Mold.

ppt

CORETECH SYSTEM

Mold Design Fundamentals

1

Mold.ppt

Basic Tasks of a Mold
q Accomodation

and Distribution of the Melt q Shaping of the Molded Part q Cooling/Heating and Solidification of the Melt q Ejection (Demolding) of the Molding q Mechanical Functions
Accomodation of forces Transmission of motion Guidance of the mold components

CORETECH SYSTEM

The mold is probably the most important element of a molding machine. It is a arrangement, in one assembly, of one (or a number of) hollow cavity spaces built to the shape of the desired product, with the purpose of producing large numbers of plastic parts. Thus the primary purpose of the injection mold is to determine the final shape of the molded part (shaping function). In addition to give the final shape of the molding, the mold performs several other tasks. It conducts the hot melt from the heating cylinder in the injection molding machine and distributes the melt to the cavity (or cavities), vents the entrapped air or gas, cools the part until it is ejectable, and ejects the part without leaving marks or causing damage. The secondary tasks of a mold derived from these primary tasks include several mechanical functions such as accommodation of forces, transmission of motion, guidance and alignment of the mold components. The mold design, construction, the craftsmanship largely determine the quality of the part and it manufacturing cost.

2

Mold.ppt

Functional Systems of the Injection Molds
q Melt

Delivery System: Sprue/Runner/Gate q Cavity (with Venting) q Tempering/Heat Exchange System q Ejection System q Guiding and Locating System q Machine Platen Mounts q Force Supplier q Motion Transmission System

CORETECH SYSTEM

An injection mold is composed of several functional units. Each unit performs one or several task of the mold. The melt delivery system or runner system performs the task of receiving and distribution of the melt. The runner system is in fact a set of flow channels that lead the melt into the cavities. Forming/shaping the molten material into the final shape of the part is the job of the cavity. During the filling and packing/holding stages, melt is forced by injection/holding pressure to completely fill the cavity (or cavities). Mold tempering or heat exchange system is used to control the mold temperature, cool down the molten melt (or,if thermosets or elastomer are used, heat the melt and cross-link the material) uniformly, solidify the molding to an ejectable state. Mold tempering system design has direct impact to the production cycle time and the quality of the molded part. Ejector system is utilized to open the mold and remove the molded part from the cavity. Mold mounting, alignment, and guiding are accomplished by the guidance/ locating system and machine platen mounts. Other auxiliary units such as force supplier and movement transmission unit are essential to accomplish the functions of an injection mold.

3

Mold.ppt

Structure of A Mold Unit
Cold-Slug Well Sprue Ejector Pin Sprue Bushing

Secondary Runner /Sub-runner Gate Cold-Slug Well

Part
Primary Runner Sprue Sprue

CORETECH SYSTEM

Above figure shows the layout af a typical simple injection mold, which has four identical cavities. Melt from the nozzle enters the mold via the spure, which has a divergent taper to facilitate removal when demolding. Opposite the sprue is a cold slug well, which serves both to accept the first relatively cold portion of the injected material, and to allow a re-entrant shape on the end of an ejector pin to grip the sprue when the mold opens. The melt flows along a system of runners leading to the mold cavities. In general, for a single cavity mold, only the sprue or primary runner appears in the mold; whereas for a multicavity mold, secondary runners or subrunners are needed to distribute the melt into each cavity. The gates at the entries to the cavities are very narrow passages in at least one directions, so that the molded part can be readily detachable from the runners after removal from the mold. Sometimes additional cold slug wells are added in the end of primary runners to trap the cold slug during the filling stage. The mold is aligned with the nozzle on the injection cylinder by means of the locating ring surrounds the sprue bushing.

4

Mold.ppt

Mold Design Issues
q

Mold Design
No.Cavity Cavity Layout Runner System Design Gating Scheme No.Gate Gating Location Mechanical/Mechanism Consideration
runner (mainfold) system gate cavity

q

Cooling System Design
Cooling Channel Layout Special Design
mold base cooling channel/lines CORETECH SYSTEM

The primary tasks of an injection mold include the accomodation and distribution of the melt, the shaping and cooling/heating of the molding, solidification of the melt, as well as ejection of the molded part. Besides, a mold has to provide mechaincal functions such as accomodation of forces, transmission of motion, and guidance of mold components. Hence the primary functional systems of a injection mold include the melt delivery system ( sprue/runner/gate ), cavity (single-cavity or multicavity), ejection system, guiding and locating system, as well as mold temperature control unit (cooling system). From the view point of mold design, we have to evaluate the suitable size and layout of runner system and cavity, number of cavity, cooling system, etc. We will propose a few examples to illustrate how these design parameters influence the productivity and quality of the moldings.

5

Mold.ppt

Determine Number of Cavities
q q

Single Cavity vs. Multicavity Mold
Productivity and complecity consideration

Determination of Number of Mold Cavities
Number of moldings required and period of delivery Quality control requirements (dimensional tolerance,etc.) Cost of the moldings Shape, dimensions, and complexity of the molding (position of parting line and mold release) Size and type of the injection molding machine machine (shot capacity, plasticizing capacity, mold release..) Plastics used (gating scheme and gate location) Cycle time (increase in recovery time of plasticating unit, injection time, pressure drop, and mold opening time)
CORETECH SYSTEM

The multiple mold cavities can produce several article at the same time and hence has a higher output speeds and improved productivity. However, the greater complexity of the mold also increases significantly the manufacturing cost. The problems arising from a multicavity mold includes cavity layout, flow balance, balanced cooling channels layout, etc. Theoretically, for the same product, cycle time do not increase prorate with the number of cavities because th cooling time does not change. However, one often find that cycle time will increase as the number of cavities increases, for the following reasons: -Increase in recovery time of plasticating unit for the next shot and injection time because the total shot volume is increased. These increases in time are significant for large shots. -Increase in pressure drop becaused of the increased flow length from sprue, through runner system, to each cavity. The pressure drop can be a determining factor in the evaluation of numbers of cavity. -Increase in mold opening time because of the increased complexity. Both the technical and economic criteria have to be considered in determining the number of mold cavity, such as the numbers of moldings required, the cost and time of mold construction, the complexity of the molding, cycle time, quality requirements and the plasticating capacity of the available machine equipment, etc.

