the high-speed and high-pressure molding strategy.

New Intermeshing Pin Mixer for Injection Molding
Chris Rauwendaal, Rudolf Maurer, Markus Scheuber, May 2004

It is well known that reorientation of interfaces is key to efficient distributive mixing. However, how to achieve reorientation is not well known. This paper describes how interfaces can be reoriented in screw extruders and which method leads to the most effective reorientation. A new mixing device was developed to achieve highly efficient reorientation. This mixer can produce excellent mixing quality over a short axial length, as short as one diameter.This makes it possible to incorporate this new mixer into the non-return valve of an injection molding screw. Results will be presented from injection molding studies that compare the mixing action of the new mixing non-return valve to other mixing devices.

Molding of Microstructures and High Aspect Ratio Features
R. Wimberger-Friedl, W.J.M. Balemans, B. van Iersel, May 2004

The challenge of replication of microstructures by injection molding depends very much on the size and the aspect ratio of the features as well as the size of the area covered with such structures. The filling of the structure has to compete with the filling of the underlying thicker substrate. The degree of filling of structures with high aspect ratios is investigated in a mold with a single continuous thin wall section attached to a flow leader for a large number of thermoplastic polymers. The degree of filling of the thin wall part is found to depend very much on the distance from the gate. Materials with the smallest pressure drop in the flow leader tend to give the best filling. Processing conditions do not have a strong influence except for the injection speed which can change the filling picture even qualitatively. It is found that the degree of achieved filling depends mainly on the local ‘time-to-pressure’, which is inversely related to the slope of the pressure rise curve. Numerical simulation overpredicts the achieved filling of the thin section for all investigated polymers.

Effects of Mold Gating on Shrinkage and Warpage of Injection Molded Parts
Shijun Ni, May 2004

A laser printer frame, which is one of the tightest tolerance injection-molded parts in a printer, was simulated using injection molding simulation software fromMoldflow® Corporation. The part was simulated with different types of gating, including multi-gate cold and hot runner systems. The simulations were used to predict the part deformation using the different gating options. The optimized gating was determined by minimizing the part’s shrinkage and warpage. The optimized gating was used in the production mold for the frame. The predicted part shrinkage and warparge was in good agreement with the actual frame deformation.

Method to Determine Screw Performance and Product Quality during Manufacturing Process
Walter A. Trumbull, Robert David Swain, May 2004

During the extrusion process, whether it is film, sheet or injection molding, the need to obtain consistent quality and output requires an extensive quality control program. Unfortunately, these operations are time consuming and wasteful, often requiring many pounds of extrudate be expended before the desired result is achieved.Also, as extrusion equipment becomes worn, output rates decline and product quality gradually falls, often going unnoticed, until significant problems occur.Thirdly, when a new screw purchase is required, time-consuming laboratory trials are normally set up to evaluate screws from different manufacturers before deciding the best one for that particular operation.To quickly assess changes in operation conditions, whether from day-to-day running, equipment performance or assessing new equipment, a concept has been developed for an extrusion product, which utilizes the principal of mixing two colors to achieve a homogeneous third color. Observing the homogeneity of the third color mix and the flow pattern it generates will indicate the screw performance and the quality of the product. This is a quick, efficient way to test the process without sacrificing product or running time.A series of experiments was performed to evaluate two different screw designs in an injection molding process. In addition, molded parts from the same mold but the different screw designs were evaluated for quality consistency. In a separate trial, the amount of wear on production screws and barrels in a color compounding process were evaluated.This paper is based on these experiments and prospective new products.

Frozen Layer Effect on Measuring the Internal Cavity Pressure during Injection Molding
Jin-woong Shin, Ho-sang Lee, A.I. Isayev, May 2004

Experimental and theoretical studies of internal cavity pressure during injection molding of a spiral tube cavity were carried out. The frozen layer thickness and the evolution of internal cavity pressure were calculated using a commercial software (C-MOLD). The evolution of the internal cavity pressure was recorded during injection molding of polystyrene into a spiral tube mold. To explain the differences observed between the calculated and measured internal cavity pressure, a pressure correction factor (PCF) was introduced based on the plane stress theory. This factor was determined by analyzing the stress state in the melt and calculating the frozen layer thickness near the mold wall. The corrected and experimental pressures have been compared to validate the applicability of the pressure correction factor.

