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- Plastic Product Design Guidelines - Pushkar Deore - pushkar.deore@tapsl.com

Department - Engineering and Business Development Version Date - 00 - 1st June 2006

Distribution - Knowledge Based Management

Plastic Product Features
Any automobile interior / exterior thermoplastic part comes across different types of design features. Some of the most important design features are discussed in this document. Index 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) Corners and Edges Ribs Boss Boss for self tapping screws Lugs Holes Snap fit design Integrated snap clips Strengthening the parts Drafts

Corners And Edges

Corners And Edges
In the design of injection molded parts, sharp corners should be avoided. Sharp corners act as stress risers or concentrators, reducing part strength and causing premature failures. Sharp corners may also effect plastic flow, producing parts with objectionable surface flow patterns.

The inside radius should be at least half the part wall thickness The outside radius should equal the inside radius plus the part thickness (i.e. 0.100 wall and inside radius of 0.050 equals outside radius of 0.150)

Corners And Edges
As can be seen from the above chart, the stress concentration factor is quite high for R/T values less than 0.5. For values of R/T over 0.5 the stress concentration factor gets lower. The stress concentration factor is a multiplier factor, it increases the stress. Actual Stress = Stress Concentration Factor K x Stress Calculated

This is why it is recommended that inside radiuses be a minimum of 1x thickness. In addition to reducing stresses, fillet radiuses provide streamlined flow path for the molten plastic resulting in easier fills.

Ribs

Ribs
Many times the stiffness of a part must increase because of the load applied to the part design. Without ribs, the thickness has to be increased to increase the bending stiffness One of the easiest ways to cure this problem is change the part geometry by adding ribs. The use of ribs is a practical way and economical means of increasing the bending stiffness i.e. the structural strength of a part. But there are guidelines that govern adding ribs without causing sink marks or surface blemishes to your parts. 1) Rib thickness should be less than wall thickness. A rib thickness of 60% to 80% of nominal wall thickness is recommended .Rib should be attached to the base with generous radiusing at the corners

Ribs
4) For thick ribs "core out" the rib from the back. This creates a hollow space underneath the part and maintains a uniform wall thickness.

5) At rib intersections, the resulting thickness will be more than the thickness of each individual rib. Coring or some other means of removing material should be used to thin down the walls to avoid excessive sinking on the opposite side.

Ribs

2) To increase stiffness increase the number of ribs or "gusset plates", another feature designed to strengthen the plastic part.

3) For a given stiffness, it is better to increase the number of ribs, not the height.

Ribs
6) The height of the rib should be limited to less than 3 x thickness.

7) The rib orientation is based on providing maximum bending stiffness. Depending on orientation of the bending load, with respect to the part geometry, ribs oriented one way increase stiffness. If oriented the wrong way there is no increase in stiffness.

Ribs
8) Draft angles for ribs should be minimum of 0.25 to 0.5 degree of draft per side. If the surface is textured, additional 1.0 degree draft per 0.025 mm (0.001 inch) depth of texture should be provided.

Bosses

Bosses General Design Guidelines
Bosses are used for locating, mounting, and assembly purposes. There are boss design guidelines that must be followed to insure the highest quality in molded parts. The wall thicknesses should be less than 60 % of nominal wall to minimize sinking. However, if the boss is not in a visible area, then the wall thickness can be increased to allow for increased stresses imposed by self-tapping screws. Nominal radius should be one quarter of the nominal part thickness, with minimum radius of .015 (i.e. .100 wall, 025r)

T= wall thickness of part

Bosses General Design Guidelines

Rule of thumb: the wall thickness around a boss design feature (t) should be 60% of the nominal part thickness (T) if that thickness is less than 1/8". If the nominal part thickness is greater than 1/8" the boss wall thickness should be 40% of the nominal wall. Height of the boss should be no more than 2&1/2 times the diameter of the hole in the boss to avoid surface imperfections like sink marks and voids:

Bosses Strengthening
The boss can be strengthened by gussets at the base, and by attaching it to nearby walls with connecting ribs

Boss Strengthening Technique Knit lines -these are cold lines of flow meeting at the boss from opposite sides ,causing weak bonds. These can split easily when stress is applied Knit lines should be relocated away from the boss, if possible. If not possible, then a supporting gusset should be added near the knit line.

