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The quality of an injection molded part is affected by many factors. These
include geometric parameters associated with the mold design and the cooling
system design as well as process parameters such as the molding conditions
during the filling phase. In the companion paper, the problem of automatic
optimization of gate location was addressed. In this paper, a methodology for
molding condition optimization is presented. The optimization problem can be
broken into three parts. An approximate feasible molding space (AFMS) is first
determined to constrain the search space for the optimization algorithm. Quality
is quantified as a function of flow simulation outputs and constitutes the objective
function that must be minimized. The resulting optimization is solved by iterative
search in the constrained space based on numerical optimization algorithms. The
proposed methodology is not dependent on any particular simulation package and
may be applied for any thermoplastic material and any complex mold geometry.

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IOANNIS PANDELIDIS and 9 I N ZOU

D e p a r t m e n t of Mechanical Engineering

University of Maryland

College P a r k , M a r y l a n d 20742

The quality of a n injection molded part is affected by many factors. These

include geometric parameters associated with the mold design and the cooling

system design as well a s process parameters such as the molding conditions

during the filling phase. In the companion paper, the problem of automatic

optimization of gate location was addressed. In this paper, a methodology for

molding condition optimization is presented. The optimization problem can be

broken into three parts. A n approximate feasible molding space (AFMS) is first

determined to constrain the search space for the optimization algorithm. Quality

is quantified a s a function of flow simulation outputs and constitutes the objective

function that must be minimized. The resulting optimization is solved by iterative

search in the constrained space based on numerical optimization algorithms. The

proposed methodology is not dependent on any particular simulation package and

may be applied for any thermoplastic material and any complex mold geometry.

INTRODUCTION

by many factors. These include geometric parameters associated with the mold design and the cooling

system design a s well a s process parameters such as

the molding conditions during the filling phase. In

the companion paper ( 1 ) . the problem of automatic

optimization of gate location was addressed. In this

paper, a methodology for molding conditions optimization is presented.

The optimization problem can be broken into three

parts. An approximate feasible molding space

(AFMS) is first determined to constrain the search

space for the optimization algorithm. Quality is quantified a s a function of flow simulation outputs and

constitutes the objective function that must be minimized. Quality measures were discussed in the companion paper (1).The resulting optimization is solved

by an iterative search in the constrained space based

on numerical optimization algorithms.

The selection of appropriate molding conditions in

the injection-molding process is a nontrivial task. A

quick examination of the general effect of each variable will illustrate the point. A n increase in melt

temperature causes a decrease in melt viscosity,

which results in reduced pressure requirements and

reduced stresses. On the other hand, high melt temperature may increase the possibility of material

burning and will also increase cooling time. Increasing the mold temperature reduces heat losses, and

the filling phase may be reduced. However, a high

mold temperature increases cooling time. Short fill

times require higher pressure because of the higher

required flow rate, resulting in higher shear rate and

shear stress. However, the temperature difference a t

the end of fill time decreases because the material at

the end of the flow will have a shorter time differential in cooling times a s compared with the gate. Then,

if the fill times are too long, pressure will increase

because the plastic temperature decreases and the

viscosity increases accordingly. It is clear that some

optimization to balance the conflicting processing

parameters is required, and in general, both quality

and cost considerations must be taken into account.

It is very difficult, however, for a molding engineer

to obtain optimum molding conditions in a complex

part strictly by trial and error, since the interrelationship of the parameters is very complex.

The proposed optimization methodology alleviates

the need for manual trial and error. In Determination

of Approximate Feasible Molding Space (AFMSI,

a n automatic determination of the feasibility

constraints and the initial molding conditions is

presented. Optimization of Molding Conditions

presents the mathematical formulation of the

problem as a constrained optimization and gives

the algorithms for the search procedure. Applications are given for a complex industrial mold

in the section titled Application, which is followed

by a summary.

883

MOLDING SPACE (AFMS)

Lj = N j * D

space (AFMS)will be based on a geometric approximation of the original part by a center-gated model.