6

Mold.ppt

Cavity Layout

Circular Layout Layout in Series H-style bridge (branching) layout X-style layout
CORETECH SYSTEM

When the number of parts produced in each cycle exceeds one, a multicavity mold have to be used. Many cavity layouts can be adopted in the production. For example, layout in series has the advantage that there is no space restriction for each cavity; however, the unequal flow lengths to individual cavities may lead to unbalanced flow and differential part weights in each cavity. Circular layout has the advantage of equal flow length and uniform part quality; however, only limited number of cavities can be accomodated by this layout. H-style layout and X-style layout belongs to the so-called symmetrical layout. They are good in flow balance. Their disadvantage is that more larger runner volume and much scrap will be generated. Hot runner system can be adopted to conquer this drawback. Layout of cavities not only influence the filling pattern and extent of pressure packing, but also determines the equilibrium of injection force and clamp force during the molding cycle.

7

Mold.ppt

Design of Runner System
q

Runner System
Sprue Runner (Primary/Secondary) Gate

Heating Element

Nozzle Runner

Piston or Screw

Sprue Gate Screw Chamber (Reservoir) Cavity

q

Goal:

Mold Unit

Accommodates the molten plastics material coming from the screw chamber and guides/distributes it into the mold cavity Raises the melt temperature to the proper processing range by viscous (frictional) heating while the melt is flowing through the runner q

Design Consideration
Quality (filling pattern...) & Economics (cycle time...) CORETECH SYSTEM

A runner system is composed of the sprue, the runner(s), and the gate(s) that connecting the runner with the cavity. The primary task of a runner is the delivery and distribution of melt from the screw chamber into the mold cavity. The runner system must be designed in such a way that the melt fills all cavities simultaneously and uniformly under uniform pressure and temperature. This design criterion is referred to as the flow balance of the runner system. Melt temperature may be significantly increased as it passes througn the narrow runner passage or gate due to friction effect. This viscous heating is important in raising the melt temperature and reducing the flow resistance because of the shear-thinning character of plastic material. The runner system has significant impact on the part quality and the economics of manufacture. Problems such as weld lines, pressure drop, material waste, removability of moldings, etc.,are related to the design of runner system.

8

Mold.ppt

Common Runner Cross Sections
q Circular Runner Full Round Runner q Parabolic Runner U-Type or Modified Trapesoidal Runner q Trapezoidal

Runner

q Half

Round Runner Runner
CORETECH SYSTEM

q Rectangular

There are several types of cross section can be adopted for a runner. The selection of the runner cross section depends on its efficiency and ease or difficulty of tooling. Circular or full round cross section provides a maximum volume-to-surface ratio and hence offers the least resistance to flow and least heat loss from the runner. However, it requires a duplicate machining operation in the mold, since two semi-circular sections have to be cut for both mold halves and aligned as the mold is closed. Parabolic or U-type runner represents a best approximation of circular runner, although more heat losses and scrab produced (mass is 35% greater), it needs simpler machining in one (movable) mold half only. Trepezoidal runner is an alternative modification of circular runner, its performance is similar to that of the parabolic runner. Trapezoidal runner is often used in three-plate molds since sliding movements are required across the parting-line runner face. Half round and rectangular cross section may lead to larger flow resistance and are unfavorable in the runner cross section. Normally, full round or trapesoidal runners are adopted in most practical cases.

9

Mold.ppt

Considerations in Runner Design
q

Part Consideration
Geometry, Volume, Wall Thickness Quality (Dimensional,Optical, Mechanical...)

q

Material Consideration
Viscosity, Composition, Fillers,Softening Range, Softening Temperature,Thermal Sensivity, Shrinkage, Freezing Time...

q q

Machine Consideration
Type of Clamping, Injection Pressure, Injection Rate...

Mold Consideration
Way of Demolding, Temperature Control...

CORETECH SYSTEM

Key factors affecting the design of a runner are summarized here. In the aspect of part consideration, the geometric dimensions of the runner should be such that flow restriction is at a minimum, that is, the runner should convey melt rapidly and unrestricitly into the cavity in the shortest way and with a minimum heat and pressure losses. The runner system should allow cavity filling with a minimum numbers of weld line so that the mechanical and surface properties of moldings can be improved. The runner should permit the transmission of holding pressure during the packing/holding stage so that the dimensional accuracy can be ensured. In the aspect of material consideration, the flow character and the thermal properties of material are related to the sizing of runner diameter and the runner length. Long or small runner should be avoided for material with short flow length (high viscosity). Runner should be properly sized to minimize material waste while not cause significant pressure loss. In the aspect of machine consideration, we should note the allowable injection pressure, injection rate, type of clamping, etc. The runner should be design so that demolding and removal from the molded is easy. Location and number of runner ejectors should be considered in the mold design phase.

10

Mold.ppt

Flow Balance in the Runner Design
q Flow Balance in Multi-Cavity Molds: Increase in recovery time of plasticating unit, injection time, pressure drop, and mold opening time

PLAY412

CORETECH SYSTEM

Consider the runner system design in the multicavity mold case. In a symmetric, naturally balanced cavity layout, all flow lengths from the sprue to each cavity are of the same length. In this ideal case the plastic melt will fill all cavities simultaneously under the same pressure and temperature conditions. The molded part in each cavity has the same weight and final properties. Unfortunately not all runners can be naturally balanced, especially for large parts where multiple gating may be needed to produce a proper part. Moreover, the natural flow balance is difficult for molds with a large number of cavities and is even impossible for the so-called family mold (combination mold) where each of the cavities is of different size and forms one component part of the assembled finished product. In these cases we have to balance the flow artifically. Balancing ensures virtually equal flow of plastic through each gate of a multicavity mold, and/or through each gate (if there is more than one) into each cavity. The melt should arrive at all gates/cavities at the same time and with the same properties so that all molded parts have uniform characteristics. This type of runner system is called the artifically balanced runner systems. On the other hand, even though the cavity layout is virtually balanced, the desired balanced flow may not be achieved since the flow depends on the plastic material used, the process condition setting, the accuracy of machining and the finish inside the channel, temperature difference due to unbalanced cooling/heating, , uneven venting, mold surface quality, etc.

11

Mold.ppt

Runner Design and Part Shrinkage
Part Shrinkage

Runner cross-sectional Area

Part Shrinkage

Runner Length CORETECH SYSTEM

The runner system design has a significant impact on the quality of moldings. For example, the part shrinkage increases as the runner length is increased since more pressure drop in the runner system and the melt is less packed within the mold. In general, the runner length should be as short as possible in order to reduce the pressure drop and amount of scrap. However, the runners must be of adequate length to satisfy the other conditions such as flow balance consideration, accommodation of cooling lines and ejector pins, etc. The part shrinkage reduces as the runner cross section is increased since the filling process is promoted and the effective holding pressure is higher. However, increase the runner size also produces more scrap and material waste. The size of the runner depends on the size of the part and its wall thickness, the design of the mold and the type of plastic being processed. Plastics with low viscosity (high melt flow index or long flow length) permit a longer or thinner runner. The runner cross section should be as small as possible but still compatible with the melt flow requirement such as pressure drop consideration.

