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Mold Design (Advance) Page 1

1- Temperature Control Basics
Temperature control for a mold refers to a control of receiving and releasing heat on the mold.
In this connection knowledge of heat conductivity is important for consideration of heat
reception and heat dissipation. Thus the basics of thermal conductivity will be reviewed as
1-1 Heat transfer
When there is a certain temperature difference in an object or between objects, heat will transfer
to keep thermal equilibrium in a system. Heat will be transferred from high side to low side and
the transfer modes are classified as follows:

Heat conduction
Heat transfer Convection heat transfer (Heat delivery)
Radiation heat transfer
Above three occur in a complex manner, but one normally dominates others.
1-1-1 Heat conduction
Characteristic of heat conduction is that the conductor does not move. Thus heat transfer in a
solid object is considered to be the result of genuine heat conduction. To a certain extent heat
conduction occurs in gas and liquid but the conductivity there is prohibitively small in
comparison with that of solid body. Transfer of heat is made from high temperature area to low
temperature area and the transfer rate is proportional to the temperature gradient and the cross
section area of heat passage. This is called Fourier’s Heat Conduction Law and the formula is
shown below (Fig. 1-1-1.1).
Q = λ• • A1 ................................................................. Formula (
Where Q: Heat transfer rate: Heat flow (kcal/h)
ΔT1 : Temperature difference between 2 points (℃)
S: Distance between 2 points (m)
A1: Cross-section area perpendicular to heat flow (m2)
λ : Heat conductivity (kcal/m•h•℃)

In the case of heat transfer from resin to mold in the molding process, both heat conduction and
heat convection occur simultaneously during the injection process but heat conduction
dominates during cooling process under holding pressure after the injection process. Heat
transfer from cavity surface to wall surface of cooling water pipe is made under genuine heat
conduction because it is a heat transfer in a solid body.
Incidentally, heat conductivity of S50C steel, which is often used as mold material, is about 46
kcal/m•h•℃, while heat conductivity of HDPE, which has rather high heat conductivity among
resins, is 0.4 kcal/m•h•℃ and that of GPPS, lower heat conductivity among resins, is about 0.1
kcal/m•h•℃. The ratio to S50C is 1:115 and 1:460 respectively (Fig. 1-1-1.2).

Mold Design (Advance) Page 2


Section Area

Section A-A

S = Distance

Heat "Solid"



Fig. 1-1-1.1 Image of Heat Transfer



* Notice log scaling.


Heat Conductivity: λ (kcal/m•h•℃)

Fig. 1-1-1.2 Heat Conductivity of Various Materials (Ambient Temp. 20℃)

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1-1-2 Convection heat transfer (Heat delivery)

Looking into heat transfer between liquid and solid, effect of heat transfer along with
movement of liquid is much greater than heat conduction. It is called convection heat
transfer or heat delivery. The heat transfer rate is proportional to temperature difference
between solid and liquid and transfer area between the same. The formula is shown

Q = α•ΔT2•A2 (kcal/h) ....................................................... Formula (

Where A2: Heat transfer area between solid and liquid (m2)
ΔT2 : Temperature difference between solid and liquid (℃)
α : Heat transfer coefficient (kcal/m2•h•℃)

Difference between heat delivery and heat conduction is that in the heat delivery heat
transfers along with moving liquid media and heat transfer coefficient α is not a specific
constant for material like λ (formula and varies depending upon flow condition.

It is considered that there exists a stable film of liquid (or gas), named boundary film,
between solid and flow media. This film is not subject to convection heat transfer but
conduction heat transfer only. As heat conductivity of flow medium is small in
comparison to solid, this boundary film can be treated as a kind of insulation layer made
of flow medium (Fig. 1-1-2.1).

Accordingly if a flow makes the film thinner, the heat transfer coefficient α becomes
greater and the heat transfer rate becomes faster. Generally in the case of slow flow
velocity, the flow forms so called laminate flow in which liquid is not mixed. In this case
the boundary film is thicker. On the other hand the film is thinner if the flow is under
turbulent flow with high velocity where liquid is well mixed.

As explained, heat transfer coefficient α is the one having a boundary film in between
and influenced substantially by the film thickness. Thus it may be called as boundary
film heat transfer coefficient. It is important how to determine α in the convection heat
transfer. One way is to determine α on the basis of Nusselt Number (Nu) which
represents magnitude of heat transfer between solid and flow medium.

α = Nu λ F/D (kcal/m2•h•℃) ............................................ Formula (

Where λ F: Heat conductivity of fluid (kcal/m•h•℃)

D: Internal diameter of pipe (m)

Convection heat transfer can be classified by two. One is natural convection heat transfer and
another is enforced convection heat transfer. Heat discharge from mold to atmosphere is mainly
influenced by natural convection heat transfer together with radiation heat transfer to be
explained later. While, heat transfer from mold (internal wall of cooling water tube) to cooling
medium (water or oil) is mainly affected by enforced convection heat transfer.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 4


Solid Liquid


Boundary Film

A2: Conduction Area

Heat Flow: Q = α•∆T2•A2 (kcal/h)

Fig. 1-1-2.1 Heat Transfer from Solid to Liquid

1-1-3 Radiation heat transfer

Thermal energy from the sun is brought to the earth through a space without any transfer
media. This is because heat transfers as electro magnetic wave as same as light and
electric wave. This sort of heat transfer is called radiation heat transfer or simply

Any material radiates heat unless its temperature is 0°K (-273℃) in absolute
temperature. The radiation is mutually absorbed, reflected or passed trough. The heat
transfer rate in radiation is proportional to difference of the 4th power of absolute
temperature (Kelvin’s temperature). It is shown below (Fig. 1-1-3.1).

Q = K (TA4 ― TB4) (kcal/h) ................................................. Formula (

Where TA: Absolute temperature of object A (°K)

TB: Absolute temperature of object B (°K)
K: Proportion constant

Proportion constant k includes various elements. This k is not given based on physical
property like heat conductivity (λ) but calculation like heat transfer coefficient (α). In
the case of radiation from a mold, a formula is given below considering object a (mold)
is surrounded by object b (air) and radiation area ratio (AA/AB) is negligibly small.
Mold Design (Advance) Page 5

⎧⎪⎛ T 4 ⎞ ⎛ T 4 ⎞⎪⎫
Q = ⎨⎜⎜ A ⎟⎟ − ⎜⎜ B ⎟⎟⎬ (kcal/h) ........................................... Formula (
⎪⎩⎝ 100 ⎠ ⎝ 100 ⎠⎪⎭

Where AA:Surface area of object a (m2)

σ : Black Radiation constant = 4.88 kcal/m2•h•k4
ε : Radiation rate of object A

In the formula (, let us see the influence to heat flow due to radiation of mold
temperature by varying the temperature TA like 40℃, 80℃, and 120℃. Room
temperature TB is assumed to be 25℃. Result shows when TA changes to 2 times and 3
times, resultant Q changes 4.5 times and 9.3 times. This tells you that radiation transfer
cannot be ignored if temperature difference between room temperature and heated object
temperature is big when the object is exposed to atmosphere.