The approximation is done so that the radius of the

center-gated model equals the maximum flow length

of the part. We developed a "pseudoflow" algorithm

to estimate the maximum flow path given the geometric description of the part in terms of a finite

element mesh. This algorithm can be described as

(2)

D is the average nodal distance.

For the multigated part, each flow may fill different

volumes because of the different gate size. The flow

proportion f r for each flow can be defined as the

percentage of total flow from the sprue. Therefore,

the time interval ATr for flow front i should satisfy

the following equation:

AT,

Pseudoflow Algorithm

are found and assigned a n approximate fill time.

These nodes are then considered as the first

pseudoflow front. Next, all the adjacent nodes of

this flow front are found and assigned another

approximate fill time. This is the second pseudoflow front. Pseudoflow is shown in Fig. 1. The

process continues until all nodes are filled. Notice

that no matrix solutions are required, so the algorithm is much faster t h a n a true finite element

derived flow front.

- AT,

and flow j respectively, and a n d f , are the flow

proportions for flow i and flowj.

To determine the AFMS, the recommended mold

temperature and melt temperature ranges are obtained directly from the material data base for the

specific material. According to the stress, pressure,

and temperature relations, eight boundary molding

conditions can be defined by scanning the fill time.

These eight boundary points determine eight halfspaces the intersections of which define the AFMS

for the part.

The flow rate Q for a center-gated disk mold with

constant flow rate can be defined as a function of

the molded part thickness, the flow length, the fill

time, and diameter of the runner (2).

fi

distance between two fronts can be estimated as the

average distance between the nodes, D , which can

be calculated as follows:

Q = 8.rrH/(t(R2- DF))

the injection node and X u , Y o ,and Z, are the coordinates of the node.

(4)

runner diameter = D,.

The corresponding fill pressure equation is given

as (31

+ 2Qt/(rHDF))

Po = (3Qp/8aH3)ln(l

(5)

adequately characterized by a first order model:

= AYBeCT

(61

where p is the viscosity and A, B, and C are experimentally determined constants. is the shear rate

and T is the melt temperature, which can be defined

as

T = T,,,

- klek2'

+ Tfrrc

(7)

and T,r,, is a factor for heat generated by friction.

T,,(, is the initial melt temperature (2). The stress

can be calculated by the following equation:

can be calculated by ( 4 )

a84

for approximate estimation of the boundaries of the

feasible molding space. The final optimum molding

conditions will be based on a full finite difference

model.

According to the above equations, MF (an option of

Moldflow simulation) is called iteratively for the different combinations of melt a n d mold temperatures.

For each combination, the program scans the fill time

to determine its minimum and maximum boundaries.

To use the AFMS program, a material data file must

also be created for the process. This contains material data such as the material code a n d the corresponding mold and melt temperature ranges, the

maximum melt temperature (plastic burn temperature), and maximum allowable shear stress.

Eight boundary molding conditions can be determined by applying constraints of maximum shear

stress, maximum pressure, and temperature distribution. These boundary molding conditions define

the AFMS.

The following is a n example of the program. The

material used in this sample is Nylon 6. The recommended mold and melt temperature ranges are 60 to

90C and 240 to 280C respectively. The maximum

allowable shear stress is 500,000 Pa, a n d the maximum melt temperature is 320C. The maximum flow

length of the part is 200.00 mm, and the average

thickness of the part is 6 mm.

First, the mold temperature was chosen to be 60

and 240C for the melt. Both a r e minimum temperatures. The results are shown in Table I.

As can be seen from the Table 1 , at short fill time,

the pressure is very high because of the high flow

rate required. A s the filling slows down, the pressure

drops. However, if the fill time is too long, the plastic

will get too cold at the end of flow and viscosity will

increase, which will cause the pressure to rise again.

I t is typically suggested not to mold the part slower

than this fill time (2).The limitation of the maximum

pressure is dependent on the injection machine. A

maximum pressure on a n injection machine is approximately about 138 MPa (20,000 psi). Therefore,

100 MPa is usually used as design limit.

Next note the temperature at the end of flow. If this

temperature becomes too cold, there will be problems

at the end of flow such as bad finish, weld lines, etc.