12

Mold.ppt

Design of Runner
P la s tic M a te r ia ls ABS, SAN A c e ta l A c r y lic B u ty r a te C e llu lo s ic s F lu o r o c a r b o n Io n o m e r N y lo n P o ly a m id e PC P o ly e s te r PE PP PPO P o ly s u lfo n e PS PU PVC R ecom m ended R u n n e r D ia m e te r s 0 .1 8 7 -0 .3 7 5 ” (4 .7 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .1 2 5 -0 .3 7 5 ” (3 .1 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .3 1 2 -0 .3 7 5 ” (7 .5 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .1 8 7 -0 .3 7 5 ” (4 .7 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .1 8 7 -0 .3 7 5 ” (4 .7 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .1 8 7 -0 .3 7 5 ” (4 .7 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .0 9 3 -0 .3 7 5 ” (2 .3 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .0 6 2 -0 .3 7 5 ” (1 .5 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .1 8 7 -0 .3 7 5 ” (4 .7 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .1 8 7 -0 .3 7 5 ” (4 .7 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .1 8 7 -0 .3 7 5 ” (4 .7 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .0 6 2 -0 .3 7 5 ” (1 .5 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .1 8 7 -0 .3 7 5 ” (4 .7 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .2 5 0 -0 .3 7 5 ” (6 .3 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .2 5 0 -0 .3 7 5 ” (6 .3 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .1 2 5 -0 .3 7 5 ” (3 .1 -9 .5 m m ) 0 .2 5 0 -0 .3 1 3 ” (6 .4 -8 .0 m m ) 0 .1 2 5 -0 .3 7 5 ” (3 .1 -9 .5 m m )

For most thermoplastics, minimum recommended runner size=1.5mm (0.06”)

CORETECH SYSTEM

This table lists the recommended runner diameters for different thermo-plastics in injection molding industry. For most thermoplastics, the minimum recommended dimension of runner is 1.5mm (0.06”), too small the dimension may lead to excessive presure drop and filling difficulty. The recommended runner size also reveals the flow ability (processability) of the plastic material. Plastics with low viscosity (high melt flow index or long flow length) such as polyethylene (PE) permit a smaller runner. Larger runner should be adopted for plastics that have shorter flow lengths (higher viscosity values), such as polycarbonate (PC). This table serves as an initial guess for runner sizing.

13

Mold.ppt

Design of Runner
q Location

and Number of Runner Ejectors

Stiffer Plastics

Ejector Pin

Softer/Flexible/Sticky Plastics

CORETECH SYSTEM

Both the number and location of ejectors depend on the plastic being processed. The stiffer the plastic is (at the moment of ejection), the fewer ejectors are needed; also, the designer has higher degree of freedom to determine the ejector locations. For example, the ejectors can be placed under the connecting runners (bridge runners) . For soft, flexible, or sticky plastics, more ejectors have to be adopted. Care must be taken in the ejector location so that the part can be ejected without leaving marks or causing damage. In general, more ejectors lead to an increase in the comlexicity of mold and the cost of the hardware and of machining. In the design phase of the runner system, one should consider the ease of demolding and removal from the molded part. The runner system should provide sufficient spacing for cavity in order to accommodate cooling lines and ejector pins and leave adequate cross section to withstand the injection pressure force.

14

Mold.ppt

Runnerless Molding Technology
Moldings

Runner System: •Scrap and material waste •Pressure drop

q

Runnerless Molding Technology:
runners and sprues are kept a molten state during the processing runner systems are never actually ejected with the molded parts.

q

Types of Runnerless Molding Technology:
Insulated Runner System Heated/Hot Runner System

CORETECH SYSTEM

The conventional runner systemare referred to as cold runner systems since the runners solidifies during the cooling phase of the injection molding cycle and is ejected with the part. During the molding cycle the pressure drop increas as the runner is cooled down gradually. Degating is required during mold opening (for three-plate molds) or separately afterwards (for two-plate molds) and the runner system is regarded as scrap. The runner material may be reground and recycled again, but it may have some physical properties degraded from the original, virgin material. For small products the mass of cold runners may be as much as 80% of the mass of the total shot. On the other hand, the so-called runnerless molding technology has been developed to circumvent the drawbacks encountered in the cold runner systems. In these special mold designs the runners and sprues are kept a molten state during the processing and are never actually ejected with the molded part. There are no runners to be reground and recycled, thus, savings in material, labor, and/or overhead are realized. Typical examples of runnerless molding methods include insulated runners, heated/hot runner systems.

15

Mold.ppt

Insulated Runner System
Cooling Lines Solidified resin shell

Emergency parting line

Parting line Molten state melt

q q q

Oversized the runner diameter (15~30mm) Insulation effect of frozen skin shell Works for most olefinic resins(PE,PP...) and PS
CORETECH SYSTEM

In the insulated runner system, the runner diameter is oversized (say, 15~30mm) in order to maintain the molten state of the material. The large diameter runner allows an inner molten melt to pass through during the molding cycle because of the insulation effect of frozen skin shell surrounding the melt core. The insulation runner system has the advantage of extremely simple construction, low cost tooling, and high efficiency, provided the system can be left running undisturbed for long periods. This design is suitable for most olefinic plastics (such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP)... ) and polystryene (PS). The disadvantages of the insulated runner system includes: - it requires fast cycle to maintain molten state within runner (at least 5 shots/min). - it requires long start-up periods (15-25min) to stabilize the runner temperature (up to 150 oC) - it needs a long color change time - it needs very accurate gate temperature control in order to have a satisfactory production rate. - Additional emergency parting line is required to facilitate the removal of the frozen runner in the case of prolonged delay in the cycle time.

16

Mold.ppt

Internally Heated Hot Runner System
q q

Material is heated by the heating element in the center of the runner Annular gap for melt flow

Heater Cartridge

Heated Probe (Torpedoe) Melt Part
Vlocity Profile Tempertature Profile

CORETECH SYSTEM

In the internally heated hot runner system, the material is heated and kept at a molten state by the heated probe (torpedoe) in the center of the runner. The melt is allowed to flow in the cross section of the annular gap of the runner. The advantages of the internally heated hot runner systems include: -Less heat loss and lower heating power required since the thermal insulation of polymer melt -Less mold components mis-matching problem arising from thermal expansion -Inexpensive (as compared with the external heated runner system) -Little space required. The disadvantages of this design include: -Higher shear rate and pressure drop since the restricted flow area -Sophicated heat control required (temperature profile exists in the cross section of the annular gap of the runner).

