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Dr.-Ing. Lothar Kallien. Sigma Engineering GmbH, Aachen.

Optimization of the Injection Moulding Process for Thermoplasts With 3D Simulation

Optimization of the Injection Moulding Process for Thermoplasts With 3D Simulation
Dr.-Ing. Lothar Kallien Sigma Engineering GmbH, Aachen

In any case. thermally induced internal stresses. particularly as a result of contraction constraints due to metallic inserts. cross-linking and internal stress buildup on a monitor. All types of FEM volume networks can similarly be transferred to SIGMASOFT®. The flow algorithm for the filling simulation is based on the Navier-Stokes equations. and can be used for three-dimensional computation of the mould filling. This method of calculation is generally referred to as a 2?-dimensional shell model. 2D and 3D Simulation In developing injection moulded components. since these Figure 4-1: Citroen Berlingo 1 . programs always assume parallel laminar flow. CAD Transference and Cross-Linking in 3D Including Mould and Inserts Presently. 206 and 306 Peugeot models and the Saxo. Sigma Engineering GmbH. the described program operates with volume elements deriving from the technology of injection moulding of plastics. Figure 2. This particularly applies to calculation of components with irregular wall thickness /3. Furthermore. this operation takes only a few seconds to a maximum of 2 – 3 minutes. The mould is three-dimensionally networked and the local temperature distribution calculated in the new 3D program. Aachen. Programs used to date for simulation of injection moulding processes rely on geometric information that approximately describes the upper.5. Simulation of a Thermoset Component A water circulation system produced at LM Plast for a French automobile was simulated in cooperation with the Vyncolit Company. and the extent of component deformation /1. The only approximate description of the component geometry by a middle plane can have a negative effect on the quality of the result.6/.can compute mould filling. In contrast to conventional programs. volume-oriented CAD data exist for the product to be calculated in most cases. The frequently three-dimensional geometries of thermoset components are thus depicted in a physically correct sense.Dr. inhomogeneous temperature zones such as corner effects and their influence on the local cross-linking behavior are taken into account. Optimization of the Injection Moulding Process for Thermoplasts With 3D Simulation Optimization of the Injection Moulding Process for Thermoplasts With 3D Simulation 1. Lothar Kallien. 2. 4. threedimensional flow effects cannot be resolved. the holding and the cooling phase to the point of stripping. Introduction The use of innovative CAE technologies has made it possible to drastically reduce the time required for process and product development. Depending on the complexity of the networking geometry. Separation into a three-dimensional volume network is fully automatic. Thus. simulation programs are used that – based on empirical data and mathematical models . These can be imported into SIGMASOFT® as STL files. After stripping.2/. Figure 2-1: Zones of three-dimensional melt flow in injection moulding /5/ 3. Air inclusions that can result from turbulent mould filling are thus detected at an early stage in mould design and eliminated by optimization. The component is used in PSA-group cars such as the 106.-Ing. The geometry of the moulding can be expanded to include the injection points or the mould geometry using an integrated solid modeler. kinetic effects such as independent stream formation are predicted. Multiple cycles can be simulated to determine the temperature distribution in the mould during production startup up to the quasi-stationary state.e. A new simulation tool for optimization of thermoset components has recently become available.4.1 schematically illustrates zones in a plastic component in which three-dimensional flow effects develop /4/. Xsara and Berlingo Citroen models (Figure 4-1). The buildup of such internal stress can be calculated and the resultant cracking thus predicted. i. the complete mould including all cooling and heating channels is networked. can lead to cracking. lower and middle planes of the actual geometry.

These include the filling time. the temperature of the thermoset material when injected. cross-linking curves at a minimum of three different temperatures must be entered into the program. In order to calculate cross-linking as a function of the time.-Ing. Figure 4-5 illustrates a cross-linking curve for a temperature of 160°C. the mould temperature and information on the thermal conductivity coefficients of the involved groups of materials. After the geometry has been entered. Figure 4-4: SIGMASOFT® volume model Figure 4-2: Comparison of an aluminum (left) and thermoset (right) component The design geometry was retained essentially unchanged in this simulation. Optimization of the Injection Moulding Process for Thermoplasts With 3D Simulation This involved replacement of a die-cast aluminum component by a thermoset part. Figure 4-2 shows a direct comparison of the aluminum component (left) and the new thermoset part (right). and simply imported into the preprocessor (Figure 4-3). The data were adopted from a CAD System. This is accomplished using a CrossArrhenius formula that describes the viscosity as a function of the shear rate. heat capacity as a function of the temperature and the cross-linking enthalpy of the thermoset must be known. Figure 4-4 shows the networking geometry including the sprue. The density. and the plastic part only 344 g. One of the reasons for this substitution was the major weight advantage: the aluminum component weighs 614 g. The actual results and the approximated cross-linking curve are directly compared in the figure. thermal conductivity. Figure 4-3: Transfer of geometry to the simulation Networking in three-dimensional volume elements is fully automatic. the preliminary crosslinking density. the volume flow or filling pressure at the gate. Figure 4-5: Cross-linking curve at a temperature of 160°C The cross-linking reaction during mould filling is also calculated in SIGMASOFT®. the process and material data must be added. The component is fabricated in a single-cavity mould. Aachen. SIGMASOFT® approximates this process fully automatically using the Deng-Isayev model. Lothar Kallien.Dr. Sigma Engineering GmbH. the temperature and the local cross-linking den2 .