Fig. 1-1-3.1 Image of Heat Radiation Transfer

Mold Design (Advance) Page 6


1-2 Received heat of a mold

In terms of received heat (QI) of a mold, the biggest source must be from resin (QA). Other
sources may be of heat from nozzle (QB) of nozzle touch area of injection machine or
received heat from hot runner manifold and hot tip area (QC) in the case of hot runner mold
(Fig. 1-2.1).

QI = QA + QB + QC (kcal/h)....................................................... Formula (1.2.1)

Let’s take up received heat from resin (QA). When W (kg/h) is resin weight injected per
hour, received heat (QA) can be calculated by applying following formula.

QA = W • {CP (TP - TR) + L • C} (kcal/kg•℃) .......................... Formula (1.2.2)

Where CP: Specific heat of resin (kcal/kg•℃)

TP: Resin Temperature (℃)
TR: Temperature at mold separation (℃)
L: Latent heat of crystalline resin (kcal/kg)
C: Crystallinity of crystalline resin (0.1~0.8)

In the formula (1.2.2), temperature at mold separation (TR) can be replaced by thermal
deformation temperature to assure the temperature in the center of the thickest portion of the
product to be lower than the heat distortion temperature. In this case, try to set the
temperature 10~30℃lower than the heat distortion temperature to entertain safety
consideration. A part of the formula {CP(TP-TR) +L•C} can be roughly estimated by resin
material, when the value is represented by total heat amount (Q), formula (1.2.2) can be
shown as below.

QA = W•Q (kcal/kg) .................................................................. Formula (1.2.3)

Table 1-2.1 shows estimated values of Q by resin material in the safe direction (estimating q
in the bigger side).

3) Released heat from a mold

If there is no temperature control device on a mold (natural radiation only), released heat
from a mold (QO) should consist of transferred heat to platen of injection machine (QD) and
radiated heat to atmosphere (QE) (Fig. 1-2.2).

QO = QD + QE (kcal/h)............................................................... Formula (1.2.4)

QD is calculated as heat passing through composite wall surfaces, but estimation of heat
resistance between mold clamping plate and platen of injection machine is very difficult. QE
is considered as a mixture of convection and radiation heat transfer. It is influenced by
molding conditions such as mold temperature, airflow, mold open time, etc.
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In case of cold runner : QI = Qa + Qb

In case of hot runner : QI = Qa + Qc

Heat from melted resin Heat from Heat from hot

nozzle touch area runner area

Fig. 1-2.1 Various Heat Received by Mold (QI)

Specific Heat Cp Latent heat L Crystalline Total Heat q

Resin Material Rate C

Table 1-2.1 Heat Specifics of Resin Material

Platen of Injection


a. Released Heat at b. Released Heat at Mold

Mold Binding Opening

Fig. 1-2.2 Released Heat from Mold (Q0)

Mold Design (Advance) Page 8


1-3 Heat to be removed from a mold

A mold reaches to thermally balanced condition through heat receiving and heat releasing
process. Thus theoretically speaking, molding can be made without temperature control
device as long as the balanced temperature is suitable for the plastic molding. However it is
advised not to precede molding without temperature control device because a long time will
be needed before reaching to a balanced condition and moreover mold temperature cannot
be stable being influenced by environmental disturbances.

If receiving heat is more than releasing heat and thermal balanced point is higher than
required temperature range, cooling device is needed. On the other hand, if receiving heat is
less than releasing heat and balanced temperature point is lower than required temperature
range, heating device should be arranged (Fig. 1-3.1).

Here in this section, condition QO< QI, in other words, condition required to cool off a mold,
will be taken and heat to be removed from a mold will be discussed. Removed heat QR can
be expressed in a molding cycle where receiving and releasing heat are to be balanced.

QI = QO + QR (kcal/h)................................................................ Formula (1.3.1)

QR = QI – QO (kcal/h) ................................................................ Formula (1.3.2)

If you understand basics behind the formula (1.3.3), you may simplify the calculation as
follows. In the cold runner mold, QB can be traded off by (QD + QE) because (QD + QE) is
usually bigger than QB. By trading them off, cooling calculation will come to safe side
(increased requirement for cooling). In this way, you may treat heat to be removed (QR) is
equivalent to received heat (QA) from resin.

QR ≒QA ≒ W • Q (kcal/h) ....................................................... Formula (1.3.4)

In the heat transfer calculation, you may apply formula (1.3.4) for approximate result
because q in formula (1.2.3) and table (1-2.1) are given in the safe side. However if you
intend to apply formula (1.2.2), it is advised to incorporate 1.5 times safety factor taking
account of possible requirement of cycle shortening and expected deterioration in the heat
exchanger performance.

QR = 1.5 QA
= 1.5 W • {CP (TP – TR) + L • C} (kcal/h) ........................... Formula (1.3.5)

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Assuming QR can be applicable to all kinds of cooling medium, following formula can be

QR = WL • CPL (TW -TL) (kcal/h) ............................................ Formula (1.3.6)

Where WL: Required weight of cooling agent (kg/h)

CPL: Specific heat of cooling agent (kcal/kg•℃)
TW: Internal wall temperature of cooling tube (℃)
TL: Average temperature of cooling agent (℃)

TL in formula (1.3.6) is average temperature of the cooling medium other than that in the
boundary film. In the case of water as cooling medium, (TW–TL) can be regarded as about
2~3℃. WL and VL, required volume of cooling agent can be expressed as follows:

WL = VL • ρL (kg/h)................................................................... Formula (1.3.7)

VL = V • πD2/4 (m3/h) ............................................................... Formula (1.3.8)

Where PL: Density of cooling medium (kg/m3)

V: Flow velocity of cooling medium (m/h)
D: Internal diameter of cooling tube (m)

Flow velocity V can be derived from formulae (1.3.4) or (1.3.5), (1.3.6), (1.3.7) and (1.3.8),
as follows:

4W • Q
V= (m / h ) .................................... Formula (1.3.9)
π • D 2 • ρ L • C PL (TW − TL )

More accurate formula must be:

4 × 1.5W • {C P (TP − TR ) + L • C}
V= (m / h ) ........................... Formula (1.3.10)
π • D 2 • ρ L • C PL (TW − TL )

Internal diameter of cooling tube (D) in above formulae should be picked up from Table 1-
3.1 temporally, and confirm them if it falls in the range of 10,000~30,000 of Reynolds
number (RE) and then finalize the diameter. Be aware that unit of d is in m.