17

Mold.ppt

Externally Heated Hot Runner System
q q

Material is heated by the cartridge-heating manifold in the housing of the runner Circular cross section for melt flow
Heater Cartridge Heated Manifold Hot Runner Air gap insulation Cooling Lines
Vlocity Profile: plug-like flow

Insulation Blocks

Part

Temperature Profile: constant temperature profile

CORETECH SYSTEM

In the externally heated hot runner system the material is heated by the cartridge-heating manifold in the housing of the runner. Thus a plug-like flow profile and an approximately constant temperature profile across over the circular flow area is developed. Thus the flow resistance is smaller than that of the internally heated system. The advantages of this design are: -More uniform temperature distribution. -Better temperature control -Lower melt stresses and pressure drop -Color/material changes easily The disadvantages of the externally heated hot runner system include: -More complicated design -More Expensive -Significant thermal-expansion-induced mis-match problems for various mold components.

18

Mold.ppt

Design of Gate
•geometry •wall thickness •direction of mechanical loading •quality demands (dimensions,cosmetics, mechanics...) •Flow length

Part Design

Generalities
•viscosity (MFI) •processing temperature •flow characteristic •fillers •shrinkage behavior

•ease of demolding •ease of degating •weld lines •distortion •molding defects •cost

Plastic Material

CORETECH SYSTEM

Then gate provides the connection between the runner and the mold cavity. It must permit enough material to flow into the mold to fill out the cavity, raises melt temperature by viscous (frictional) heating, and freezes-off when the holding stage is over. It should be smaller in the cross section so that it can be easily separated from the molded part (degated). The type of the gate and its size and location in the mold strongly affect the molding property and the quality of the molded part. The factors which determine the gate design is summarized here briefly. General speaking, the gate should be small, simple to demold and easily separated from the part. The gate should be connected to the molding in such a manner that the latter is not distorted (the molding tends to deform concave to the feed ) and does not exhibit blemishes. Cost of tooling is also a consideration factor. The location of the gate must be such that weld lines are avoided or shifted to a less critical position. Molding defects such as jetting, burning, thermal degradation, short shot, etc. should be avoided in the production. Gating scheme and location of gates are crucial to the quality of the molding. Filling pattern and cavity pressure profile are closely related to the final properties of molded parts, such an mechanical properties, cosmetics (surface properties), dimensional accuracy. A gate should provide appropriate filling pattern and viscous heating effect, permit effective packing and holding of the material within the mold. These criteria depend on both part design as well as physical properties of the plastic material.

19

Mold.ppt

Gating Scheme
Direct/Sprue Gate Side/Edge Gate

Pin Gate
‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧‧ ‧ ‧‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧

‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧

‧ ‧ ‧

CORETECH SYSTEM

There are several gate type can be adopted in the mold design, and each has its own advantage for application. The direct gate or sprue gate feeds material directly into the cavity. It is used for temperature-sensitive or high viscosity materials, and is suitable for producing part with heavy sections. The direct gate can be applied in high quality part because it allows effective holding (minimum pressure loss) and exact dimensions can be obtained. However, it is suitable only for single-cavity molds. Visible gate mark and the high stress concentration around the gate area are the disadvantges. The side gate or edge gate is the standard gate for injection molding. It is used wherever the product can be or must be gated from the parting line and where self-degating is not required or practical. It is carried out at the side of the part and is easy to construct and degate. The pin gate or pinpoint gate is a kind of restricted gates that are usually circular in cross section and for most thermoplastics do not exceed 1.5mm (0.06 in.) in diameter. It is generally used in three-plate molds (with automatic gate removal) and hot runner construction. It provides rapid freeze-off and easy degating of the runner from the gate. Flexibility in gate location is another advantage of the pin gate. It can easily provide multiple gating to a cavity for thin-walled parts. Viscous heating as the melt passing through the restricted pinpoint gate raises melt temperature and improves the filling process since the melt viscosity is lowered. Higher pressure drop is a drawback.

20

Mold.ppt

Gating Scheme
Fan Gate Film Gate

Tab Gate

Disc Gate

CORETECH SYSTEM

The fan or fin gate is a fanned out variation of the edge gate. It is used for large flat parts (say,over 8cm x 8cm or 3 in x 3 in) or when there is a special reason such as elimination of weld lines. when the danger of part warpage and dimensional change exists, the fan gate is often adopted. The film gate or flash gate involves extending the fan gate over the full length of the part but keeping it very thin. It is used for flat molded part in the situation that the orientation of flow pattern in one direction is required, this is important in the applications of optical parts. It has the advantages that there is no weld line, reduced warpage and improved part dimensional stability. However, postoperation for gate removal is required for this type of gate. The tab gate is used in cases where it is desirable to transfer the stress generated in the gate to an auxiliary tab, which is removed in a postmolding operation. The tab gate is capable of preventing the jetting problem during the filling stage. Flat and thin parts require this type of gate. The disc gate or its variation, the diaphragm gate, has a conical manifold. It is used for rotationally symmetrical parts (hollow tubes) with core mounted at just one half of the mold. The advantage of using this gate system is that there are no weld lines, and concentricity of the molded part is ensured. This is a important dimensional requirement for pipe fittings. The cone or diagram region eliminates stress concentration around the gate since the whole area is removed, but the postoperation is necessary and more difficulty.

21

Mold.ppt

Gating Scheme
Ring Gate Submarine/Tunnel Gate

CORETECH SYSTEM

The ring gate accomplishes the same purpose as gating internally in a hollow tube, but from the outside. In the ring gate the melt reaches an annular channel manifold next to the sprue. The gate has a small cross section and acts as a throttle. Therefore the annular channel fills before melt begins to fill the cavity. It is adopted in the case that the core cannot be mounted on just one side of the mold such as in the case of disc gating. The ring gate is used to produce sleevelike parts with core mounted at both sides of the mold.The advantages of this gating scheme include: uniform wall thickness around circumference can be obtained, applicable for long cylindrical part, as well as easy production. However, final finishing of molded part is necessary and sometimes slight weld line may appear. The submarine or tunnel gate is used mainly for small parts in multicavity mold where it is possible to locate the gate laterally. This gate is automatically degated as soon as the mold opens, this is the primary advantage of this gate system. However, it is used for simple part only because of high pressure loss as the melt passing through the small gate cross section and the runner length. The tunnel gate can be used only for tough, elastic materials, since the material in the tunnel has to withstand deformation during mold opening; the tunnel could break and plug the runner system if brittle materials are used.