the cross-linking reaction. C2: Constants The process parameters for the component were as follows: • Filling time: 5s • Bulk temperature: 110 °C • Preliminary cross-linking density of the compound during filling: 5 % • Mould temperature: 170 °C Figure 4-7: Local shear rate distribution in the gate Mould filling. and the temperature rises further. cooling to ambient temperature and the resultant internal stresses were calculated. Figure 4-9 shows the temperature distribution at the conclusion of mould filling. The following formulas describe this relationship. The coldest melt is located at the gate. Alpha gel is the cross-linking density at which flow is no longer possible. Lothar Kallien. Sigma Engineering GmbH. Aachen. whereas the vectors describe the directions and velocities of the particles. the temperature and the shear rate. The compound enters the heated mould at 110 °C. The local shear rate is highest at the gate (Figure 4-7).-Ing. The colors of these weightless particles in Figure 4-8 show the ingress age of the particles. 3 . The flow phenomena can also be visualized using tracer particles. Optimization of the Injection Moulding Process for Thermoplasts With 3D Simulation sity. If the cross-linking density exceeds a critical value in specific zones.Dr. In this case and Figure 4-6: Temperature distribution at 85 % mould fill If α ≤ α gel then Tb: B: τ *: n: α gel: Reference temperature Arrhenius constant Material constant Cross exponent Cross-linking density [K] [Pas] [Pa] C1. the viscosity rises sharply and flow is no longer possible. Figure 4-6 shows the temperature distribution at 85 % mould fill. For α ≤ α gel the following term describes the viscosity as a function of the cross-linking density.

Sigma Engineering GmbH. The arrow shows the position of the internal pressure sensor in the mould. where the melt can no longer flow.Dr. The pressure required for filling is illustrated in Figure 4-11. A pressure of 230 bars was determined at this point. The mould filling process can also be described by the local filling time (Figure 4-10). Optimization of the Injection Moulding Process for Thermoplasts With 3D Simulation Figure 4-8: Tracer particles visualize the flows Figure 4-10: Local filling times in seconds Figure 4-9: Temperature distribution at 100% mould fill Figure 4-11: Pressure distribution at conclusion of filling. 4 . Aachen. the local cross-linking density has risen to 11 % at the end of the filling operation (Figure 4-12). the compound rapidly heats up and begins to cross-link (arrow). since the zones that are farther away from the gate are more highly cross-linked by the elevated temperature. The effect of mould filling is clearly apparent. Lothar Kallien. Particularly in the vicinity of ribs. The value at the front flange (arrow) could be verified by an internal pressure sensor in the mould. The local cross-linking density has increased to 55 % after 16 seconds (Figure 4-13). Since the compound is injected into the cavity at a preliminary cross-linking density of 5 %.-Ing.

The calculation is based on the following temperature-dependent. Zones with less than 70 % cross-linking can be visualized in an “X-ray” view (Figure 4-15). The stress calculation assumes that the material is completely cross-linked when the mould is opened. Figure 4-14: Local cross-linking density after 40 seconds Figure 4-13: Local cross-linking density after 16 seconds Figure 4-15: “X-ray” view of zones with less than 70 % cross-linking density After 40 seconds. The stress calculation can be carried out for both isotropic materials and anisotropic. heat up and cross-link more rapidly. cooling in air to ambient temperature is calculated. thermomechanical parameters: 5 . Following cross-linking in the mould. Sigma Engineering GmbH. The thermally induced internal stresses outside the mould can be calculated on the basis of a plastic-elastic material model in order to obtain data on deformation. Aachen. fiber-reinforced thermosets. 7 % of the total compound is cross-linked (Figure 4-14). Zones such as ribs.-Ing. which are not exposed to a continuous flow.Dr. Optimization of the Injection Moulding Process for Thermoplasts With 3D Simulation Figure 4-12: Local cross-linking density at conclusion of mould filling. Lothar Kallien.