RE = D • ρL • V/µ ................................................................... Formula (1.3.11)

Where µ : Viscosity of cooling medium (kg/m•h)

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Next, Nusselt number (NU), important parameter in the convection heat transfer calculation,
will be calculated. Prantle number (PR) in Nusslet number is defined as follows.

PR = ν/A = µ • CPL/λF.......................................................... Formula (1.3.12)

Where ν : Dinamic viscosity of cooling medium = µ / ρL (m2/h)

A : Heat dissipation rate = λF/ρL • CPL (m2/h)

Nusselt number is given as follows. Be aware NU formula varies slightly depending upon
where to get the formula from.

Nu = 0.023 • (RE) 0.8 • (PR) 1/3 ................................................. Formula (1.3.13)

Formula (1.3.13) is effective only for turbulent flow. In the case of laminated flow or
transition flow, in which Raynold’s number is less than 10,000, re-evaluation of mold
temperature and cooling tube diameter must be carried out.

Once Nusselt number (NU) is decided, heat transfer co-efficient α can be calculated by
formula ( And cooling tube surface area (AL) can be calculated by a converted
formula from (1.2.2).

AL = QR/α • (TW – TL) (m2) .................................................... Formula (1.3.14)

As cooling tube diameter (D) is known, cooling tube length can be calculated as follows:

LR = AL/πD (m) ...................................................................... Formula (1.3.15)

As described, total cooling circuit length of cavity and core can be calculated.

So far, all formulae assumed that heat from injected resin W (kg/h) is transferred perfectly to
a mold. Here we should evaluate if such assumption is reasonable or not. Bahlman’s formula
should be effective for the evaluation. It is to evaluate if W (kg/h) is possible by estimating
molding cycle from theoretical cooling time calculation.

H2 ⎡ 4 TP − TW ⎤
TC = • LN ⎢ • ⎥ .............................................. Formula (1.3.16)
π 2 •A ⎣ π TR − TW ⎦

Where Tc: Theoretical cooling time (h)

H: Product thickness (m)
A: Resin dissipation rate = λ/ρ•CP (m2/h)

Mold Design (Advance) Page 11


TP: Resin temperature (℃)

TR: Mold separation temperature (℃)
TW: Mold temperature (℃)

This formula can be used as a guideline because all kinds of condition have to be assumed
for calculation. Molding cycle should be evaluated by estimating injection time, mold
opening time duration, mold take-out time duration.

If you design temperature control system by applying above explained basics on the heat
transfer thermal dynamics, you should be able to provide temperature control system with
improved heat exchanging efficiency comparing with traditional system, which was made
based on past examples.

In the end of basics on thermal transfer theory, a calculation example is shown below for
your better understanding. Try to solve the example before you read the answer to follow.
Mind units are to be carefully treated.

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【A calculation example】
Calculate total circuit length of a cooling water system required for a mold for following
Resin: ABS
Number of product per mold: 2
Product dimension: 100mm×100mm×2mm
Molding cycle target: 20 seconds

① To estimate molding conditions along with physical properties of ABS resin.
• Density: ρ = 1030kg/m3
• Specific heat: CP = 0.35 kcal/kg•℃
• Heat conductivity: λ = 0.2 kcal/m•h•℃
• Resin temperature: TP = 220℃
• Mold separation temperature: TR = 70℃
• Internal wall temperature (water tube): TW = 52℃
• Water temperature: TL = 50℃
② To decide mold specification required for heat transfer calculation.
1) Physical property of water
• Density: PL = 988 kg/m3
• Specific heat: CPL = 1.0 kcal/kg•℃
• Viscosity: µ = 5.58×10-4 PA•S = 2.009 kg/m•h
• Heat conductivity: λF = 0.552 kcal/m•h•℃
2) To calculate weight of Sprue runner
• Dimension: (φ5×130) mm = (φ0.005×0.13)m
• Volume: (0.0052×π/4) ×0.13 = 2.55×10-6 m3
• Weight: (2.55×10-6) ×1030 = 2.63×10-3 kg
3) To calculate weight of product
• Volume: (0.1×0.1×0.002) ×2 = 4.0×10-5 m3
• Weight: (4.0×10-5) ×1030 = 0.0412 kg

4) To assume cooling tube diameter.

• From Table 1-3.1, the diameter φ8 is assumed.
D = 8 mm → 0.008 m
③ To check appropriateness of molding cycle
1) To calculate heat dissipation rate (A)
A = 0.2/1030×0.35 = 5.55×10-4 m2/h

Mold Design (Advance) Page 13

2) To calculate theoretical cooling time
0.002 2 ⎡ 4 220 − 52 ⎤
TC = • LN
⎢⎣ π × 70 − 52 ⎥⎦
π 2 × 5.55 × 10 − 4
=1.807×10-3h = 6.5 sec

Injection machine (100~150 ton capacity) to be used for this size of product usually
required additional 10 seconds maximum for other functions than cooling time. Thus
target cycle time of 20 seconds is reasonable. It could be less than 15 seconds.