22

Mold.ppt

Effect of Gating Scheme
Side gate: possibility of jetting

Tab gate: uniform filling, no jetting

CORETECH SYSTEM

The filling pattern of melt flow is largely governed by the location and size of the gate(s). For example, jetting of the plastic into the mold cavity may occur if a fairly large cavity id filled through a narrow gate (such as a side gate) is used, especially in the case of low-viscosity plastic melt. Jetting gives rise a random filling pattern: the melt no longer fills the mold by an advancing front way but snakes it away into the cavity without wetting the walls near the gate. Surface defects, flow lines, variations in structure, and air entrapment are related to the jetting phenomena. Jetting can be prevented by enlarging the gate or locating the gate in such a way that the flow is directed against a cavity wall. For example, tab gates (or fan gates) can minimize the potential of jetting by reducing the inertia of the inlet melt flow.

23

Mold.ppt

Effect of Gating Scheme
Different influence on holding stage and effective holding time

Sprue Gate

Cavity Pressure

Film Gate
‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧

‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧

‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧

‧ ‧ ‧

‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧ ‧‧ ‧‧ ‧

‧ ‧ ‧ ‧

‧ ‧

Pinpoint Gate

Time
CORETECH SYSTEM

The gating scheme has a significant influence on the holding pressure profile during the cooling stage. For exmple, the size of a sprue gate is large so that the holding pressure can be transmitted without difficulty. The gate freezing-off time is longer due to the larger gate size, leads to a slower droping in the cavity pressure and a longer effective holding time. Hence in general a sprue gate is used for part that the dimensional accuracy is important. On the other hand, the pinpoint gate freezes early and leads to a shorter effective holding time. This may cause sink marks and voids in the final part. The cavity pressure curve of part with film gate is located between that of sprue gate and pinpoint gate. In the mold design phase, one have to consider if the gate can provide suitable filling pattern, viscous heating, as well as its influence on effective holding time.

24

Mold.ppt

Weld line and Gate Location
q

Hot Weld (Streaming Weld, Meldline)
Weld lines arising from obstructions (core,insert,pin...) in the flow
the temperature at the weld line does not differ much the two streams are brought back together the melt is split by the obsraction into two fronts

CORETECH SYSTEM

Weld lines or knit lines are formed during the mold filling process where two melt fronts meet each other. Microscopically, in the weld lines (or weld planes) the two fronts are made of molecules that are aligned with the front shape and will meet tangentially. The incomplete molecular entanglement and diffusion, unfavorable frozen-in molecular (or fiber) orientation, as well as the crack-like V-notches at the weld surface lead to structural weaknesses in the weld line area. The presence of weld lines causes reduced mechanical strength for structural applications and surface visual imperfections in the part. The allowable working stress would be reduced by at least 15% in the weld line area. In general, the colder the merging flows of melt, the more these weld lines become visible and the poor is their strength. Hot weld lines (or streaming weld line, meldline) is formed in the molds with obstructions such as core, insert, or pin. In this case the melt front is separated by cores or obstructions and recombines at some downstream location. Experimental results indicate that the strength of the weld would decrease as the distance between the obstruction and the gate increases, since the average flow front temperature has been reduced.

25

Mold.ppt

Example of Hot Weld lines
Melt Front
Average Temperature

b.weld @ 185 oC a.weld @ 188 oC

c.weld @ 184 oC

CORETECH SYSTEM

Consider a part has one rectangular and two circular inserts obstructing the flow with the rest of the cavity at an uniform thickness. From the CAE analysis we can predict the location of weld lines behind each insert.They are hot weld lines since they are formed due to the exist of flow obstructions and the welding temperature is high. The welding temperature at position a,b,and c is 188, 185, and 184 oC, respectively. The melt front splits and recombines around each insert. Weld strengths tend to decrease as the number of flow stream divisions and recombinations increase. They also decay with the distance from the gating position because the melt is cooled along the flow path. We can anticipate that the local strength in each welding position:

σ1 > σ 2 > σ 3
Thin sections are particular prone to weak welds because of rapid melt solidification and less chance for chain diffusion.

26

Mold.ppt

Weld line and Gate Location
q

Cold Weld (Butt Weld)
arise from the impingment of advancing fronts from different gates in multi-gating molds. Worst welding manner.
the temperature of the fronts has dropped somewhat at the welding zone

Melt fronts traveling in opposite directions meet, and are almost immediately stoped after meeting.

CORETECH SYSTEM

On the other hand, the so-called cold weld lines or butt weld lines present in multiple gating molds where the impingment of advancing fronts from different gates may occur. Cold weld lines are generally considered to be the worst welding manner because they are formed from melt fronts traveling in opposite directions, the fronts meet and are almost immediately stoped after meeting. The temperature of the meeting fronts has dropped somewhat at the welding zone, this leads to a weak welding condition since the molecular diffusion and entanglement is rather poor in the low temperature area. For unreinforced plastics, the tensile strength in the cold weld region can be reduced to 80%; for fiber-reinforced plastics, this value is reduced to 30% to 40%. The melt temperature is the most significant process variable in the welding phenomena. Hotter melt tends to improve the weld strength due to the increased molecular chain mobility and their coupling. Increase the mold temperature is another strategy to improve the welding strength. Besides, welding strength can be improved by good molding venting (avoid air entrapment), high injection speed (decrease the temperature drop). Gate design play an important role in the removal or elimination of weld lines.

27

Mold.ppt

Weld line and Gate Design

Edge gating will lead to
a weld line opposite the gate Weld strength is weak when diameter ( &flow length ) is increased.

Spoke gating will produce four weld lines with stronger weld strength due to shorter flow lengths Sprue gating at the cup bottom will eliminate weld line,gate mark problem CORETECH SYSTEM

Consider the gate design in an injection-molded cup. This part can be produced using a single edge gate in a two-plate mold. This gating scheme would result in a cold weld line opposite the gate. As the diameter of the cup is increased, the weld line becomes more visible and the welding strength is decreased since the flow length prior to welding is longer and the welding temperature is lower. When an internal spoke gating scheme is adopted, although four weld lines will be formed, however, each weld line is likely to be stronger (compared to the part with a single edge gate) due to the reduction in melt flow length in the cavity. Hence the weld line produced by the spoke gate is less visible and the welding is stronger. If a sprue gate at the cup bottom is used in this case. No weld line would be produced in the final part. However, the significant gate mark is a problem and an postoperation is require to finish the product.

