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Mold Capitolul9

Mold Capitolul9

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Published by: Emilian Popa on Mar 26, 2012
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Emilian Popa

Under-Cut Handling 3- Undercut Handling

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

Undercut has nature in which ejection of a product in the direction of mold open/close cannot be possible. As it affects mold cost and product cost as well, undercut should be avoided at the stage of product evaluation. On the contrary, tendency is toward increased undercut to satisfy needs to reduce number of parts and to simplify joints by utilizing resin elasticity. Undercut mechanism as well as ejection mechanism is one of a few mechanical operations in the injection mold. It is expected to make the mechanism reliable. Here we will discuss various methods in handling undercut, and then typical methods, slide core and inclined core, will be taken for details. 3-1 Classification There should be various ways to classify undercut. Generally accepted way is to classify undercut to two, namely whether the undercut locates outside of the product or inside, in other words whether the undercut is to be handled from outside of the product or from inside.

Through hole on the outside of a product may be classified to either way. It should be appropriate to be classified to outside undercut because a handling from outside must be easier. 1) Outside undercut (Fig. 3-1.1) Outside undercut is easier than inside undercut because enough space may be made available. In the most cases, slide core mechanism, which will be explained later, is used for the outside undercut handling. The weakness must be that parting line of slide core and cavity comes on the outside of a product. This may influence appearance quality of the product. 2) Inside undercut (Fig. 3-1.1) Parting line is hidden in the inside of a product because undercut is located in the inside (core side). But the design is difficult due to limited space. Various undercut handling methods are proposed, in which inclined core (loose core) mechanism is widely accepted. 3-2 Undercut Handling Methods There are many handling methods are proposed depending upon shape and size of undercut. Typical methods are as follows.

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Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

Power source of undercut handling is from mold open/close, ejection, outside force, manual, etc. as showing in (Table 3.2.1).

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Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

3-3 Characteristics and Application of Various Undercut Handling Methods 1) Slide core Slide core is the most widely used undercut handling mechanism. Normally it is applied for outside undercut, but can be used for inside undercut depending upon the product requirement. This mechanism is to release undercut by means of transfer of a core, which forms undercut, in the parallel direction to the parting line. The name comes from sliding transfer of the core. Driving force for the sliding comes from either mold opening force, which is converted to horizontal force through angular pin, and outsourced force such as hydraulic cylinder (Fig. 3-3.1).

Generally, angular pin or angular cam is mostly applied for a mechanism to utilize a mold opening force. In this case slide core is located on the movable side and the slide stroke is relatively small. If the slide stroke is big, mold design will be difficult due to restraints from angular pin, length of the pin, mold thickness, etc.. In addition loss in molding cycle due to big opening stroke will be invited. In this case you should consider application of outsourced device to allow big sliding stroke. You may apply hydraulic cylinder, pneumatic cylinder, actuator to convert motor rotation to linear force through rack and pinion gear, etc.. If a sliding core is installed on the fixed side, outsourced application makes the mechanism simple and gives more flexibility for various product shapes with higher reliability. When mold opens, product will separate from the fixed side mold (cavity) and transfer with the movable side mold (core). Thus it is required to release undercut from the cavity before mold opens. When the driving force is sourced outside, you should design an electrical inter locking device on the injection machine not to start mold opening or ejection process until slide core comes to the designated position.

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Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

2) Inclined core (loose core) Inclined core, which may be called loose core, is typical inside undercut handling mechanism. This may be called ‘inclined ejector pin’ because this has a function of ejector pin as the core to form undercut is installed on the ejector plate with designated angle. The undercut handling is done in such a way that the inclined core transfers to the direction to release undercut incorporating to ejection stroke. Ejector plate installed on the inclined core should slide smoothly on the ejector plate not to cause galling. Traditional inclined core has a structure in which ejection point and guide area are located too far a part. Then the ejection force works as a bending moment on the inclined core. Thus traditional structure was considered as troublesome undercut handling mechanism (Fig. 3-3.2). But in these days, improved design is proposed, in which the bending moment on the inclined core is eliminated by installing a slide guide rod diagonally on the receiving plate and the movable side mounting plate. This improved type is available in the market (Fig. 3- 3.3). If you adopt above reliable mechanism, you can extend the inclined core application to wide range. You will have a benefit to minimize cavity pitch for multi cavity application with outside undercut because it does not require a wide operation space that is needed if slide core method is adopted. 3) Dogleg Cam -4-

Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

Dogleg cam is applied for a mold for multiple cavity in which the space is limited. In this case undercut should be relatively small (Fig. 3-3.4). If undercut area locates in the movable side, you may apply it on the both outside and inside. But in practice inside undercut is more in cases. Core to form undercut is in the shape of a dogleg. Similarly to the inclined core, the core will slide on the ejector plate in the releasing direction from undercut area incorporating the movement of ejection stroke. Accordingly, galling may be incurred if the core does not slide smoothly on the ejector plate similar to the inclined core. Another weakness may be that the core hole edge is subject to abrasion because the dogleg cam hits on the hole edge every time when ejector plate returns to the original position.