④ To calculate injection weight per hour

• Weight per one shot: 2.63×10-3 +0.0412 = 0.0438kg
• W = 0.0438×3600 / 20 = 7.884 kg/h
⑤ To calculate heat (QR) to be removed
QR = 1.5 QA = 1.5×7.884 {0.35(220-70)} = 620.9 kcal/h
⑥ To calculate flow velocity of cooling water
4 × 620.9
V= = 6251 m / h
π × 0.008 2 × 988 × 1 (52 − 50)

⑦ To check Reynolds’s number

RE = 0.008×988×6251 / 2.009 = 24593
RE falls in the range of 10,000~30,000. Thus water tube diameter φ8 is ok.
⑧ To calculate Prantle number (PR).
PR = 2.009×1 / 0.552 = 3.64
⑨ To calculate Nusselt number
NU = 0.023× (24593) 0.8×3.641/3 = 115.2
⑩ To calculate heat transfer coefficient (α)
α = 115.2 ×0.552 / 0.008 = 7949 kcal/m2•h•℃
⑪ To calculate cooling water tube area (AL).
AL = 620.9 / 7949× (52–50) = 0.039m2
⑫ To calculate total cooling water tube length
LR = 0.039 / π×0.008 = 1.55m

Mold Design (Advance) Page 14


Balanced Mold
Temperature without
temperature control

Mold Temperature

Nominal Mold
Temperature Balanced Mold Temperature
with temperature control

Time Time Time

a. Without Temperature b. With Cooling Device c. With Heating Device
Control Device (natural cooling)
(Deviated by outside

Fig. 1-3.1 Temperature Balance vs. Mold Temperature Control Device

Table 1-3.1 Mold Size vs. Channel Diameters

Mold Size
(Binding Fore) Channel Diameter

Mold Design (Advance) Page 15


Table 1-3.2 Comparison in Mold Temperature Control Method

Items Coolant Circulation Heater

Objective Cooling Heating
Mold Temperature Lower than naturally balanced Higher than naturally balanced
temperature (-20~130℃) temperature (higher than 100℃)
Cooling Method To circulate heat transfer medium that is Heat transfer to platen or natural
cooled by cold water. radiation.
Heating Method To circulate heat transfer medium heated To heat the mold by heater.
by heater.
Temperature Control To detect medium temperature and To detect and control mold temperature
control the temperature. directly.
Strong Points • Good flexibility in temperature control • Relatively low cost.
design. • Relatively easy in design and

• Independent to mold heat capacity due manufacturing.

to forced cooling.
Weak Points • Relatively high cost. • Less flexibility in temperature
• Relatively difficult in design and control design.
manufacturing. • Dependent to mold heat capacity due
to natural cooling.

Table 1-3.3 Selection Criteria in Temperature Control Method by Resin

Mold Temperature Water Circulation Method Heater

°C Supplied Pressure Added Pressure Method
PE 30~70 ○ △ ×
PP 20~80 ○ △ ×
+++++++P 40~60 ○ △ ×
PVC 40~70 ○ △ ×
ABS 40~70 ○ △ ×
AS 40~80 ○ △ ×
PMMA 50~80 ○ △ ×
MPPE 50~100 △ ○ △
PA 50~110 △ ○ △
PBT 60~110 △ ○ △
POM 70~110 △ ○ △
PC 80~120 △ ○ ○
PPS 120~160 × △ ○
○ Proper △ So-so ×Improper

Mold Design (Advance) Page 16


1-4 Design of Temperature Control Device

Coolant circulation method

Important point for the design of coolant circulation system is to optimize the design in
terms of coolant circulation channel, size and location in consideration of product quality
and productivity. For the design of pressurized water circulation system, basic design
concepts are the same but special attention should be paid for sealing and safety as well. It is
suggested to refer technical information supplied by the system suppliers.

Reduced pressure suction type of temperature control device will not be treated in this
section because of its specialty in the circuit design. Hereafter, we will discuss about design
concept for standard temperature control device utilizing water, an excellent coolant for heat

1-4-1 Coolant channel diameter and flow velocity

Cooling efficiency is higher if coolant in the channel is under turbulent flow where
boundary film is thin. Thus it is important to decide proper diameter of coolant channel
so as to make the flow stable turbulent with Reynolds’s number RE 10.000~30.000.

As you may refer to formula (1.3.11), RE seems proportional to diameter d; in other

words, a big diameter seems to give a big RE. This may be true if other factors stay the
same. But if flow volume is given constant, flow velocity is reversibly proportional to
channel cross section area, which is proportional to the 2nd power of channel diameter in
case of round channel. Therefore if flow volume is given constant, flow velocity and RE
become small with big diameter D referring to formula (1.3.8) and formula (1.3.11).

Accordingly if channel diameter D is too big, heat-exchanging performance drops due to

smaller flow velocity, Reynolds’s number, Nusselt number and heat transfer coefficient.
If the diameter is too small, the heat exchanging performance will also drop due to less
flow volume and increased pressure loss in the flow channel. Thus the channel diameter
should be appropriately designed referring to Formulae (, (1.3.8) Table (
When passage is not of round shape, equivalent diameter should be applicable as
explained in the “Gate Runner System”. The equivalent diameter (DE) was as follows:

DE = 4AS/LW ....................................................................... Formula (1.4.1)

Where AS: Cross section area of coolant channel

LW: Circumference length of AS

Fig. 1-4.1 shows equivalent diameter for various cross sections such as half a round or
square shape.

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Square Rectangle Half Circle

(b = 0.5a)


Fig. 1-4.1Channel Section vs. Equivalent Diameter

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1-5 Heater capacity

Heater capacity can be calculated as follows:

P = WM • CPM (TT-TI) /TU • 860 • η (kW) ............................ Formula (1.5.1)

Where P: Capacity (kw)

WM: Mold weight (kg)
CPM: Specific heat of mold (kcal/kg•℃)
TI: Atmospheric temperature (℃)
TT: Target temperature (℃)
TU: Heating time (h)
η : Efficiency (0.2~0.5)

η Is a value due to heat transfer loss due to radiation loss or loss due to heater mounting,
etc, and normally it is set as 0.5. If you utilize a heater with higher capacity and with
adjustable power arrangement, you may ensure stable mold temperature by adjusting
heating and radiation conditions in addition to shortened preparation time.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 19


Heat Insulation Heat Insulation Plate

Platen of Injection Plate
Machine (Movable Side)

Platen of Injection Machine

(Fixed Side)

Heat Insulation Plate (Movable Mold Heat Insulation Plate

Plate, All around Receiving Plate) (All around Fixed Side Mold Plate)

Fig. 1-5.1stallation Points of Heat Insulation Plate for

High Temperature Application

Mounting Bolt

Section A-A Thermocouple

Fig. 1-5.2 Mold with Heated Temperature Control Device

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1-6 Clamping force

In order to calculate required clamping force of a mold used for a product, we need to know
a force on the mold toward opening direction received from injected resin. This mold
opening force (FO) can be expressed as the product of total projected area of a product and a
runner and average molding pressure (cavity inside pressure) as follows

FO = AA • PM • 10-3 (tf) .............................................................. Formula (1.6.1)

Where AA: Total projection area (cm2)

PM: Average molding pressure (kgf/ cm2)

Projection area is the area of a product projected in the mold clamping direction (usually
perpendicular to PL). Total area is shown below (Fig. 1-6.1)

AA = N • AP + AR (cm2)............................................................. Formula (1.6.2)

Where N: No. Of cavity

AP: Product projection area per piece (cm2)
AR: Runner projection area (cm2)

In the case of 3-plate mold, notice that projection of cavity and runner overlaps. If separately
calculated, overlapped area will be calculated twice. Assuming mold is of transparent,
project parallel light from nozzle side, and then figure projected area on the movable platen
surface (Fig. 1-6.2).