28

Mold.ppt

Location of Weld Line
Top Cover of Scanner
Possible weld line location

Possible weld line location

PLAY447

CORETECH SYSTEM

In general, weld lines would be visually unacceptable, or, since they act as stress concentrator, may be structurally unacceptable, depend on the product specification and quality requirement. Computer analysis is capable of predicting the possible location of weld line. According to the analysis result we can modify the gate design, part design (modify the part thickness), or process condition, to relocate the weld lines to visually or structurally less sensitive areas. Consider a scanner cover that is produced by three submarine gates as an example. In multi-gated parts the weld lines are almost unfavorable. From the CAE analysis result we can predict the possible weld line locations and check if they occur in critical regions. This precautions from CAE analysis in the design phase will minimize the risk of part failure. We can modify the design conditions to see if the weld lines can be relocated to noncritical regions. When they are unavoidable, venting plays an important role in improving the weld strength. That is, it is essential that air at the weld should escape before the melt streams meet. Other techniques to improve weld strength are to : - Increase melt temperature (that is, chain mobility and coupling) - Increase mold temperature (that is, chain mobility and coupling) - Increase injection pressure (that is, lower the temperature difference) - Avoid use of external release mold lubricant (avoid the presence of substances at the weld interface) foreign

29

Mold.ppt

Weld Line and Gate Design
Allow cavity filling with a minimum no. weld lines

more significant weld line less significant weld line

more significant weld line

CORETECH SYSTEM

As a rule, if a single gate can fill the cavity without excessive injection pressure, use it. Multiple gating always produce extra weld lines in the product. However, two or more gates per cavity are sometimes required for very large products (such as automobile products, bottle crates, etc.) where the flow lengths from a single gate would be too long and/or too high the injection pressure is required to fill the cavity. In some cases a multiple gating scheme is required to avoid short-shot (incomplete filling) problems. Consider the injection-molding of the motorcycle side cover by ABS. If two gates per cavity is adopted, one weld line is produced in each cavity. However, the injection pressure required is high and short-shot problem will present in the end of filling; If triple gating scheme is employed, the cavity can be complete filled without difficulty, except that there is an additional (less significant) weld line in the final product. It is important that the melt arrives at the welds (junction points) hot enough to form an acceptable welding. Venting problem should not be overlooked in improving the weld strength.

30

Mold.ppt

Air-Trap and Gate Location
Racetrack Effect
Air-trap here

Air Bag Housing

thinner section (0.5-0.8mm)

PLAY

thicker section (>10mm) CORETECH SYSTEM

When the plastic melt fills the mold, it displaces the air. The displaced air must be removed quickly, or it may cause burn spot (due to the fast compression of trapped air pocket by the low-thermal-conductivity polymer melt), or it may restrict the flow of the melt into the mold cavity, resulting in incomplete filling (short-shot problem). Consider the injection-molding of a air bag housing. Notice that the part consists of a thin central region and a thick rim around it. A single gate is adopted in the original design. Most of the melt flow along the part side since the section is thicker and the flow resistance is lower than that in the central thinner region. That is, the melt races away along the thick rim while the central region is filling at a slow rate. The filling along the rim is dominant and finally the melt backfills the central region and cause an entrapment of air there. In this case an air-trap problem is caused by the racetrack effect of melt flow. To avoid the buring or incomplete filling associated with the entrapment of air, proper venting is required. Venting is provided by the clearance between knockout/vent pins and their holes, parting lines, as well as additional venting slots (in general, 0.01 to 0.02mm deep and 3mm to 6mm wide). Gate location is directly related to the consideration of venting location. In general, the vent is located opposite the gate, area near the end of filling, or in the air-trap position.

31

Mold.ppt

Viscous Heating and Gate Size
temperature peak caused by viscous heating effect pinpoint gate (dia.=2mm)

Temperature (oC)

inlet melt temperature
Gapwise Scale

Melt viscosity is reduced and flowability is improved by raising the melt temperature via viscous heating effect Temperature raised <15 oC (lower value for thermal sensitive material)
CORETECH SYSTEM

As the melt flows through the restricted gate, the flow velocity is sufficient high and the melt is highly sheared in the narrow passage. This frictional (viscous) heating would cause a raising in melt temperature. The temperature change is related to the melt viscosity and the local shear rate. The nomial wall shear rate in the gate is greater than 1000 sec-1 and can reach as high as 105 sec-1. At this high shear rate the viscosity may be reduced due to the shear-thinning rheological character of polymer melt. The melt viscosity is further reduced by the viscous heating in the gate region. The viscosity reduction as the melt flows through the gate is important in improving the flowability of the material. A gate should be properly sized so that it could provide sufficient shearing and viscous heating in order to achieve the greatest flow length possible. If the gate is too large, it may freeze permaturely due to the insufficient viscous heating and the dominant mold cooling effect. On the other hand, if the gate is too small, filling process is highly restricted, leads to the overheating and thermal degradation of part. In general, the temperature change across the gate should be controlled within the range of 15 oC; if the material processed is thermal-sensitive, the range should be smaller.

32

Mold.ppt

Gate Design vs. Part Shrinkage
Higher Packing Lower Packing

Part Shrinkage

Demolding

Gate Size

Less Shrinkage

Larger Shrinkage

Differential Shrinkage
Back

CORETECH SYSTEM

Gate design is important not only in controlling the filling pattern of the mold cavity, but also in the dimensional quality of molded part. Smaller gates freeze off sooner. Once the gates frozen, there is no melt added during the holding pressure stage, and the molded part will therefore shrink more. On the contrary, larger gates remain open longer. They freeze slowly and melt continues to feed under holding pressure through the open gate, adding more plastic as the melt shrinks in the cavity. Longer effective holding time and higher holding pressure level of larger gates lead to smaller part shrinkage values. In the mold cavity, the areas closer to the gating position are better packed than the more remote areas, which may already have cooled down enough to prevent additional melt to make up for volume contraction through shrinkage. The result is that the areas near the gate shrink less than the areas farther away. Besides, during the mold filling stage the polymer molecules undergo a stretching that results in molecular orientation and anisotropic shrinkage behavior: plastic materials tend to shrink more along the direction of flow (inflow shrinkage) compared to the direction perpendicular to flow (cross-flow shrinkage), while the shrinkage behavior of reinforced material is restricted along the fiber-orientation direction. This differential shrinkage is the primary cause of part warpage.

33

Mold.ppt

Cooling System Design
•Layout •Size •Distance to Molding •Coolant Flow Rate •Coolant Temperature •Type of Coolant •Mold Material

cooling channels molding

CORETECH SYSTEM

The mold of thermoplastics receives the hot, molten plastic in its cavity and cools it to solidify to the point of ejection. The mold is equiped with cooling channels or cooling lines that remove heat released from the part via flowing coolant. The mold temperature is controlled by regulating the temperature of coolant and its flow rate through the cooling channels. Productivity (cycle time) and quality (dimensional accuracy) of molded part depend heavily on the design and efficiency of the cooling system. High efficiency cooling system may cool down the part uniformly and quickly, hence the cycle time can be shortened, this leads to an improvement of the molding productivity. The cooling channels should be spaced evenly to prevent uneven temper-ature on the mold surface, they should be as close to the part surface as possible, taking into account the strength of the mold material. The cooling channels are connected to permit a uniform flow of the coolant, and they are thermostatically controlled to maintain a given coolant temperature. Even mold temperature distribution is important to ensure the dimensional accuracy of molded part. Uneven mold temperature leads to unbalanced cooling of part surface. The thermal stresses associated with the temperature profile across the part thickness result in part warpage or distortion. Design parameters involved in cooling system involves the type of coolant and mold material, coolant flow rate, coolant temperature, distance and size of cooling channels, and their layout.