Since the freeze temperature for Nylon 6 is 230C.

temperatures below 235C a r e considered unacceptable. On the other hand, to achieve a reasonably

uniform temperature distribution throughout the

cavity, the final temperature should not be more than

5 K higher t h a n the temperature entering the cavity,

and not less t h a n 20K below the temperature entering the cavity.

A last consideration is the maximum shear stress

level, which may not exceed the maximum allowable

stress for that particular material. Two boundary

molding conditions are shown here:

mold temp. = 60"C, melt temp. = 240C.

1.5 s 5 fill time 5 2.5 s.

The results for the other combinations of minimum

and maximum mold temperature with minimum and

maximum melt temperature are shown in Tables 2,

3, and 4. By the end of the process, eight boundary

molding conditions can be obtained as shown in

Table 5.

Table 2. Mold Temperature = 90C and Melt Temperature =

240OC for Nylon 6.

Fill Time

(s)

Pressure

(MPa)

Shear Stress

(MW

Temperature

("C)

0.20

0.30

0.50

0.70

1.oo

'1 5 0

'2.00

'2.50

3.00

38.60

32.50

26.20

22.70

19.60

16.80

15.30

14.50

14.70

1.239

1.019

0.798

0.679

0.574

0.474

0.415

0.374

0.344

256.0

253.0

249.0

247.0

244.0

241.O

238.0

236.0

234.0

Pressure

(MPa)

Shear Stress

(MPa)

Temperature

("C)

0.70

1.oo

*1.50

'2.00

*2.50

'3.00

21.70

18.70

15.90

14.20

13.30

12.70

0.642

0.542

0.448

0.391

0.353

0.325

247

244

241

239

237

235

280C for Nylon 6.

Fill Time

(s)

Pressure

(MPa)

Shear Stress

(MW

Temperature

("C)

0.30

*0.50

"0.70

*1.oo

'1.50

"2.00

*2.50

*3.00

5.00

18.20

14.40

12.30

10.50

8.80

7.80

7.10

6.60

5.40

0.509

0.399

0.340

0.287

0.237

0.207

0.187

0.172

0.136

286

284

282

279

276

273

270

268

258

280OC for Nylon 6.

240OC for Nylon 6.

Fill Time

(9

Fill Time

(9

Pressure

(MPa)

Shear Stress

(MW

Temperature

("C)

0.30

*0.50

*0.70

'1 .oo

'1.50

'2.00

'2.50

*3.00

'5.00

7.00

17.90

14.20

12.20

10.30

8.60

7.60

6.90

6.40

5.30

4.70

0.502

0.393

0.335

0.283

0.234

0.204

0.184

0.169

0.134

0.115

286

284

282

280

277

274

272

270

261

253

885

the eight boundary points. It can be calculated by

following:

Mold Temp. ("C)

6O.(rnin)

6O.(rnin)

90.(rnax)

90 .(rnax)

6O.(rnin)

60.(rnin)

90.(rnax)

90.(rnax)

240.(rnin)

240.(rnin)

240.(rnin)

240.(rnin)

280.(rnax)

280.(rnax)

280.(rnax)

280.(rnax)

1.5O(rnin)

2.50(rnax)

1.50(min)

3.00(rnax)

0.50(rnin)

3.00(rnax)

0.50(rnin)

5 .OO(rnax)

va

eight half-spaces, which determine a feasible molding space. The four upper points of the boundary

define two planes, and the four lower points of the

boundary also define two planes, which specify the

half-spaces at the top a n d the bottom respectively.