Study of Cavity Pressure and its Prediction during Injection Molding
Guojun Xu, Kurt W. Koelling, May 2004

Cavity pressure is an important injection molding parameter. It is regarded as a good indicator of molded part quality and injection machine control performance. It not only indicates the material condition in the mold but also affects the microstructure and part quality. On the other hand, almost all users prefer better accuracy of CAE simulation. The discrepancy results from neglecting some important factors, such as the pressure-dependent viscosity, variable heat transfer coefficient, and variable material properties. The goal of the study is to understand how pressure-dependent viscosity, heat capacity, heat transfer coefficient, juncture pressure loss and pvT-data affect pressure prediction, and the importance of each parameter. Then the method to improve the prediction accuracy will also be discussed.

Cooling Versus Process Stability: Stable or Not, Here We Ship
Paul Engelmann, Kurt Hayden, Michael Monfore, May 2004

The combination of increased quality standards and just in time (JIT) production has yielded a series of issues for injection molders. While striving to maintain high quality and a JIT posture they are often faced with the potential for scrap molded during start up procedures. An often-unseen contributor to start up scrap is the stabilization period required by the mold. Until the mold has reached temperature equilibrium, consistent production is questionable. Building process tolerance to this instability and accurately predicting the amount of time required for equilibrium are the two logical solutions to solve this problem. This research focused on the use of various injection mold core materials to determine their effect on process equilibrium.

Measuring Clamping Force with Piezoelectric Strain Transducers
J. Wortberg, T. Kamps, May 2004

Strain gauges are one of the best measures of clamping force on the toggle clamp units. By means of FEA-calculations, it will be demonstrated that a problem with this kind of clamping force measurement lies with the superposition of strain and bending in the tie bars. In addition, FEA-results will show that only parts of the toggle are elongated, and therefore measuring at these parts will lead to higher precision. In the following paper, measurements of clamping forces with the new Kistler piezoelectric strain transducers will be presented and compared to measurements of a strain gauge.

A Comparison of Position, Cavity Pressure, and Ultrasound Sensors for Switch/Over Control in Injection Molding
Russell Edwards, Liyong Diao, Charles L. Thomas, May 2004

A mold has been constructed with a continuous wave ultrasound transducer installed, along with post gate and end of fill cavity pressure transducers. Signals from these transducers and the position signal from the injection ram were used in turn to control the switch/over from injection to packing phase on a standard industrial injection molding machine. The accuracy with which this point was identified was measured for each sensor. The results show that cavity pressure and ultrasound are significantly more repeatable as switch/over sensors than the ram position sensor.

Micromoulding: Process Characteristics and Product Properties.
B.R. Whiteside, M.T. Martyn, P.D. Coates, G. Greenway, P. Allen, P. Hornsby, May 2004

This paper describes the techniques employed to measure the dynamics of the micromoulding process and assess the influence of the processing parameters on the properties of the product. A number of sensors were fitted to a commercial micromoulding machine and a custom data acquisition system was assembled to record process data. Nano-indenting and Atomic Force Microscopy techniques were used to assess the mechanical properties and morphology of the micromoulded products. Results indicate that process conditions influence the morphology and mechanical properties of the product. Mould surface features of the order of ?ms were shown to be replicated on the surface of the product.

Flow and Heat Transfer Simulation of Thin-Wall Injection Molding with Microstructures
Liyong Yu, L. James Lee, Kurt W. Koelling, May 2004

Injection molding has been used for mass production of polymer products with microstructures. Conventional 2.5D midplane simulation based on Hele- Shaw approximation was unable to describe the local flow pattern around the microstructures. This simulation tends to over predict the effects of microstructures on global flow pattern. A x-z 2D planar simulation was developed in our lab to achieve better accuracy and to retrieve more detailed flow and heat transfer information around the microstructures. For the unidirectional flow, it is able to obtain a good resolution, similar to that of Moldflow 3D simulation. The mold-melt heat transfer coefficient and injection speed are very important factors to determine the filling depth in microstructures. Since the velocity and stress fields vary significantly in the main flow and microstructure regions, the heat transfer coefficient and wall slip as a function of location need to be considered in the simulation.

Rapid Thermal Response Molding for Cycle Time Reduction
Donggang Yao, Byung Kim, May 2004

The idea of raising the mold temperature to enhance part quality is not new. However, its application is limited because of prolonged cycle time. The rapid thermal response (RTR) molding process can facilitate extremely rapid changes in the mold surface temperature, thus reducing the prolonged cycle time due to heating. While cycle time reduction via RTR molding is apparent for parts that need an elevated mold temperature, such as micro parts, ultra-thin parts and stress-free parts, it is not clear whether the process could also be used to reduce cycle time for standard parts. In this paper a RTR molding process for polycarbonate samples with varied thicknesses was simulated and the cycle times were compared with those in standard molding with the recommended mold temperature from the resin supplier. The simulation result indicated that, by application of RTR molding to standard parts, both quality improvement and cycle time reduction can be achieved especially for thick parts.

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