34

Mold.ppt

Cooling Channel Layout vs. Part Warpage
Lower Cooling Rate Hoter surface Larger Shrinkage

Demolding

Higher Cooling Rate Colder surface Smaller Shrinkage

Unbalanced Cooling

Warpage of Injection-Molded Part

CORETECH SYSTEM

Uniform cooling throughout the part is critical to the dimensional accuracy of molded part. Consider the cooling of an injection-molded plate part by a poor-designed cooling system. The top face of the part is cooled by three cooling channels, the part surface temperature in higher due to the insufficient cooling; on the other hand, the bottom face of the part is cooler since it is cooled by four cooling channels (assume that all cooling channel has the same cooling efficiency). The hotter top surface of the part will continue to shrink more than than the cooler bottom surface after the gate frozen off and part ejection. This differential shrinkage through the part thickness is caused by the differential cooling ( difference in the cooling rate between the cavity and the core) and would cause the part to warp due to the unbalanced internal thermal stresses and their associated bending moments as the part is ejected from the mold. Non-uniform cooling plays a key role in the warpage behavior of molded part, especially in the cases of flat moldings, such as disks (records, trays, etc). The differential cooling problem can be minimized with proper mold cooling system design.

35

Mold.ppt

Wall Thickness and Part Design
q Flow Length/Wall Thickness a measure of moldability of the part

Ratio (L/t Ratio)

L

⎛ Maximum Flow Length ⎞ ⎜ ⎟ From Gate to Rim ⎠ ⎝ L / t Ratio ≡ ( Average Wall Thickness )
Very-difficult-tomold part needs special equipment

t
0

Most parts relatively easy to mold
100 200

300

L/t Ratio Heavy-walled parts easy to mold Thin-walled part Difficult to mold, needs special considerations

CORETECH SYSTEM

An important measure of the moldability of a part design is its flow length/wall thickness ratio (L/t ratio). The L/t ratio of a part is defined as its maximum flow length from gate (the pressure source) to the farthest point (end point of filling), to its average wall thickness. A smaller values of the L/t ratio indicate a shorter flow length or thicker part section, represent a smaller flow resistance and pressure loss, hence the parts are easy to mold. On the other hand, thin-walled parts or parts with longer flow length have larger L/t ratios and the molding is more difficult to carry out. The L/t ratio of a given part can assist the part designer in determining the gate locations, especially for parts of constant wall thickness. It’s rather difficult to evaluate this value for a complicated part with variable wall thicknes, this situation is further complicated by the fact that runner systems can consume a significant portion of the mold’s pressure drop. Many factors influence the L/t ratio of a given design, such as plastic materials processed, melt temperature, mold temperature, maximum injection pressure, and injection velocity, etc.

36

Mold.ppt

Maximum Flow Length of Plastic Materials
Maximum Flow Length in a 2.54mm(0.1in.) thick part
LDPE PP HDPE PS ABS Acrylic Nylon Acetal PC,PVC

70-76 63-70 57-63 51-63 45 33-38 38 36 25 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 (cm)

0

CORETECH SYSTEM

The flow of the plastic melt in the mold depends on various factors, such as the plastic used, melt temperature, mold temperature, length and diameter of sprue and runners, gate type, etc. In determining the minimum wall thickness of the part, all these factors have to be considered. The L/t ratio achieveable depends heavily on the type of plastic to be processed. A high viscosity (low melt index) plastic such as polycarbonate (PC), polysulfone (PSU), acrylic,etc., has a higher resistance to flow because of its microstructure (cross linking, high molecular weight) and thus has a shorter maximum flow length. It requires higher injection pressure to fill the mold cavity with sufficient filling speed. For example, in a testing mold with a thickness of 2.54mm (0.1in.), the maximum flow length of PC is 25cm. On the other hand, for easy-flow, low-viscosity plastics such as poly-propylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), the maximum flow length is longer and the minimum wall thickness that can be filled is smaller than for stiff-flowing materials. Typical maximum flow length of general purpose grades of thermoplastics, based on a cavity thickness of 2.54mm (0.1 in.) and conventional molding techniques, are provided here to illustrate their processing properties. These data are obtained from the spiral flow length experment and can be used as a reference of moldability of various resin grades. The actual maximum flow length of a plastic material depends on part design, mold design, as well as the process variables.

37

Mold.ppt

Maximum Flow Length of Plastic Materials
@constant injection speed, mold/melt temperature @constant injection pressure injection speed

Maximum Flow Length

increasing injection pressure

Maximum Flow Length

increasing melt/mold temperature

Part Thickness

Part Thickness

CORETECH SYSTEM

The maximum flow length achieveable for a particular plastic grade depends on molding conditions of the experiments. For instance, under a constant injection speed/mold temperature/melt temperature condition, the flow length increases as the applied injection pressure is increased because of the increasing driving force for mold filling. Thus easyto-flow materials require a lower injection pressure to fill the mold cavity with sufficient filling speed. Under a constant injection speed/injection pressure condition, the maximum flow length of a given material increases as the mold temperature and/or the melt temperature is raised. A plastic material has a longer flow length at higher temperature because of its thermal-reduced melt viscosity. These flow length data of plastic materials provide valuable information about their flow behavior and processing properties. They are available from material suppliers.