Boss For Self Tapping Screws

Bosses For Self Tapping Screws
Self tapping screws reduce the molding and assembly costs by eliminating the need for molded threads or secondary tapping operations. They can be used to produce a reversible assembly and are ideal for use in applications where only limited reassembly is anticipated. Local increase in wall thickness should be avoided as they cause shrinkage stresses, sink marks or shrinkage voids.

Whenever possible bosses should be free standing, gusseted, or attached to sidewalls using ribs in order to minimize the potential for sink marks and shrinkage voids

Gusset plates are used to improve the torsional stiffness of free standing bosses

Bosses For Self Tapping Screws
• Pilot holes and clearance holes should be located in bosses set away from the sidewalls. • Bosses which have located away from vertical walls, can be reinforced with wall bosses to increase the torsional and bending stiffness and to boost manufacturing by improving material flow and venting efficiency.

• The depth of the pilot hole in the receiving boss should be greater than the screw engagement length (turns of penetration). The increase in depth removes excess plastic material resulting in a more uniform wall thickness. • Excessively thick or thin sections at the base of the blind boss should be avoided. The radii values used for the fillet must be large enough to minimize stress concentration, yet must be small enough to limit shrinkage related problems such as shrinkage stress, sinks and voids.

*Pilot holes --- A molded or drilled hole in the boss that accepts the screw.

Holes

Holes
Holes are easy to produce in molded parts. Core pins that protrude into the mold cavity make the holes when the part is molded. Through holes in the molded parts are easier to produce than blind holes, which do not go all the way through a part. Blind holes are made by core pins supported on one end only. A good rule of thumb: the depth of the blind hole should be about twice the diameter of core pins up to 3/16",and up to four times the diameter of core pins over3/16". The guidelines for blind and through holes are seen below. Blind Hole (shown with draft): L= 2D for Diameters Less than 3/16" dia. core pins L= 4D for Diameters More than 3/16" dia. core pins

Holes
Through Hole (shown with draft) L= 4D for D <3/16" dia. core pins L= 6D for D >3/16" dia. core pins As shown below the distance from the edge of a hole to a vertical surface (i.e. rib) or the edge of a part should be twice the part thickness (or more), or at least one diameter of the hole. This same rule applies between holes - at least two part thicknesses or one hole diameter should be specified.

T= wall thickness of part D= diameter of hole

Holes
For every cored or molded hole there will be a weld line. The weld lines are caused by the flow of the melted plastic around the core pins. These weld lines are not as strong as the surrounding plastic material, and also may detract from the overall appearance of the molded part. The part designer should consider these points when designing holes in a molded part. when holes and other features run perpendicular to the parting line then retractable cores (or cams) are required. whenever possible all design features should be incorporated in the same direction of the mold opening so that cam action can be avoided. if in case the side cores are needed the designer should be aware of problem of side action core and the added expenses.

Snap Fit Design

Snaps
Snaps allow an easy method of assembly and disassembly of plastic parts. Snaps consist of a cantilever beam with a bump that deflects and snaps into a groove or a slot in the mating part.

Snaps
Snaps can have a uniform cross-section or a tapered cross section (with decreasing section height). The tapered cross-section results in a smaller strain compared to the uniform cross-section. Here we consider the general case of a beam tapering in both directions.

Snaps
When Rh=1 and Rb=1 , the above formula does not apply, L'Hospital's rule applies and the formula is simplified to the following:

Disassembly force. The disassembly force is a function of the coefficient of friction, which ranges from 0.3 to 0.6 for most plastics. The coefficient of friction also varies with the surface roughness. The rougher the surface, the higher the coefficient of friction.

Snaps
There is an angle at which the mating parts cannot be pulled apart. This is known as the self-locking angle. If the angle of the snap is less than this angle, then the assembly can be disassembled by a certain force given by the above formula.

The self-locking angle a = tan-1(1/µ) where µ is the coefficient of friction which ranges from 0.3 to 0.6 for most plastics. This computes to angles ranging from 73° for low coefficient of friction plastics to 59° for high coefficient of friction plastics. If this angle is exceeded then the snaps will not pull apart unless the snap beam is deflected by some other means such as a release tool.