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Projected Area a) Container Type Product b) Disc Type Product

*Projected area has no influence from height dimension.

Fig. 1-6.1 Projected Area used for Binding Force Calculation

Product Sprue, Runner


Total Projected
Area (Aa)

Fig. 1-6.2 Total Projected Area of 3 Plate Mold

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Formula (1.6.1) shows that mold-opening force is proportional to projected area if average
clamping force is constant. Let us look into molding pressure.

Injected mold by injection machine fills a mold space against pressure loss caused by
nozzle, sprue, runner, gate and cavity.

Thus there exists a big pressure difference between sprue area and a part of cavity where
resin is filled in the end. Even after resin filling, molding pressure varies from place to place
(Fig. 1-6.3). However, mind that you need to know average pressure, not all in different

Although average clamping force varies depending upon product shape, molding condition,
mold structure, etc., Table 1-6.1 can be practically used for your guideline. If your
calculation reveals clamping force exceeds average mold opening force, the machine should
be well justified. In practice, the clamping force should be evaluated as 80% of maximum
clamping force against mold opening force compensating estimated average of the opening
force. Required clamping force (FC) then is shown as follows.

0.8 FC ≧ FO (tf)......................................................................... Formula (1.6.3)

FC ≧ FO/0.8 (tf)...................................................................... Formula (1.6.4)
FC ≧ 1.25 FO (tf)....................................................................... Formula (1.6.5)

If your selected injection machine has a clamping force more than above described force,
you will be able to mold products without burrs on PL surface. But be minded that too big a
clamping force may cause you a trouble such as partial concentration of the force in the
center or ineffective clamping force due to excessive size of locating hole, etc. (Fig. 1-6.4).
Rule of thumb is not to go beyond 20% of above formula.

FO/0.2 ≧ FC ≧ FO/0.8 (tf)................................................... Formula (1.6.3)

Or 5 FO ≧ FC ≧ 1.25 FO (tf) ......................................................... Formula (1.6.3)

Mold Design (Advance) Page 23


Average Resin Pressure

Binding Force

Fig. 1-6.3 Resin Pressure Works toward Mold Opening Incorporated to

Projection Area

Table 1-6.1 Various Resin Materials and Average Resin Pressure in Cavity
Average Resin Pressure in Cavity
Resin Material (Kgf/cm2)

Too big a locating ring hole

against mold size.
Locating Ring Hole

Deformation of platen due to Binding force cannot be applied

partial binding force on the middle properly to fixed side mold due to too
(particularly for toggle type) big locating ring hole.

Fig. 1-6.4 Problems due to too Big Injection Machine

Mold Design (Advance) Page 24


【Calculation example 1】

Calculate required clamping force for a product shown in Fig. 1-6.5. Material is ABS and
numbers of cavity are two.

① Estimate runner layout (Fig. 1-6.6).

② Calculate runner projection area (AR).

AR = 0.5×5 = 2.5 ≒ 3 cm2 (Round up the first decimal.)

③ Calculate product projection area (AP).

AP = (5×8)-(π×12) = 37 cm2

④ Calculate total projection area (AA).

AA = (2×37) + 3 = 77 cm2

⑤ Calculate mold-opening force (FO).

From Table 1-6.1, PM = 300 kgf/cm2,

FO = 77×300×10-3 = 23.1 tf

⑥ Calculate required clamping force (FC).

FC ≧ 1.25×23.1 = 28.9 tf
FC ≤ 5×23.1 = 115.5 tf

Thus, applicable injection machine should be of the clamping force more than 30ton and less
than 110 ton (or 100 ton may be).

Mold Design (Advance) Page 25


(All Circumference)

Fig. 1-6.5

Product Projection Area (Ap)


Expected Runner Layout Runner Projection Area (Ar)

Fig. 1-6.6

Mold Design (Advance) Page 26


1.7 Required injection capacity

A general injection machine provides 3 screw size options per clamping unit. Accordingly
you should know which=0.h screw size is selected for evaluation of required injection

As screw size is given bigger, maximum injection capacity becomes bigger. But injection
pressure goes opposite direction. In other words, as screw size is given bigger, maximum
injection pressure becomes smaller (Fig. 1-7.1) as long as diameter of hydraulic cylinder is
the same.

Thus under the same clamping force, injection machine with small screw is suited for
precision thin wall products and injection machine with large screw is suited for large
products with thick walls.

Injection capacity is a product of internal cross section area of injection cylinder (screw
cross section area) and injection stroke.

VI =AI • SI (cm3)........................................................................ Formula (1.7.1)

AI = πD2/4 (cm2)..................................................................... Formula (1.7.2)

Where VI: Injection volume (cm3)

AI: Internal cross section area of injection cylinder (cm2)
SI: Injection stroke (cm)
D: Screw diameter (cm)

Maximum injection capacity shown in the specification of injection machine is calculated by

above formula. This means a capacity of an object (air for example) injected under normal
temperature and pressure by screw size.

Practically molding is operated by injecting plastic with viscosity and elasticity under high
temperature and pressure. Therefore maximum injection capacity for injecting PS-GP
(General purpose polystyrene) is usually given together with theoretical value.

Actually, internal pressure of injection cylinder is high, but density of the plastic there is
smaller than that under normal temperature and pressure condition because plastic in the
cylinder is expanded due to high temperature (Fig. 1-7.2).

