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CAEDSMouldDesign

Materialsforinjectionmoulding
TampereUniversityofTechnologyTuulaHk
Therearefourgroupsofplasticresins,whicharesuitableforinjectionmoulding:

Thermoplasticpolymers
Thermoplasticelastomers
Thermosetpolymers
Liquidinjectionmouldingsilicone

Thesegroupscanbefurtherdividedintofourdifferentcategories:

Commodityresins
Intermediateresins
Engineeringresins
Highperformanceengineeringresins

Thesecategoriesvaryincostandserviceperformance.Thelowcostcommodityresins
are widelyused in nontechnical applicationsand in applications in which there are
nohighrequirementsformechanical,thermal,chemicalorelectricalproperties.Ifthe
standardgetshigher,theresinsareselectedfromtheintermediateresinsgroup.The
selection for technical and demanding applications should be either engineering or
high performance engineering resin depending on requirements. Thermoplastic
polymersarethemostwidelyusedgroupofresins.Seetablesintheendofthischap
tertofindoutwhichplasticbelongstowhichofthesegroups.
The most important characteristics of injection mouldable plastics are related with
cavityfilling,partejectionandtherequirements,whichtheysettothemouldmateri
als.
Plastic material manufacturers prepare data sheets of their products. These sheets
containmostofthenecessaryinformation.Restoftheinformationshouldcomefrom
the injection moulding company. If the material is new or not among the common
plastics,itissometimesdifficulttofindallnecessarydata.Usuallyitisthenwiseto
consultinjectionmouldingcompaniesabouttheirexperiencesonsimilarmaterialsor
ask directly from the plastic manufacturer. The part designer can also have some
valuable information, but usually the necessary information is more related with
plasticprocessingthanmechanicalproperties.

Cavityfilling
Thematerialproperties,whichaffectthegatedesign,are:

Viscosity
Mouldingtemperature
Flowcharacteristics
Shrinkage
Fillers

Materialsforinjectionmoulding1

CAEDSMouldDesign
Basicallythesepropertiescharacterisetheplasticsabilitytofillthemouldandpredict
the flow pattern at the gate and inside the cavity. Plastic viscosity depends on tem

perature and flow velocity. Some materials are very sensitive to high temperatures
caused by frictional forces at narrow parts like gate and sprue top opening. These
materials tend to burn, if flow velocity exceeds some critical value. Fillers change
theflowandviscositypropertiesofaplasticmaterial.

Partejection
Moulddesignershouldbeawareofthestiffnessandsurfacefrictionpropertiesofthe
plasticmaterialinordertoplaceasuitableamountofejectionpinsoftherightsizeto
the right places. Placing of ejectors depends on the part shapes. Material properties
confine the practicable ejection force. The surface friction between mould cavity
surfaceandtheplasticmaterialdependsoncavitysurfaceroughness,mouldmaterial
andtheplasticproperties.Itisdifficulttodefineanexactvalueoffrictionalforce,but
stillpossibletofindempiricalrelations.
Some plasticmaterials are very soft and elastic while others are rigid and hard. The
elasticmaterialstendtowarpifejectedwithtoofewpinsorfromwrongplaces.All
plasticsaresoftinhightemperatures.Thecoolingtimeissetjustlongenoughsothat
the part is rigid enough for successful ejection. Badly designed ejection system in
creasescycletime.

Mouldmaterials
Some plastics are corrosive due to their chemical composition. Some plastics, espe
cially glass reinforced plastics, heavily wear the mould cavity. The mould designer
selectsmouldcavityandcoresteelsbasedontheinformationontheplasticcorrosive
andabrasiveproperties.