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Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

3) Elastic core (collapsible core) The undercut core is made of an elastic steel which is inclined if there is no load. The core, which is reformed by other parts, tries to be back to original position at the ejection process. Undercut is handled by this motion. There are two types. One is cylinder type to take care of inside undercut of round parts. Another is bar type to take care of small undercut. They are available in the market under the name of ‘Collapsible Core’ and ‘Spring Core’ respectively (Fig. 3-3.5). Advantage is that molding cycle can be made fast and reliable as there is no operation mechanism like sliding. But you cannot apply it to a product with a big undercut because undercut is handled only by the inclined core. Collapsible core is often applied to a product, which has female threads inside like a bottle cap. Spring core is used similarly to dogleg cam and inclined core (Fig. 3-3.6). As it is more reliable than dogleg cam or the inclined core, consider the spring core first if situation is allowed.

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Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

3-3-5) Removable core This is used for a small lot production. This is not operated through mold mechanism but to remove the core, placed in undercut area, manually after the product is ejected with the core in it (Fig. 3-3-5.1). Accordingly the core cost can be low, but productivity should be low, too. This kind of core is seldom used in Japan where labor expense is high. It is used only for a prototype mold before production mold is produced. -7-

Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

Removable core is set at the undercut area in the mold like insert. Normally two removable cores are prepared per one undercut so that one can be removed while another is under molding processes. Basically similar consideration to insert molding should be paid for the design of removable core. • To evaluate the method of the core removal at the time of mold design. • To design the removal core that can be easily inserted in the mold with a foolproof shaping. • To design the removable core to be positioned exactly in the mold. It should not be dislocated by the mold clamping motion. • To layout an ejector pin for the removable core. • To use light metal with high thermal conductivity. Aluminum alloy is recommended. 3-3-6) Enforcing This is to take the undercut out just by enforcing the product manually or by ejector depending on the elasticity of the material. The quality of the product will be very much influenced by the shape and the kind of material. Thus a thorough evaluation is essential at the design stage (Fig. 3-3-6.1). Following considerations are needed in the design when enforcing method is chosen. • • • • Undercut should be within a size so that distorted product could be elastically regained to the designed shape. Edge of the undercut area should be designed to have smooth R corners. If undercut is enforced by an ejector pin or a stripper plate, the structure should be made so that the product can be elastically deformed. Material should have enough elasticity to be distorted and to be regained to the designed shape. Gene rally, crystalline non-reinforced resin such as PE, PP, PA, etc. is relatively applicable for the enforcing.

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Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

3-4 Design of Slide Core Mechanism 3-4-1 Driving mechanisms As explained, driving mechanism of slide core has two ways depending upon how to source the driving force. One is to utilize mold open/close force and another is to source the force from outside. Here we will discuss the design criteria of the driving mechanism of an angular pin, which is most commonly applied. • One angular pin per one slide core

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Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

The function of an angular pin is only to activate sliding core. It has neither function for bearing injection pressure, nor for positioning. Thus positioning between angular pin and sliding core is not severe, and in the same principle, high rigidity is not required. Rough positioning between angular pins and sliding core is associated with difficulty to keep relative position accurately in machining. This tells you that if 2 angular pins are installed for a sliding core, one is in contact but another is not. This will give a moment to sliding core, then result in galling on the sliding area. Thus, one angular pin should be prepared for one slide core in the normal practice, but if you need to install 2 angular pins for some reason, you need to machine relative positions accurately (Fig. 3-4-1.1). • To keep angle less than 25°

Angle of an angular pin is better be 10°~25°. In practice, 15° or 20° are often used. If the angle is set beyond 25° in the case of large stroke, initial resistance due to mold separation becomes too big to risk damage of the mold.(Fig. 3-4-1.2). If you need a large stroke, you should consider outsourced actuator or installation of an angular cam, which can change the angle in the ejection process. The angle of a locking block should be 2° plus pin angle in principle. • To assist mold opening by a spring.

It is advised to apply a spring to assist mold opening not only for a mold to have a sliding core on the top but also on any position. In principle the main function of the spring is to push the sliding core against the stopper in order to position the sliding core accurately, and the secondary function is to assist separation of the product from the mold. The spring should not be too strong not to induce unstable movement of the sliding core. There are 2 ways for spring installation. One is to install it between sliding core and main core. Another is to install it on the end of the sliding core by way of a stripper bolt. The formar is popular because of its compact layout. In this case it is advised to prepare a spring cover so that any foreign materials cannot be pinched by the spring (Fig. 3-4-1.2).