Calculation of required injection capacity has two folds. The first step is to calculate
expanded capacity of plastic per one shot for product, sprue and runner under high pressure
Mold Design (Advance) Page 27

and temperature condition, then the second step to compare it with maximum injection
capacity assigned for an injection machine. Specifically, total injection capacity can be given
as follows:

VA = N • VP + VR (cm3)............................................................. Formula (1.7.3)

Where VA:Total injection capacity (cm3)

N: Number of cavity
VP: Mold volume per one piece (cm3)
VR: Volume of sprue and runner (cm3)

To figure volume expansion accurately, we need PVT data per plastic material, but in our
purpose it is not necessary to go to those details. Although there is some variations in
pressure and temperature conditions, we may approximately estimate 90% of density (1.11
times volume expansion) for amorphous resin, of which specific volume is not much
influenced by temperature, and 80% of density (1.25 times volume expansion) for crystalline
resin, of which specific volume is much affected by temperature. Furthermore taking
account of injection efficiency due to back flow and cushion amount, additional safety factor
80% shall be introduced. To make a formula applicable to all resin, regardless of crystalline
and amorphous, density in the injection cylinder is now assumed to be 85% of the value
under normal pressure and temperature condition. Then required injection capacity (VS) will
be as follows:

VS≧VA/ (0.8×0.85) = VA/0.68 (cm3) ................................ Formula (1.7.4)

Or VS = 1.47 VA (cm3).................................................................... Formula (1.7.5)

Injection machine with larger injection capacity than above can be utilized, but it should not
be too large. Expected problem is that resin starts decomposition in the cylinder if it stays
too long in the cylinder. As a minor problem, measuring accuracy drops due to small
measuring stroke. Thus similarly to the case of clamping force, calculated injection capacity
(VS) should not be less than 20% of theoretical maximum injection capacity of the injection
machine. Accordingly formulae (1.7.4) and (1.7.5) can be expressed as follows.

VA/0.16 (VA/0.8×0.2) ≧VS≧VA/0.68 (cm3) ................ Formula (1.7.6)

Or 6.25 VA≧VS≧1.47 VA (cm3) ................................................... Formula (1.7.7)
6 VA≧VS≧1.5 VA (cm3) .......................................................... Formula (1.7.8)

Mold Design (Advance) Page 28


【Calculation example】

Calculate required injection capacity of the product.

① Calculate volume of sprue and runner.
Sprue: (π×0.52) /4×7 = 1.4
(Taper portion is assumed to be cylindrical.)
Runner: (π×0.52) /4×5 = 1.0
Thus VR = 1.4 + 1.0 = 2.4 cm3

② Calculate volume of the product.

VP = (2×5×8)- (1.8×4.6×7.6) - (π×12×0.2) = 16.5 cm3

③ Calculate total injection amount.

VA = (2×16.5) + 2.4 = 35.4cm3

④ Calculate required injection capacity.

VS ≧1.5×35.4 = 53.1≒54 cm3
VS ≦6×35.4 = 212.4≒212 cm3

Thus you can apply an injection machine of which theoretical maximum injection capacity
is more than 54 cm3 and less than 212 cm3.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 29


Hydraulic Pressure (Po)

Injection Pressure (Pi)


Pi•D2 = Po•Do2

Screw Diameter (D) Big Small

Screw Section Area (Ai) π•D2/4 Big Small

Injection capacity (Vi) Ai•S Big Small

Injection Pressure (Pi) Po•Do2/D2 Small Big

Big Product. Precision Product
Thick Wall Product Thin Wall Product

Fig. 1-7.1 Internal Injection Cylinder (Screw Diameter) vs. Injection Capacity / Injection

Material: PMMA Material: PP

Specific Volume

Specific Volume

Temperature (℃) Temperature (℃)

Fig. 1-7.2 PVT Diagram of Resin

Mold Design (Advance) Page 30


1-8 Mold Strength

Mold strength should be evaluated to see if the deformation of the mold due to molding pressure
(injection pressure or holding pressure) stays within allowable tolerance limit. Two considerations must
be highlighted. One is how to estimate molding pressure. Another is how to decide allowable tolerance
Molding pressure comes from resin. With some exceptions, you need not take up a pressure during
injection but a pressure after injection. This is nothing more than the molding pressure inside cavity
pressure that was explained and calculated in the previous section for calculating required clamping
force. But in this section we choose 500 kgfcm2 with some margin.
Tolerable deformation varies depending upon product accuracy, mold structure, locations, etc. One
practical reference is if the deformed amount results in generation of burr or not. Clearance to generate
burr can be considered as the depth of air ventilation. If burr cannot be a reference, the allowable
tolerance should be looked into from the aspect of allowable repeated stress on the mold or product
Generally allowable deformation amount is 0.1~0.2mm unless the mold is extremely small in size.
1) Side walls of rectangular cavity
There are two types. One is of split type consisting of sidewalls and bottom plate. Another is made
from one block, in other words one-piece cavity.
Split type can be machined easily with high accuracy but weaker in strength. Let us see the
difference in strength between split type and one-piece rectangular cavity.
1-8-1) Split type
In the split type, calculation disregards restraint of bottom plate. Actually sidewalls are bolted
together with bottom plate or mounting plate. Thus calculation results in the value with safety factor
by disregarding binding and friction influence from bolts (Fig. 1-8-1.1).
We apply a model of a beam both side fixed and with equal weight distribution to cavity walls for
strength analysis (Fig. 1-8-1.2). Be minded molding pressure uses cm unit, while strength calculation
uses mm unit. The maximum deformation (δMAX) on the both side fixed beam appears in the middle
as follows:

δ MAX = ( mm) ........................................................................ Formula (
Where P: Molding pressure (kgf/mm2)
A: Product height (mm)
L: Product length (mm)
E: Vertical elasticity coefficient (kgf/mm2)
I: Cross section moment of inertia
Cross section of the beam is of rectangular, thus moment of inertia is as follows:
I= ( mm) .................................................................................. Formula (
Where B: Cavity thickness (mm)
H: Cavity wall thickness (mm)
Wall thickness (H) is derived from formulae ( and ( as follows:

Mold Design (Advance) Page 31


H= 3 ( mm) .................................................................. Formula (
384Ebδ MAX

Pm: Molding Pressure (kgf/cm2)

δMax: Maximum Deformation (mm)

P: Evenly Distributed Weight (Molding Pressure) (kfg/mm2)
E: Vertical Elasticity Coefficient (kfg/mm2)

Fig. 1-8-1.1 Molding Pressure on Cavity with Split Structure

δmax = pal4/384EI I = bh3/12

I : Cross Section Moment of Inertia

Fig. 1-8-1.2 Model of a Beam, Both Side Fixed, for Cavity Wall

Mold Design (Advance) Page 32


【Calculation example】

Calculate wall thickness (H) of split type cavity shown in Fig. 1-8-1.3. Resin material is
ABS and vertical elasticity coefficient of the mold is assumed to be E = 2.1×104 kgf/mm2.

