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Injection molding is the most commonly used manufacturing process for the

fabrication of plastic parts. Injection moulding can be performed with a host of materials,
including metals, glasses, elastomers, confections, and most commonly thermoplastic and
thermosetting polymers. A wide variety of products are manufactured using injection molding,
which vary greatly in their size, complexity, and application. The injection molding process
requires the use of an injection molding machine, raw plastic material, and a mold. The plastic
is melted in the injection molding machine and then injected into the mold, where it cools and
solidifies into the final part. There are three parts in the injection molding machine. The parts
are clamping unit and injection unit.

Figure 1.1

The injection molding process are shown below,

1. Granules of plastic powder are poured

or fed into a hopper which stores it
until it is needed.
2. A heater heats up the tube and when it
reaches a high temperature, a screw
thread starts turning.
3. A motor turns a thread which pushes
the granules along the heater section
which melts and turns into a liquid.
The liquid is forced into a mould
where it cools into the shape.
4. The mould then opens and the unit is


The objective of the experiment is for the students to learn processing techniques

associated with injection moulding.



The materials that is used in this experiment are Polypropylene and AcrylonitrileButadiene-Styrene (ABS).
Polypropylene is a type of thermoplastic polymer resin. It is a part of both the average
household and is in commercial and industrial applications. The chemical designation is C 3H6.
One of the benefits of using this type of plastic is that it can be useful in numerous
applications including as a structural plastic or as a fiber-type plastic. There are a lot of
benefits of Polypropylene. Polypropylene has a high melting point compared to similarly
weighted plastics. Next, it is easy to customize. It has the ability to add dye to it. It can be
colored in various ways without degrading the quality of the plastic. This is also one of the
reasons it is commonly used to make up the fibers in carpeting. It also adds strength and
durability. Then, It does not absorb water like other plastics. It does not mold or otherwise
deteriorate in the presence of bacteria, mold or other elements. The newer versions contain an
elastic element to them. This gives them a rubber-like composition and opens the door for
new uses. In addition, it is unlikely to shatter and will take significant damage prior to
breaking, though it is not as sturdy as other plastics such as polyethylene. Lastly, it is
lightweight and very flexible.
ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a thermoplastic resin commonly used for
injection molding applications.
ABS Plastic is a copolymer of Acrylonitrile, Butadiene, and Styrene, and generally
possess medium strength and performance at medium cost. ABS is a common thermoplastic
resin and can often meet the property requirements at a reasonable price, falling between
standard resins (PVC, polyethylene, polystyrene, etc.) and engineering resins (acrylic, nylon,
acetal, etc.). ABS is considered the best of the styrenic family. It is tough, hard and rigid and
has good chemical resistance and dimensional stability.

ABS is derived from acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. Acrylonitrile is a synthetic

monomer produced from propylene and ammonia; butadiene is a petroleum hydrocarbon
obtained from butane; and styrene monomers, derived from coal, are commercially obtained
from benzene and ethylene from coal. The advantage of ABS is that this material combines
the strength and rigidity of the acrylonitrile and styrene polymers with the toughness of the
polybutadiene rubber. The most amazing mechanical properties of ABS are resistance and
toughness. A variety of modifications can be made to improve impact resistance, toughness,
and heat resistance. The impact resistance can be amplified by increasing the proportions of
polybutadiene in relation to styrene and acrylonitrile although this causes changes in other
properties. Impact resistance does not fall off rapidly at lower temperatures. Stability under
load is excellent with limited loads.
Even though ABS plastics are used largely for mechanical purposes, they also have
good electrical properties that are fairly constant over a wide range of frequencies. These
properties are little affected by temperature and atmospheric humidity in the acceptable
operating range of temperatures. The final properties will be influenced to some extent by the
conditions under which the material is processed to the final product; for example, molding at
a high temperature improves the gloss and heat resistance of the product whereas the highest
impact resistance and strength are obtained by molding at low temperature.
ABS is an opaque thermoplastic that possesses a diverse combination of properties.
ABS is characterized by resistance to chemicals, heat and impact. Typical applications for
ABS include appliance housings, luggage, camera bodies, power tool housings, battery cases,
tool boxes, packing crates, radio cases and various furniture components.
ABS is a low cost engineering plastic that is easy to machine and fabricate. ABS is an
ideal material for structural applications when impact resistance, strength, and stiffness are
required. It is widely used for machining pre-production prototypes since it has excellent
dimensional stability and is easy to paint and glue. Natural (beige) ABS and black ABS are
FDA compliant for use in food processing applications.



Table 2.1 : Materials















WARNING : In this laboratory experiment we MUST wear safety glasses and heat-resistant


Making the part

The safety glassses and heat-resistant gloves is wore.
The main parts of the injection molding machine is observed before starting the lab.
The main power is switched on followed by starting the cooling system and hydraulic

4. Turn the temperatures at different zones in the barrel, nozzle and mold as listed below:
The back pressure and screw speed is set as 0.6 MPa and 50 rpm respectively.
*The setting might change depend on material used.
WARNING : We now must use EXTREME caution around the barrel and the nozzle as
they will become hot enough to leave severe burns.
5. Do not proceed until the nozzle and the barrel have reached the set temperatures.