Figure 4. The vectors indicate the direction of the fibers. Figure 4-18 shows the main stresses along the y-axis. the plastic is a short glass fiber-reinforced material. Figure 4-16: Three-dimensionally calculated fiber orientation in a rib transition area.-Ing.2x show a direct comparison of filling simulations. Figure 4. The elastic modulus in such a case depends very greatly on the fiber orientation.20 shows the three-dimensionally calculated fiber orientation along the xaxis for a test component. or the parameter lengthwise and transverse to the fiber direction • The transverse contraction number In this case. Optimization of the Injection Moulding Process for Thermoplasts With 3D Simulation • The isotropic elastic modulus or the elastic modulus lengthwise and transverse to the fiber direction • The isotropic coefficient of thermal expansion. The fiber orientation can be three-dimensionally calculated using SIGMASOF®. Figure 4-18: Thermally induced main stresses along the y-axis Figure 4-19 shows the shifts along the y-axis. This result can now be exported to a wide variety of finite element networks. Lothar Kallien.21 shows the fiber orientation after being exported to a finite element network for further processing in ABAQUS. both the cross-linking reaction and fiber orientation results can also be exported to finite element networks.16 shows the fiber orientation in a rib foot.Dr. and the colors show the degree of orientation in the pertinent element. Figure 4-19: Shifts along the y-axis Figures 4. The depicted degree of deformation is exaggerated by a factor of 50. Because of the previously mentioned limitation. the results should be considered qualitative. Sigma Engineering GmbH. Aachen. 4 Export of Results to FE Networks Using a new interface. The local shifts can be calculated on the basis of these values. Figure 4-17: Thermally induced internal (von-Mises) stresses 6 . Figure 4. Figure 4-17 shows the local distribution of the von-Mises internal stresses at ambient temperature.

The effect of mould filling on the temperature distribution is also apparent in this component.-Ing. Sigma Engineering GmbH.22 shows a direct comparison of the filling simulation with actual filling studies that were later performed. Figure 4-21: 3D-fiber orientation in a finite element network for further processing in ABAQUS 5. Metallic inserts are embedded in the thermoset of these components. The different coefficients of thermal expansion of the thermoset and the metal can lead to stress cracking that affects the operation of the component. Lothar Kallien. Thermoset Components With Inserts The stress calculations are of particular interest when inserts are to be embedded. Holec Holland NV in Hengelo manufactures thermoset components for high-tension engineering that are exposed to as much as 24 kV in later use. Figure 4. The simulation in the top picture offers an excellent view of the connecting seam in the component. An optimized design for the component and the mould can thus be developed prior to actual component and mould construction. and Figure 5-2 the insert. Optimization of the Injection Moulding Process for Thermoplasts With 3D Simulation Figure 4-20: 3D-fiber orientation in SIGMASOFT® Figure 4-22: Direct comparison of the simulation and the result of an experimental filling test shows very good agreement even in details (arrow). Aachen. At Holec. Figure 5-1 shows the thermoset component. Figure 5-3 shows the temperature distribution at the conclusion of mould filling.Dr. the SIGMASOFT® simulation program is used to predict filling. 7 . cross-linking and stress buildup during cooling.

International Mould Construction Symposium 1999. Lothar Kallien. 8 . Michaeli. P. Wirth. Kunststoffe 87. cross-linking. Figure 5-3: The temperature distribution at the conclusion of mould filling shows the effect of this operation 7. • The fiber orientation can be calculated in three dimensions. Findeisen. A. • Local cross-linking has an effect on mould filling. H. van der Lelij. Figure 5-2: Metal insert Figure 5-1: High-tension component from Holec • The consideration of heating systems is three-dimensional. Dr. • It is possible to take account of the back-pressure of air in the mould.F. • Flow phenomena such as backwater areas in thick-walled zones of mouldings or at points with different wall thickness are described in physically exact terms.J.J. P. the local effect on the mould wall temperature is calculated. Märkische Fachhochschule Iserlohn 4. • The thermally induced buildup of internal stress during cooling can be calculated. Kunststoffe 85. This permits optimization of the component design and mould prior to production. 6. The advantages of this new 3D simulation method using volumetric elements for simulation of thermoset components may be summarized as follows: • Model preparation costs are eliminated since CAD data can be utilized and automatically networked. Altmann and H. • Calculation of the cross-linking reaction takes account of the reaction enthalpy. Summary Mould filling. Kunststoffe 87. H. 44 ff (1995). Bogensberger. Ohlsson. O. Filz. SIGMASOFT® operates on the basis of three-dimensional volume elements. • Kinetic effects such as independent stream formation may be predicted. Thienel. W.-Ing.Dr. First International Thermoset Symposium in Iserlohn. 2. • Thermal effects on the flow and cross-linking processes are accounted for by the three-dimensionally coupled calculation of the moulding. 954 ff (1998). Bonn 5. and T. cooling and internal stress buildup during fabrication of thermoset components by casting or injection moulding can be three-dimensionally calculated using the new simulation tool. 462 ff (1997). B. References 1. Kunststoffe 88. Kunststoffe 87. Reinhold Hagen Stiftung. Gossel. Aachen. inserts and mould. Optimization of the Injection Moulding Process for Thermoplasts With 3D Simulation 6. 3. • The cycle time can be predicted. Sigma Engineering GmbH. and used for stress analysis. 1670 ff (1997). 51 ff (1997).