Plasticmaterials
Thermoplasticpoly
mer

Thermoplasticelas
tomer

Liquidinjection
mouldingsilicone

Commodityresins

Polystyrene(PS)

Ashland,INEOSNOVA,BASF,Chevron
Phillips,NOVAChemicals

Styreneacrylonitrilecopolymer
(SAN)

INEOSABS,SAMSUNG

Lowcost,largeconsumption
andrelativelylowperformance
inmechanical,thermal,chemi
cal,andelectricalproperties

Manufacturer

Polyethylene(PE)

Ashland,Basell,Borealis,ChevronPhillips
ChemicalCompany,DuPont,DSMEngi
neeringPlastics,Equistar,ExxonMobil,Flint
HillsResources,Sabic,Solvay

Polyvinylchloride(PVC)

AlphaGary,GeorgiaGulf

Materialsforinjectionmoulding2

CAEDSMouldDesign

Thermoplastic
polymer

Thermoplasticelas
tomer

Liquidinjection
mouldingsilicone

Intermediateresins

Acrylics

CYRO,Plaskolite,AltuglasInternational,
LuciteInternational

Acrylonitrilebutadiene
styrene(ABS)

Ashland,BASF,INEOSABS,SAMSUNG

Highimpactpolystyrene
(HIPS)

BASF,Ashland,ChevronPhillips,INEOS
NOVA,NOVAChemicals

Polyphenyleneoxide(PPO),
Polyphenyleneether(PPE)

EvonikIndustries,GEPlastics,Romira

Polypropylene(PP)

Ashland,Basell,ChevronPhillips,FlintHills
Resources,Sabic,Sunoco

Styreneacrylonitrile(SAN)

INEOSABS,Samsung

Thermoplasticolefin(TPO)

Basell,RheTech,SpartechPolycom

Thermoplasticvulcanizate
(TPV)

ExxonMobil

Meltprocesablerubber
(MPR)

APA

Bettermechanical,thermal,
chemical,andelectricalprop
ertiescomparedtocommodity
resins

Manufacturers

Materialsforinjectionmoulding3

CAEDSMouldDesign

Thermoplastic
polymer

Thermoplastic
elastomer

Liquidinjection
mouldingsilicone

Engineeringresins

Acetal(POM)

AsahiKasei,BASF,Celanese,DuPont,
Polyplastic

Polyamide(nylon,PA)

Arkema,AsahiKasei,BASF,ChemPoly
mer,DSM,DuPont,EMSGrivory,
LANXESS,TorayPlastics

Polycarbonate(PC)

BayerMaterialScience,DOW,DSM,GE
Plastics,MRC

Polybutyleneterephthalate
(PBT),Polyethyleneterephthalate
(PET)

BASF,DuPont,DSM,GEPlastics,
LANXESS

Glass fiber reinforced polypro


pylene

Ashland,Basell,ChevronPhillips,Flint
HillsResources,Sabic,Sunoco

BlockcopolyesterTPE

PolyamideTPE

Liquidinjectionmoldingsilicone

Typically compounded, unmodi


fied resins with tensile strength
higher than 48 MPa and modulus
ofelasticityhigherthan2400MPa

Manufacturers

Thermoplastic
polymer

Thermoplastic
elastomer

Liquidinjection
mouldingsilicone

Highperformanceengineering
resins

Hightemperaturenylon(PA)

Arkema,AsahiKasei,BASF,ChemPoly
mer,DSM,DuPont,EMSGrivory,
LANXESS,TorayPlastics

Liquidcrystalpolymers(LCP)

Celanese,DuPont,SolvayAdvanced
Polymers

Polysulfone(PSU)

BASF,SolvayAdvancedPolymers

Polyphenylenesulphide(PPS)

ChevronPhillips

Fluoropolymers

Arkema,DuPont

Polyetherimide(PEI),Polyimide
(PMR)

Similar to engineering resins, but


with better performance in high
temperatures and for example at
highelectricalfrequencies

Manufacturers

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CAEDSMouldDesign

Polyaryletherketone(PAEK)

Furtherreading

Brydson,J,PlasticsMaterials,7thEdition,Elsevier,1999

CampoE.A,TheCompletePartDesignHandbookForInjectionMoldingofThermo
plastics,HanserPublishers,2006

Drobny, J. G, Handbook of Thermoplastic Elastomers, William Andrew Publish


ing/PlasticsDesignLibrary,2007
Goodman,S.H,HandbookofThermosetPlastics,2ndEdition,WilliamAndrewPub
lishing/Noyes,1998
Gunter,E,DesigningwithPlastics,HanserPublishers,2006

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