The polymer is feed into the hopper.

The process is started with manual operation mode.
The mold release is applied to both sides of the mold.
The different steps in manual operation is followed to inject the polymer into the

The barrel is filled with the resin
It is melted through the barrel
The mold is closed and the polymer melt is injected into the mold
The mold is opened and the injected sample is ejected out.
10. The injection molding chamber door is closed while the melt is injected into the mold.
The machine has a safety switch that will not allow it to be run unless the door is
11. The machine in semi-automatic and automatic modes is operated by changing the
mode of operation from the main control panel.
12. The polymer weight for injection is changed to see its influence on the quality of the

Purging the Machine

1. The purging polymer pellets is fed into the hopper.
2. The temperature limits is set at different zones on the battle from the main control
3. The temperatures is waited at different zones to stabilize.
4. The nozzle is moved back from the mold by switching to manual mode of operation.
5. The desired amount of the purging polymer will be pushed out of the barrel to clean
the barrel and nozzle.
6. The polymer chips struck to the injection mold and gates is cleared.
7. The barrel temperature is turned to zero.
8. The nozzle temperature is turned to zero.
9. The cooling system and hydraulic systems is turned off.
10. The key is turned to the off position (counter clockwise 90).




Figure 3.1


There are several injection molding defects which occur in the product. The defects

are short molded, flow marks, silver streaking, poor weld line, voids, sink marks and warpage.
The product will be short molded when the mold cavity is not filled completely. This
is due to poor material flowability, poor gas venting and insufficient injection molding
machine performance (shot capacity and plasticizing capacity). Next, the flow marks is the
ring shaped miniature bands appear on the molded product surface around gates or narrow
sections. This is because of the molten polymer cools rapidly within the mold and becomes
highly viscous. Once that molten polymer starts to coagulate, it gets pushed by the molten
polymer injected afterward and forms miniature bands. Then, silver streaking is streaks of a
silvery white color appear in the material flow direction. The causes of silver streaking are the
material is absorbing water, the material is contaminated with another type of material,
aeration is occuring during the molding and too much additive is present.
Poor weld line is the material splits off and flows in two or more directions. When the
divergent flow fronts converge again, hair-like lines appear where they meet. This is due to
polymer temperature is too low, the polymer is not fully melted and the difficulties in venting
gas and air. There is also voids which are holes inside the molded products. This will
happened when there is change in density as the material changes from a molten to a
coagulated state. The surface of the molded product loses heat rapidly through the mold wall
and the polymer hardens. As a result, the polymer is pulled outward, causing all shrinkage to

concentrate in the thickest parts of the product leaving holes within the product. In molded
products with a thickness greater than 6 mm, voids are very difficult to avoid. Air gets trapped
within the molten polymer, leaving bubbles within the product is also the cause of voids.
Sink marks is the surface of the molded product collapses somewhat-something that is
particularly common in thicker products. The causes of sink marks is same as the causes of
voids, but sink marks arise when the surface cools too slowly. The warpage defect is the
molded product warps immediately following or at some time following molding where the
mold cavity should be straight. This is due to residual stress from the molding process is
released, causing deformation.
There are four parameters that must be established and controlled in order to achieve
proper injection molding of a plastic part which are pressure, temperature, distance and time.
the pressure and temperature areas are the ones most commonly considered during the
troubleshooting process. Based on the requirements of any particular plastic material, the
pressure must be sufficient to inject the plastic material and to hold the mold closed. In
addition, the temperature of the injected plastic and mold must be correctly maintained. There
are four types of pressure which are backpressure, injection pressure, holding pressure and
clamp pressure.
The backpressure is pressure that is created during the return action of the screw after
injecting material. This pressure is used for better mixing of the plastic (especially if colors
are added at the press), removing small amounts of trapped air, and controlling the weight of
the shot by maintaining an accurate density of a given volume of melt. The next type of
pressure to consider is injection pressure. This is the primary pressure for injecting 95% of the
molten plastic into the closed mold. Next is the holding pressure. Once the majority of the
plastic (95%) has been injected using standard injection pressure, the machine should drop
into hold pressure. This pressure is about half of the injection pressure and is used to finish
filling the mold by packing the molecules together in an orderly fashion. Hold pressure is
required until the gate freezes off, normally in 3 to 4 seconds. At the other end of the machine,
we have clamp pressure. The only reason to have clamp pressure is to keep the mold closed
against injection pressure. Therefore, the amount of clamp pressure required is based on the
material being molded. The easier flow materials require less injection pressure, thus they
require less clamp pressure. Conversely, the stiffer flow materials will require more injection
pressure, thus more clamp pressure.

Heat is used to soften the plastic to the point of being able to inject it, but heat is also
found in the mold and in the heat exchanger of the machine. There are four zones of heat that
must be controlled in the injection unit. They are the rear, center, front, and nozzle zones.
Each is controlled independently of the others (refer Figure 3.2).

Figure 3.2 : Injection Unit Heat Zones




As conclusion, the students are able to understand the process of injection molding.

The students also are able to know the function of different parts in injection molding


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startups. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2016, from