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Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

3-4-2 Guide mechanisms Generally 2 guide rails are to guide a side face of the sliding core. These design criteria are explained as follows. 4) To design guide longer than a slide core width

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Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

The longer the guide is, the better the guiding stability will be. It must be ideal to have the length 1.5 times of the slide core width. If it is not possible, maintain the length at least more than the slide core width. If the length is less than the width, you will have a back lashing movement similar to old drawers. Naturally this will cause galling. The tendency toward a galling is evident if you try to handle multiple undercut areas by a wide sliding core (Fig. 3-4-1.2). In this case prepare a narrow guide, which is a guide of parallel key shape, on the bottom face of the sliding core and let the guide rails on the side work in the direction toward brim thickness only. • To apply hardened metal for the guide

In wear consideration, hardened metal or other kind of metal such as brass is used on the sliding surface. This general principle should be applied to guide area of the sliding core. Or one of sliding core and sliding guide should be made of hardened metal. Normally sliding core of small and medium size mold is made of hardened metal, but mold bases are not. They may be of pre-hardened steel as it is. In this case you are advised to attach partially hardened wear plate on the sliding part of the mold base to improve wear resistance. If partial load is not expected, wear plates made of brass or oilless metal canalso be useful (Fig. 3-4.1.2). 3-4-3 Positioning mechanisms Sliding core should be positioned precisely at the time of mold clamping and mold opening as well. Otherwise mold can be damaged. Positioning criteria of the sliding core will be discussed as follows: • To use a stopper block in the mold opening direction

Occasionally a sliding core, installed horizontally from operation side to non-operation side, relies on the positioning of the last stroke by means of ball plunger only without spring and stopper block. Even for only horizontal direction, this type of positioning is very unstable and unreliable. As a spring of the ball plunger is not made strong, there is always a risk of dispositioning through vibration and moment inertia of the sliding core. This risk isparticularly evident when toggle-clamping mechanism with a quick motion is applied to the injection machine. The final positioning of the sliding core stroke in the direction of mold opening should be set by a contact of the sliding core against a stopper block with a help of a spring force (Fig. 3-4-1.1). Thus a ball plunger should be used as a supplemental means for possible damage of the spring. • To select the surface for positioning except touching surface in the mold clamping direction

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Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

Positioning toward mold opening can be done by a stopper block. Do not position the end of mold clamping against touching surface. Particularly if you use a small touching surface as a stopper for positioning, the surface is likely to have marks or to be concaved due to concentrated force on the surface. Positioning toward mold clamping direction should be made against a large surface such as core side, which does not affect product quality. The properly selected area should function as a stopper to withstand touching of the sliding core together with a locking block, and the touching face should be protected (Fig. 3-4-1.1). 3-4-4 Layouts Slide core should be laid out horizontally in the direction of operation side to nonoperation side, and avoid a vertical layout (Fig. 3-4-4.1). If you need to select a vertical layout for a product to require 4 directions sliding or for other reasons, safety consideration for the sliding core not to fall by its weight should be made carefully. A safety consideration may be to install a spring having 1.5~2.0 times strength of the sliding core weight and in addition to install a ball plunger under the sliding core in case of the spring failure. Similar safety consideration had better be paid for any kind of layout of the sliding core.

3-5 Design of An Inclined Core

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Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

It was explained that traditional inclined core has a weakness in mold failure and parting failure because of a bending moment on the inclined core derived from too far a distance between ejection point and guiding area. It should be ideal to develop a new inclined core to eliminate such bending moment, but here we will discuss some idea for modification or design points based on traditional design concept of the inclined core. • To prepare a guide on the support plate or on the core plate

A bending moment on the inclined core can be reduced if the guiding area of the inclined core comes closer to the ejection point.

Specifically, a quenched guiding plate can be installed on the support plate or the lower core plate surface (the other side of PL surface). In this way two areas, core and support plate (or core plate), will take care of guiding. This will contribute to improved operational stability of the inclined core (Fig. 3-5.1). • To minimize friction on the inclined core slide

Inclined core will slide on the ejector plate under an ejecting force applied to the mounting part on the ejector plate. If the sliding is very smooth, the ejection force can be converted effectively to a pushing force along the inclined direction not to a bending moment on the inclined core. You may apply non-lubricant type sliding plate available in the market. But modification by having a quenched plate on the ejector plate and a cam follower or a needle bearing to provide small friction resistance are more likely effective (Fig. 35.1). • To minimize product movement along with inclined core • Undercut handling of the sliding core is to release the undercut part by pushing it parallel to the plate being derived by the ejection force on the inclined core. Accordingly the product should not move angularly with the inclined core. Following points may be useful to cope with this problem. * If possible, to prepare a draft angle on the undercut area to reduce releasing resistance. * To have an ejector pin to cut into the product as much as 0.1~0.3 mm. * To make the height of the inclined core lower than the main core as much as 0.1~0.2mm.

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Emilian Popa

Injection Molding Design Guide Manual 2012

To minimize the angle of the inclined core

In order to minimize a bending moment, minimize the angle. Imagine an ejection stroke without undercut consideration and then set an minimum angle to operate the undercut with the stroke. It is advised to limit the angle to maximum 15°. If it exceeds 15°, you are advised to consider a design with no bending moment. This new type of core is subject to patent issue. Thus you cannot manufacture it in house, but can purchase it in the market

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