Eight inequalities in total define the AFMS:

Tmold miri 5 Tmold 9 Tmold max

(10)

Trnelt n u n 5 TmeIt

(11)

Tmelt mnx

+ CITmold + ~2Tmelt+ c3 5 0

t m a x + C4Tmold + CSTmelt + CgTmelt 5 0

tmm + dlTmoid + dPTmplt + d3 5 0

t m , n + d4Trriold + dsTmelt + d g 5 0

tnmx

1;;;

s'rm"I"

rnax

Tmola.mm

on AFMS

(12)

(13)

114)

(15)

where T m o l d mand

l n Tmoldrnax

are the minimum and

maximum mold temperatures respectively, Tmelr

m,n

and TmeltmaX

are the minimum and maximum melt

temperatures respectively, and c,, d , are coefficients

determined by the eight boundary points,

The selection of appropriate initial molding conditions for the optimization program is important, since

a poor selection could lead to a local rather t h a n a

global optimum solution. I t is preferable that these

parameters are given by a molding expert. When this

information is not provided, default values for the

initial molding conditions are chosen automatically

as the center of the approximate feasible molding

space.

sTrneu r

dTmeltdTmolddt.

(16)

Trne~tmm

other materials. A s a n example, poly(ethy1ene terephthalate) may be considered as alternative material to

Nylon 6 with calculated eight boundary points as

shown in Table 6. The cross sections of the AFMS at

low, medium, and high mold temperatures are shown

in Fig. 2.

Notice that at high melt temperature we typically

have a longer fill time range. This is true because the

lower viscosity of the material at that temperature

allows for a shorter fill time. By the same account,

the plastic takes a longer time to cool and, therefore,

i t i s possible to have longer fill times. It should be

remembered that this is only a first pass analysis

and other considerations may limit the indicated

AFMS.

The volume of the AFMS for polyethylene terephthalate was about 7100 and the volume of the AFMS

for Nylon 6 was about 5400. Therefore, in this example, polyethylene terephthalate was recommended. Notice the indicated results a r e true only for

that particular chosen geometry and are not a n indication of superiority of one material versus another

in general (6).

The quality measures and objective function to be

minimized are the same as we discussed in "Part I:

Gate Location Optimization" (1). To make the design

acceptable, some feasibility constraints must be satisfied. Therefore, the optimization of molding conditions can be described as a three-dimensional constrained optimization problem, which can be defined

as

minimize:

F ( X ) = aTd

+ PNmp +

(17)

subject to:

During the selection process for a n appropriate

material for a part, the designer first considers the

chemical, physical, and mechanical properties of the

material in order to satisfy the design requirements.

However, it is often the case that several different

materials will meet the design requirements. In this

case, the volume of the AFMS can be used as one of

the considerations of material selection.

A small AFMS implies that there may be difficulties

with controlling the process on line, because of restricted latitude in the choice of molding conditions.

Therefore, if all other considerations are equal, the

material that allows for a large AFMS is preferable

to a n alternative material.

The volume of the AFMS can be calculated from

886

Terephthalate).

Mold Temp. ("C)

dO.(rnin)

80.(rnin)

11O.(rnax)

11O.(rnax)

80.(min)

80.(rnin)

1 1O.(rnax)

11O.(rnax)

270.(rnin)

270.(min)

270.(rnin)

270.(rnin)

320 .(rnax)

320.(rnax)

320.(rnax)

320.(rnax)

~~

1.OO(rnin)

3.00(rnax)

1 .OO(rnin)

5.00(rnax)

O.PO(rnin)

5 .OO(rnax)

0.20(rnin)

5.00(rnax)

NYLON 6

'

E

L

T

300

300

280+

240..

220..

(C)

i

E

L

308..

T

E

28B,,

280,.

T 240-.

E

220..

P

(C)

T 240..

E

320..

-I

T 280+

T 280

E

260

P

(C

T 3@0

260-.

'I

320

T 380.,

220..

(C 1

(C)

280..

L

T 268..

2'60..

320..

300

T 260,.

260-,

E

P

P

(C

4-

:-+

'

the end of the filling stage, Noup is the percent of

overpacked elements, and Nfh is the percent of frictional overheated elements. The coefficients a , beta,

and y are the weighting functions for Td,Noup,and

N,, respectively. These quality measures are calculated from the flow simulation temperature, time,

and pressure distributions at the end of filling, and

have been discussed in detail in the companion paper

on gate location optimization (1).X = [X,,X,, &]'are

design variables. In molding condition optimization,

the design variables are molding conditions: mold

temperature, melt temperature, and fill time respectively. g , , g2 and g3 are called inequality constraints.