Molding pressure (P), allowable deformation (δMAX) is assumed as follows. Then formula
(1.8.3) is applied to calculate wall thickness (H).

P = 500 kgf/cm2 = 5 kgf/mm2

δMAX = 0.025mm (in the case of ABS)

12 × 5 × 20 × 100 4
H=3 = 24.6 (mm)
384 × 2.1 × 10 4 × 40 × 0.025

Thus, you may decide the wall thickness 25mm if there is no space available, but if possible,
decide 30mm for safety consideration.

Fig. 1-8-1.3

Mold Design (Advance) Page 33


1-8-2) One-piece type

One-piece type cannot be simplified as split type. Table 1-8-2.1 shows coefficient (C)
corresponding to ratio (L/A) of product length to height. Then allowable deformation (δMAX)
is calculated as below (Fig. 1-8-2.1).

δ MAX = (mm) ................................................................. Formula (
EH 3

Where P: Molding pressure (kgf/mm2)

A: product height (mm)
E: Vertical elasticity coefficient (kgf/mm2)
H: Cavity wall thickness (mm)

Cavity wall thickness can be derived from formula ( as follows.

H=3 (mm) .................................................................. Formula (

【Calculation example】
Assuming last example is of one-piece type; calculate wall thickness (H). Other conditions
are the same.

① Calculate volume of sprue and runner.
Sprue: (π×0.52)/4×7 = 1.4
(Taper portion is assumed to be cylindrical.)
Runner: (π×0.52) /4×5 = 1.0
Thus VR = 1.4 + 1.0 = 2.4 cm3

① L/A = 100/20 = 5 kgf/mm2

From Table 1-8-2.1, C = 0.142.

② Calculate cavity wall thickness (H) from formula (

P = 500 kfg/cm2 = 5 kfg/mm2
δ = 0.025mm (in case of ABS)
E = 2.1×104 kfg/mm2
A = 20mm

0.142 × 5 × 200000
Thus, H = 3 = 6 (mm)
2.1 × 10 4 × 0.025
Mold Design (Advance) Page 34

Wall thickness has come up with 6mm, but it is advised to select 10mm for safety

Pm: Molding Pressure (kgf/cm2)

Fig. 1-8-2.1 Molding Pressure Operated on Cavity with One-piece Structure

Table 1-8.2.1 Various Resin Materials and Average Resin Pressure in Cavity

Average Resin Pressure in Cavity

Resin Material

Mold Design (Advance) Page 35


1-8-3 Wall thickness of cylinder type cavity

Thick wall cylinder is applicable in material strength analysis. Similarly to rectangular type
cavity calculation, we will try to make the clearance resulted from deformation smaller than
the clearance to cause burr for different resin materials. It will be complicated if we try to
calculate wall thickness of cylinder tube. Therefore we evaluate if the deformation is within
allowable tolerance under a given wall thickness.

Deformation (δ) in Fig. 1-8-3.1 is given as follows.

rP ⎡ R 2 + r 2 ⎤
δ= ⎢ + λ ⎥ (mm) ....................................................... Formula (
E ⎣R − r
2 2

Where P: Molding pressure (kfg/mm2)
R: Cavity outside diameter (mm)
R: Cavity insider diameter (mm)
E: Vertical elasticity coefficient (kfg/mm2)
λ : Poisson’s ratio (λ = 0.3 for steel)

【Calculation example】

Evaluate if the deformation of cylinder type cavity in Fig. 1-8-3.2 can be within tolerance
limit or not. Resin material is ABS.

Calculate δ of formula ( and compare it with the clearance 0.03mm to cause burr for
ABS resin.

P = 500 kfg/cm2 = 5 kfg/mm2

E = 2.1×104 kfg/mm2
r = 20mm
R = 30mm
λ = 0.3
20 × 5 ⎡ 302 + 202 ⎤
Thus, δ = ⎢ + 0.3⎥ = 0.014 (mm)
2.1 ⎣ 302 − 202 ⎦

Calculation result reveals that the deformation is less than minimum clearance (0.03mm) to
cause burr of ABS resin. Thus the wall thickness is appropriate.

In the case of cylinder type cavity, inserts are used in the plate. As the clearance between
inserts and holes on the plate is around 0.01~0.02mm, the plate can share some stress when
deformation exceeds the clearance above.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 36


Fig. 1-8-3.1 Molding Pressure Operated on Cavity with Cylinder Shape

Fig. 1-8-3.2

Mold Design (Advance) Page 37


1-8-4 Mold weight and center of gravity

Calculation for mold weight and center of gravity is required to determine size and position
of hook bolts for hoisting a mold. Normally the shape of a mold is of rectangular sections.
Thus the volume can be easily figured, so as weight by multiplying specific weight of mold
material. In case of steel, apply 7.87.

Regarding center of gravity, it can be determined by estimating the position in the direction
of mold thickness. Mold is normally symmetrical with a centerline in the injecting direction.
The center of gravity should locate on the centerline.

Calculation proceeds firstly to calculate weight on the center of gravity of each plate and
secondly to find a point where each moment can be balanced.

Referring to Fig. 1-8-4.1, calculate each moment as a product of weight on the center of
gravity of each plate and distance based on fixed side clamping plate. The total moment
should balance with a moment as a product of total mold weight and distance from the
reference point to the center of gravity.

w • x = ∑WN • LN ..................................................................... Formula (

Where w: Mold weight

x : Distance from reference point to center of gravity.
WN: Weight on each plate.
LN: Distance from reference point to center of each plate.

Distance from reference point to center of gravity can be derived as follows:

∑W L N N
........................................................................... Formula (

Mold Design (Advance) Page 38


Fixed Side
Mounting Face

Fig. 1-8-4.1 Calculation of Mold Center of Gravity

Mold Design (Advance) Page 39


【Calculation example】

Calculate center of gravity of the mold shown in Fig. 1-8-4.2. Mold material is S50C.

① Specific weight 7.87 is applied for S50C.

② Calculate weight of each plate.

W1 = 7.87×25×300×300×10-6 = 17.7 kg
W2 = 7.87×50×250×300×10-6 = 29.5 kg
W3 = 7.87×40×250×300×10-6 = 23.6 kg
W4 = 7.87×40×250×300×10-6 = 23.6 kg
W5 = 7.87×70×38×2×300×10-6 = 12.6 kg
W6 = 7.87×35×170×300×10-6 = 14.1 kg
W7 = 7.87×25×300×300×10-6 = 17.7 kg
③ Calculate total mold weight.