Snaps
If the snaps are to be used in the factory for assembly only (never to be disassembled by the end user), then the ramp angle the self-locking angle should be exceeded. If the user is expected to disassemble (to change batteries in a toy for example), then the angle should not be exceeded. Tooling for snaps is often expensive and long lead time due to The iterations required achieving the proper fit in terms of over travel. The amount of over travel is a design issue. This will control how easy it is to assemble, and how much the mated parts can rattle in assembly. This rattle can be minimized by reducing the over travel or designing in a preload to use the plastic's elastic properties. However, plastics tend to creep under load, so preloading is to be avoided unless there is no other option.

Snaps
Often, side action tooling (cam actuated) is required. This increases the mold costs and lead times. Cam actuated tooling can be avoided if bypass coring can be used that results in an opening in the part to allow the coring to form the step.

Design the latch taking into account the maximum strain encountered at maximum deflection In general, long latches are more forgiving of design errors than short latches for the same amount of deflection, because of the reduced bending strain.

Strengthening the Part

Strengthening the Part
Radii/Fillets: In the design of injection molded parts, sharp corners should be avoided. Sharp corners act as stress risers or concentrators, reducing part strength and causing premature failures. Sharp corners may also effect plastic flow, producing parts with objectionable surface flow patterns. In addition to reducing stresses, fillet radiuses provide streamline flow Paths for the molten plastic resulting in easier fills.

Strengthening the Part
Ribs: Refer the slide number 07/08/09/10 Inserts: Internally threaded metal inserts are commonly used with plastic to produce a high quality, durable means of mechanical assembly for application requiring serviceability (multiple assembly/disassembly. The inserts are designed for use with machine screws, where open or blind assemblies are required. The inserts can be molded in or can be inserted into a hole in the part after molding. Inserts that are molded in for purpose of assembly are typically blind cylindrical devices with internal machine threads: • Inserts must have provisions for both axial and torsional anchorage. • Inserts should have generous radii wherever possible to avoid stress concentration and improve material flow. • Grooves provide pull out strength while splines or knurls provide added torsional strength. • Knurls should be rounded whenever possible and have depths of at least 0.010 inch.

Strengthening the Part

• There also must be sufficient space beneath the blind insert to facilitate material flow, avoid weld line formation and provide additional strength. Open Inserts: • Open inserts should have shoulders on each end or can be slightly longer,0.001 to 0.002 inch than the cavity gap to provide positive shut off. • Inserts in the direction of the mold are most easily molded and they are supported by core pins.

Drafts

Drafts For Tooling
Drafts (or taper) in a mold, facilitates part removal from the mold. The amount of draft angle depends on the depth of the part in the mold, and its required end use function. The draft is in the offset angle in a direction parallel to the mold opening and closing.

It is best to allow for as much draft as possible for easy release from the mold. As a nominal recommendation, it is best to allow 1 to 2 degrees of draft, with an additional 1.5° min. per 0.025 mm (0.001 inch) depth of texture. See below. The mold parting line can be relocated to split the draft in order to minimize it. If no draft is acceptable due to design considerations, then a sideaction mold (cam-actuated) may be required at a greater expense in tooling

Drafts For Texturing
? Textures and Lettering can be molded on the surfaces, as an aesthetic aid or for incorporating identifying information, either for end users or factory. Texturing also helps hide surface defects such as knit lines, and other surface imperfections. The depth of texture or letters is somewhat limited, and extra draft needs to be provided to allow for mold withdrawal without marring the surface. Draft for texturing is somewhat dependant on the mold design and the specific mold texture. As a general guideline, 1.5° min. per 0.025mm (0.001 inch) depth of texture needs to be allowed for in addition to the normal draft. Usually for general office equipment such as lap-top computers a texture depth of 0.025 mm (0.001 inch) is used and the min. draft recommended is 1.5 °. More may be needed for heavier textures surfaces such as leather texture (with a depth of 0.125 mm/0.005 inch) that requires a min. draft of 7.5°.

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