P,,

is the maximum required, and PMc i s the maximum pressure the machine can apply. T,,

is the

maximum shear stress in the part, and 7 M A is the

maximum allowable shear stress of the specific material. Td is the maximum temperature difference

found in the part, and TZ is the maximum allowable

temperature difference.

Equations 15, 16, and 17 define the constraints

for the maximum injection pressure, maximum allowable shear stress, and temperature difference respectively. Equation 18 is called side constraints.

Xt(i = 1 , 2, 3 ) are the lowest allowable mold temperature, melt temperature, a n d fill time, and X p ( i = 1 ,

2, 3 ) are the highest allowable mold temperature,

melt temperature, and fill time respectively.

The augmented Lagrange multiplier (ALM) method

is used to modify the constrained problem into a n

unconstrained problem first (see Appendix A). Next

the pseudo objective function %(X)created by ALM is

minimized based on the sequential unconstrained

minimization technique (SUMT). This method will be

presented next.

Technique

In minimizing a n unconstrained F ( X ) , the sufficient conditions for F ( X * ) to be a local minimum are

that

VF(X*) = 0

(22)

887

where

defined as

S" = -V@(X")

+ PnS"-l

(26)

V@(X").V*(X")

Pn

I 8x3 J

and that the Hessian matrix, H ( X ) at X" is positive

definite. X" is a global optimum design, if and only if

F@*) = 0 and H ( X ) is positive definite for all X. In

other words, X* ensures the design to be a global

optimum only when the F ( X )is convex. In most cases

in molding condition optimization, F ( X )is not convex

and, therefore, the identified minimum is not guaranteed to be the global optimum.

A s discussed before, to solve unconstrained optimization problems requires finding a vector X" such

that the gradient of the objective function F(X*) becomes zero. However, it is almost impossible to infer

X* directly by solving the equation VF(X) = 0 since

VF(X) may be a highly nonlinear function. In the case

of molding condition optimization, the objective function F ( X ) is a function of a flow simulation outputs,

so we do not even have an explicit form for F ( X ) .

Therefore, instead of solving VF(X) directly, F ( X ) is

minimized by an iteration procedure. Beginning with

an initial design vector Xo, a new design vector X' is

chosen in some way, which will give a lower value of

(X').The search iterations for this type of unconstrained problem can be defined as follows:

X""

= 2("

+ (YS"

(24)

where n is the iteration number, S is a vector representing the search direction in the design space, and

(Y is a scalar number that represents the distance to

move in the S direction.

It can be seen that this optimization algorithm can

be divided into two basic parts. One is finding a

search direction, S , among which the objective function will be minimized. Another is finding the scalar

number 01" that defines a proper distance of moving

in direction S.

= V@(X"-') -V@(X"-l).

define V@(X)as

V@(X)=

Iax3 J

where

ax3

(33)

search direction for F ( X ) (7-9). In this paper, a conjugate direction method is employed to perform the

search. This method, also called Fletcher-Reeves

method, is a first-order method that uses the gradient

information of the objective function to determine a

search direction S (10).Relatively fast convergence

can then be achieved, which is important because of

the time-consuming functional evaluations involved

with using flow simulation software. The initial

search direction So uses the steepest descent direction, which is defined a s

(25)

888

(31)

and X1 is the mold temperature, X, is the melt temperature, and Xs is the fill time.

Theoretically, AX should be very small. However,

the flow simulation package is not sensitive to small

changes in mold temperature and melt temperature.

AX, and AXz are chosen to equal ZK, and AX3 is equal

to 0.015 (s)after running several cases to test the

sensitivity of mold temperature, melt temperature,

and fill time. Because the flow simulation package is

much more sensitive to fill time than to mold temperature and melt temperature, it is necessary to

make a small modification in the search direction.

The search direction is defined as

Direction Method

s o = -O*(XO).