38

Mold.ppt

Wall Thickness of a Part
Plastics POM ABS Acrylic/PMMA Cellulose Teflon Nylon PC Polyester LDPE HDPE EVA PP PSU PPO PPS PS SAN PVC-Rigid PU Surlyn Min. W all Thickness (mm) 0.4 0.75 0.6 0.6 0.25 0.4 1.0 0.6 0.5 0.9 0.5 0.6 1.0 0.75 0.75 0.75 0.75 1.0 0.6 0.6 Max. W all Thickness (mm) 3.0 3.0 6.4 4.7 12.7 3.0 9.5 12.7 6.0 6.0 3.0 7.6 9.5 9.5 3.8 6.4 6.4 9.5 38.0 19.0 Suggested W all Thickness (mm) 1.6 2.3 2.4 1.9 0.9 1.6 2.4 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.6 2.0 2.5 2.0 2.3 1.6 1.6 2.4 12.7 1.6

CORETECH SYSTEM

The nominal minimum, maximum, and suggested wall thickness for various plastic materials is listed here. The essential issue in determining the wall thickness of a part is the flowability of polymer melt. The wall of a part should allows plastic melt to flow properly under appropriate injection pressure. The wall should permits effective transmission of packing/holding pressure during the holding stage. Finally, the wall should withstand the internal/external loading after the part is ejected from the mold cavity. The allowable minimum wall thickness is smaller for easy-flow, low-viscosity plastics such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). This value is larger for polycarbonate (PC) and polysulfone (PSU) that are more viscous and stiffflow. Typically, a thin-walled part can be arbitrarily defined as a part with a L/t ratio greater than 200 or with wall thickness less than 1mm (t<1mm). In a thin-walled part mold cooling effect is dominant and the part is rapidly cooled. Cycle time is usually short (less than 10 sec). The injection pressure needed is higher for proper filling and short-shot (incomplete filling) can be a problem. A heavy-walled part can be defined as a part with a L/t ratio smaller than 100 or with wall thickness more than 2mm (t>2mm). Filling is not a problem in a heavy wall and the injection pressure needed is lower than that of the thin wall. Cycle time is long, often longer than 20 sec. Determining the proper part thickness is important to facilitate the processing and ensure product strength.

39

Mold.ppt

Wall Thickness of a Part
q

Empirical Equation t,L in mm
⎛ L ⎞ for easy - flow plastics: t = 0.6 ⎜ + 0.5 ⎟ ⎝100 ⎠ for fair - flow plastics: for stiff - flow plastics: ⎛ L ⎞ t = 0.7 ⎜ + 0.8 ⎟ ⎝100 ⎠ ⎛ L ⎞ +1.2 ⎟ t = 0.9⎜ ⎝100 ⎠

e.g.,PP,PE,Nylon e.g.,POM,PMMA e.g.,PC,PSU

CORETECH SYSTEM

An empirical equation is presented here to give an rough estimate of wall thickness for a plastic part. For example, if polypropylene (PP) is used as the molding compound, the wall thickness of a 50-cm long part will be:

⎞ ⎛ 500 t = 0.6⎜ + 0.5⎟ = 3.3mm ⎝ 100 ⎠ wile for the stiff-flow polycarbonate (PC) the required wall thickness is: ⎛ 500 ⎞ t = 0.9⎜ + 1.2⎟ = 5.6mm ⎝ 100 ⎠ the cooling time is about four times that of PP.

40

Mold.ppt

Part Wall Transition
flow
t

Sharp/Stepped Transition: poor design Gradual Transition: better design thick-to-thin gating
flow
3t

flow

3t

Gradual Transition: thin-to-thick gating (not recommended) Smooth/Tapered Transition: best design

flow

3t

CORETECH SYSTEM

For a variable wall thickness part, the wall transition should be gradual to ensure proper mold filling and part strength. Consider the sharp or stepped transition case, the wall thickness undergoes a step change in the part. During the filling stage the melt front chages its filling velocity suddenly in the wall thickness transition region and a pressure loss is caused by the flow contraction effect. The filling pattern in this design may result in air entrapment and stress concentration problems. A better design is to modify the stepped transition into a gradual transition (usually tapered a transition length equal to three times the difference in thickness). The melt velocity undergoes a gradual change as the cross section contracts gradually. Pressure loss due to the gradual contraction is lower than that of the stepped transition. High stress concentration around the transition region can be avoided. The best design is to vary the wall thickness as smooth as possible, usually a tapered transition is adopted. Pressure loss and stress concentration can be minimized in this design. Note that the melt flow should be directed in the direction from “thick-to-thin” whenever posible. The thicker section requires more packing/holding to compensate for volume contraction and should be located closest to the gate. If the flow direction is from thin section to thick section, the thinner section may freeze off faster and hinder the packing of the thicker section, poor surface finishes and sink mark/warpage problems may be caused.

41

Mold.ppt

Wall Thickness and Shrinkage
sink mark

Shrinkage voids local heavy section:poor

Use two short thick ribs:good

Core out the heavy section:better

Use a long thin ribs:better CORETECH SYSTEM

Thin wall parts with heavy boss, ribs, rims, and/or other local heavy cross sections usually is difficult to molding. Usually the poorly cooled heavy sections will shrink more because the holding pressure will be ineffective after the thin walls freeze and block the melt flow to these heavy sections. This can be often seen by the sink marks on the surface behind these local heavy sections. Also, the differential cooling and shrinkage of the thin and thick sections lead to warpage of the molded part. When the cooled outer surface of the part is strong to resist sinking and the inner hot melt cools and shrinks, shrinkage holes/voids will be created within the plastic wall. Thick ribs provide improved structural benefits and are easier to fill, however, the level of sink associated with the thick ribs can be excessive. The sink mark and internal shrinkage voids problems are significant if the rib wall thickness is too heavy and/or if the rib base is wide. Adopt a long but thin rib is a good strategy to improve the design. In practice, rib wall thicknesses are typically 40%-80% as great as the wall from which they extended, with a base radius values from 25%-40% of the wall thickness. The specific rib designs are material dependent, and are influenced primarily by the shrinkage behavior of the plastic material. Alternative better design is to core out the heavy section, uniform wall thickness can be obtained in this case. This results in cycle time reduction along with an overall quality improvement.

42

Mold.ppt

Wall Thickness and Shrinkage
original design
part warpage sink mark thin section thick section sink mark thick section rib sink mark voids stress concentration sink mark

better design

CORETECH SYSTEM

Thick walls in a part will fill easily, with less pressure, but will take a longer time to cool and shrink more; on the other hand, thin walls require much higher pressure to fill the cavity space at high speed and will not shrink as much as heavy walls. Thin wall parts with heavy boss, ribs, rims, and/or other local heavy cross sections usually is difficult to molding. Problems such as sink marks, warpage, and shrinkage voids may be caused if the part wall is not properly desinged. When parts have both thick and thin sections, gating into the thick section is preferred because it enables packing/holding of the heavy section, even if the thinner sections have frozen off. The design can be further improved by coring out heavy bosses and heavy sections, and by using ribs and edge stiffeners to compensate for the loss in stiffness of a thinner section. A cored out section not only shrinks less but also takes a shorter cooling time. A properly design part, with even wall thickness and adequate ribbing, is usually stronger and stiffer than a part with thicker and/or uneven walls. Saving of material, reduction in part weight and cycle time, improvement in part quality , etc., are the advantages obtained if we design the part carefully.

43