AX3

V@'(x)is defined as

constants about their respective sensitivities. To

keep the search direction in a descent direction, we

have to restart the process periodically during the

optimization because of the nonquadratic nature of

the objective function or numerical imprecision. The

three unknowns:

S".V@'(X") 2 0.

a.

(35)

+ al + a2 = $*(1)

+ 4al + 16a2 = @*(4).

a.

If S".V@'(Xn)

2 0, it implies that the search direction

S" can not improve the objective function any more.

Therefore, it should be set equal to -V+(X") again.

The conjugate direction method algorithm can be

defined a s follows:

a.

F(X + as).

Polynomial Approximationfor Finding Optimum

Distance (I* in Direction S"

function @(X)is reduced to a one-dimensional problem for finding the optimum a in the given search

direction S", which has the form

The optimum a

a* satisfies

(37)

Many methods are available for solving this type of

problem such as the golden section method, polynomial approximation method, and Newton's method.

For our problem, the polynomial approximation

method is the most effective technique for finding

the optimum a. The basic idea of polynomial approximation is to calculate the function F(X) at several

different points and then fit a polynomial F ( X ) to

these known points. The minimum of the polynomial

F(X)is considered a good approximated minimum of

the true function F(X).

Because each objective function evaluation involves flow simulation, which is very time consuming, a three-point polynomial approximation is used

to approximate the function +(a) as a quadratic

polynomial that has the form

+*(a)= a.

+ a l a + a2a2.

a2

(40)

(41)

(42)

- 4@*(1)

@*(4)

12

(43)

(44)

=

--a1

2a2

(45)

Convergence

It is very important to set appropriate criteria for

terminating the search, since the efficiency and reliability of the optimization process are greatly affected by these considerations. To ensure that the

optimization process is stable, several termination

criteria are used in our optimization process.

Maximum Number of Iterations

that the search process will not continue to iterate

indefinitely by stopping a search process when the

number of iterations, P , exceeds a large prespecified

number, P,. This may happen when the process is

extremely slow because of numerical or algorithmic

difficulties, nonconvergence, or simply because of

some programming errors. In our program for optimizing molding conditions, P, is chosen as 100.

Absolute Change of Objective F u n c t i o n

difference of the objective function F(X) on successive iterations. In this case, the convergence can be

defined as follows:

IF(Xp;)- F(XP-')I 5

(46)

criterion is chosen a s tA = 0.051F(X0)I.

Relative Change of Objective Function

change of the objective function F(X) between successive iterations. It can be defined as

(47)

(38)

1 , and a = 4. We have three linear equations with

= 9*(0)

4

1

al = -@*(l)

- @*(O) + -aJ*(4)

3

12

x+

(39)

1 . Choose Xo.

2. go+ X,V F = VF(X). a = VF.VF.

3. -VF + SF.

4. Call subroutine to find p* which minimizes

F(X + a*S).

5. If p = 0 then stop, else go to 6.

a*s-+ 15.

6.

a

7. VF(X) + VF, V F . V F + b, y = -.

b

(ISn-' + S", b + a, S " . V F + Slope.

8. -Vf

9. If Slope 2 0 then go to 3, else go to 10.

10. Call subroutine to find a to minimize

= cP*(O)

dividing by the magnitude of F(XP),dividing by the

889

dividing by zero when the objective function F ( X )

reaches zero. Both absolute and relative change convergence criteria are used to ensure that the convergence is identified whether the magnitude of F ( X ) is

very small or very large. The flow chart for molding

condition optimization is shown in Fig.3.

APPLICATION

A complex industrial drill housing is presented as

a n example. This is the same drill housing used in

the companion paper (1) to illustrate gate location

optimization. The results of the gate location optimization had shown that even though significant

improvement was achieved, the design constraints

were not satisfied after gate location optimization

under the molding conditions suggested by the manufacturer. The reason was that the temperature difference between the highest and the lowest temperature a t the end of fill was still unacceptably high. I t

was thus necessary to optimize molding conditions

by holding the gate location at the calculated optimum.

Initial molding conditions were shown as suggested

by the manufacturer:

0

melt temperature, 290C

fill time, 1.50 s.

The optimum gate location obtained from gate location optimization was used as the injection gate. The

material used was the same as in gate location optimization (Nylon 6). The results under these initial

molding conditions are shown in Table 7.

The constraints were set as follows:

7OoC 5 mold temperature 5 100.OC,

270,O"C Imelt temperature I310.0"C

1.00 s Ifill time 5 3.00 s,

temperature difference 5 20K,

maximum pressure 5 100 MPa,

maximum shear stress I5.00 X lo5 Pa.

The optimization process converged in 20 iterations. The optimum molding conditions were:

mold temperature, 98C.

melt temperature, 290.35"C,

fill time, 1.33 s.

Under the optimum molding conditions, the results

are shown in Table 8.

A comparison of the results is shown in Table 9

where it can be seen that temperature h a s been

reduced by 19.0%,the number of overpacked elements h a s been reduced by 5.9%. the number of

frictional overheated elements h a s been increased by

22.9%, maximum pressure h a s been increased by

3.5%.and maximum shear stress h a s been increased

by 1.9%. The most critical factor. namely the temperature difference (Td!B)r

was reduced by 19.0%.The

other factors were not very important in this case, so

their variation did not contribute significantly to the

objective function.

INTO UNCONSTRAINEDPROBLEM

Gate location

F(X)

POLYNOMIAL APPROXIMATION

Temperature difference

Overpack elements

Friction heating elements

Maximum pressure

Maximum shear stress

node 460

100

22.6 K

1.7%

7.4%

22.3 MPa

0.46 MPa

Gate

x-x+B's

S- - V O + BS

F(X)

Temperature difference

Overpack elements

Friction heating elements

Maximum pressure

Maximum shear stress

node 460

37.80

18.3 K

1.6%

9.6%

23.1 MPa

0.48 MPa

Optimization.

Before Opt. After Opt. Improvement

F(X)

100

Temperature difference 22.6 K

Overpack elements

1.7%

Friction heating elements 7.4%

Maximum shear stress

0.53 MPa

890

37.80

18.3 K

1.6%

9.6%

0.54 MPa

62.2%

19.0%

5.9%

-22.9%

-1.9%

The temperature difference was reduced by decreasing fill time and increasing mold temperature

since high mold temperature a n d short fill time reduce heat loss during the filling. Shorter fill time

needs higher injection pressure simply because of

high flow rate. The high flow rate caused a n increase

in shear rate and shear stresses, which explains the

small degradation in the last three quality measures.

SUMMARY

We successfully developed a system that can automatically optimize molding conditions by using the

results of flow simulation. The results of our optimization system have been successfully applied to

complex industrial molds. The conjugate direction

method and ALM penalty function method are suited

to our optimization of molding conditions. Since the

objective function to be minimized is highly nonlinear, molding conditions obtained from our optimization program are not guaranteed to be the global

optimum. The molding conditions therefore should

be used under supervision of a n injection molding

expert to ensure that the results are reasonable.

and can be stated as:

1. X* is feasible.

2. a,g,(X*)=O,j= l , . . . ,r n a , r O .

3 . V F ( X * ) C_;"=I ajVgj(X*) E L I a k + m V h k ( X * ) ,

If a penalty function is created by augmented Lagrange multiplier (10). the pseudo objective function

h a s the following term:

rn

a. r,) =

I

+ k=c [ a k + m h k ( X ) + rph2(X)1

1

W3

rp) = F(X)+ rpP(X)

(48)

a n imposed penalty function and r, is a scalar number that determines the penalty magnitude.

There are several methods available to create a

pseudo objective function for the original objective

F ( X ) (10). The method presented here is called

the augmented Lagrange multiplier or ALM method.

Because this method includes the conditions of

optimality into the optimization algorithm, it is more

reliable and efficient t h a n other methods such as the

exterior penalty method or the interior penalty

method (11). Let u s consider a general unconstrained

problem.

minimize:

F(X)

(49)

subject to:

g,(X) 5 0 j

hk(X)=

., rn

(50)

k = 1, ., l

(51)

= 1,

X + s x , ~ x , Ui =

1, . , n

(52)

(53)

function @(X,r,,, a ) can be defined as:

+ &El

aJVd(X)

MULTIPLIER METHOD

technique to solve a constrained optimization problem, the constrained problem h a s to be modified into

a n unconstrained problem first. The basic idea is to

transform the constrained objective function F(X)

into a n unconstrained objective function @(X,r,) by

adding some penalty when the constraints are violated or nearly violated (10).The modified objective

function @(X,r,). called the pseudo objective function, can be written in this form:

aj L

0.

2rphk+rn(X)Vhk+m(X)

have

1

VF(X) -C

(Yk,

we

rn

C

,=I

aJVdj(X) +

C

k=

azvhk+rn(X)

(56)

with some positive and finite rp. In other words, the

r,, a*) can be the true minimum of

minimum of

F ( X ) with some positive a n d finite r,. However, it is

impossible to find out the optimum a beforehand, so

we have to provide a reasonable initial r, and a. If

the search h a s not converged, the new o(k and rp can

be updated as follows:

rp

= Yrp

a, = aJ + 2r,rnax[g,(X),- a,/r,l

ak+m

ak+m

+ 2rphk(X)

(57)

(58)

(59)

(Yk) under several different cases, the initial value for

r,, a l . a2,and a3 are chosen as 0.25, 0.3, 0.3, 0.4

respectively. The different r,, a l r a2, a n d a3 will

change the results of the optimization since (Yk represents the relative importance of the kth constraint

so they should be chosen carefully. A large a should

be selected for a n important constraint so that the

more penalty will be added to the pseudo objective

function when the constraint is violated or near violated.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Black & Decker Co., Monsanto Co., and G.E. Co. is

891

gratefully acknowledged. We also appreciate the financial support of the Engineering Research Center

and the use of the CAD/CAM computing facility of

the University of Maryland.

NOMENCLATURE

= average nodal distance.

= maximum pseudoflow length.

= maximum number of flow fronts.

= flow proportion for flow i.

= volume filled by flow i.

= time interval for flow i.

= runner diameter.

= shear stress.

= fill pressure.

= temperature difference.

=

= weighting coefficients for Td,

Noup,and

Nfh respectively.

= maximum allowable pressure.

= maximum allowable shear stress.

= search direction.

= pseudo objective function.

=

892

REFERENCES

1. 0. Pandelidis a n d 9. Zou, Part I, Polym. Eng. Sci., this

issue.

2. C. Austin, Moldflow-Thermoplastics and Thermoset

Flow Analysis, pp. 1.8. 3.8, Moldflow Pty. Ltd., Australia (1987).

3. S. Middleman, Fundamentals of Polymer Processing,

p. 270, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York City

(1977).

4. C. Austin, in Developments in Injection Molding-3, A.

Whelan a n d J . P. Goff, eds., Elsevier Applied Science

Publishers (1985).

5. I. I. Rubin, Injection Molding: Theory and Practice, p.

136, J o h n Wiley a n d Sons, Inc., New York City (1972).

6. I. 0. Pandelidis a n d 9. Zou, SPE ANTEC Tech. Papers,

3 4 , 2 3 3 (1988).

7. David Luenberger, in Linear and Nonlinear Programming, Addison Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., New

York (1984).

8. A. V. Fiacco a n d G. P. McCormick, in Nonlinear Programming: Sequential Unconstrained Minimization

Techniques, J o h n Wiley a n d Sons, New York (1968).

9. David Wisner a n d R. Chattergy, in Introduction to

Nonlinear Programming-A Problem Solving Approach, North Holland, New York (1978).

10. J. Vanderplaats, in Numerical Optimization: Techniques f o r Engineering Design. with Applications,

pp. 89, 140, 122, 123. 17, 127, McGraw-Hill Book Co..

New York City (1984).

11. J. H. Cassis a n d L. A . Schrnit, Int. J. Num., Meth.

Engin., 10(1),3 (1976).

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