W = 17.7 + 29.5 + 23.6 + 23.6 + 12.6 + 14.1 + 17.7 = 138.8 kg

④ Calculate distance from fixed side mounting face to the center of plate. (Fig. 1-8-4.3)

⑤ Calculate moment of each plate.

(No need to convert mm to m. Weight of each plate is assumed to be on the center.)

Fixed side clamping plate: W1•L1 = 17.7×12.5 = 221 kg•mm

Fixed side mold plate: W2•L 2 = 29.5×50 = 1475 kg•mm
Movable side mold plate: W3•L 3 = 23.6×95 = 2242 kg•mm
Movable side support plate: W4•L 4 = 23.6×135 = 3186 kg•mm
Spacer: W5•L 5 = 12.6×190 = 2394 kg•mm
Ejector plate (upper & lower): W6•L 6 = 14.1×207.5 = 2926 kg•mm
Movable side clamping plate: W7•L 7 = 17.7×237.5 = 4204 kg•mm

⑥ Calculate gravity position (X) from formula (

x= 138.8 ≒ 120 (mm)

Mold Design (Advance) Page 40


Fig. 1-8-4.2

Fixed Side
Mounting Face

Fig. 1-8-4.3

Mold Design (Advance) Page 41


In the case of calculation example, center of gravity locates at 120 mm from fixed
side mounting face. If you place a hook bolt at this location, you can hoist the mold without
tilting the mold. But notice this location is near parting surface of movable mold plate and
support plate. Thus a screw cannot be tapped there. Two solutions can be proposed here. One
is to use a lifting bar and another is to move the screw position a bit toward fixed side
clamping plate (Fig. 1-8-4.4). The moved amount should be selected for the mold not to tilt
more than 10°. If it is moved in the opposite direction, workability to position a locating
ring to the nozzle hole of injection machine will be affected (Fig. 1-8-4.5). In our case here,
if the screw position is moved toward fixed side mounting face, it comes to much closer to
the parting surface. Thus it is recommended to apply a lifting bar.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 42


Difficult to position screw hole Lifting Bar

for hoisting if gravity center is Hook bolt
too close to parting surface of
mold plate.

Receiving Movable
Plate Side Mold
a. By Lifting Bar

Gravity Center

Receiving Movable
Plate Side Mold
b. By shifting screw position

Fig. 1-8-4.4 Design Consideration when Gravity Center is

Close to Plate Parting Surface

Platen of Platen of
Injection Injection
Machine Machine


a: Proper (Good workability) b: Improper (Poor workability)

Fig. 1-8-4.5 Mold Inclination and Workability

Mold Design (Advance) Page 43


1-8-5 Return force of ejector plate

Ejected ejector plate is normally returned to its original position by spring force of a spring
installed on the periphery of return pin.

If the spring force is too weak, the ejector plate cannot fully return to its original position. If
it is too strong, operational balance will be affected and galling may be caused on the return

Thus we may define the return force of ejector plate should stand weight of ejector plates
(upper and lower) and their friction force.

Friction force is related to friction coefficient of ejector plates (upper and lower). As we
know the maximum friction coefficient is 1, it must be enough to estimate the friction force
2 times of the plate weight. Generally, number of springs to be installed on the periphery of
return pin is 4. Thus you should calculate the shared friction load per spring is 1/2 of ejector
plate weight (2×1/4).

The spring is better to have a smaller spring constant value to assure smoother load transfer
to the spring while stroking (Fig. 1-8-5.1). In addition initial deflection of the spring is better
not to exceed thread length of stripper bolt (normally 10~15), otherwise you will have a
difficulty in installing stripper bolt to female thread hole because of the long spring (Fig. 1-
8-5.2). Following checkpoints may be useful for selecting correct spring from available ones
in the market.

① Internal diameter of the spring should be at least 1 mm larger than return pin outside
② Maximum deflection in usage should be within allowable limit.
③ The spring should have enough returning force at the initial deflection.
④ When spot facing is made for the spring, clearance around return pin can be secured
(two times pin diameter) and there should be no interference with coolant channel.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 44


Load – Deflection Diagram for Spring A

Load – Deflection Diagram for Spring B
Initial Deflection of Spring A

Initial Deflection of Spring B

Ejection Plate Stroke
Initial Load
Maximum Deflection of Spring A
Maximum Deflection of Spring B


Fig. 1-8-5.1 Spring Constant vs. Load – Deflection Diagram

Ejector Plate Fastening Bolt

Screw does not reach to tap hole if
initial deflection of return pin spring is
too big.

Return Pin Spring

Return Pin

Fig. 1-8-5.2 Initial Deflection of Return Pin Spring and

Mounting Workability of Ejector Plate

Mold Design (Advance) Page 45


【Calculation example】

Conditions of an ejector plate are as below. Select appropriate length of springs shown in
Fig. 1-8-5.3.

[Ejector plate conditions]

• Upper ejector plate dimension: 250×110×13mm
• Lower ejector plate dimension: 250×110×15mm
• Return pin diameter: φ12mm (4pcs)
• Maximum ejector stroke: 17mm
• Initial deflection: 8mm

① Calculate weight of ejector plates.

② Calculate ejector plate return force per spring.

6.1×2/4 = 3.05 kg (or more)

③ Calculate spring constant.

3.05/8 = 0.38 kgf/mm

④ Calculate maximum deflection in use.

17+8 = 25mm

⑤ Select springs in the list to meet required spring constant and deflection.

From Fig. 1-8-5.3, springs having length (L) more than 45mm and less than 100mm are

In practice, select one of appropriate springs evaluating influence of spot facing and
interference with coolant channel.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 46


\ Price
(kgf) Load 1~19

Fig. 1-8-5.3 Partial List of Coil Spring in the Market


Mold Design (Advance) Page 47


Calculate the appropriate diameter of support pin.

Calculation for the appropriate diameter of support pin and

Deflection of Support pin
Mold Design (Advance) Page 48

Bending Moment
MMAX = W l

δMAX =
π d2
I =Cross Sectional Secondary Moment =

E= Young’s modulus

(Vertical elastic modulus) = Ε = = 2.1 x 104 kgf/mm2

∈= Deflection
∂ = Rectangular stress

δ MAX =
δ =
π d4

Wl3 . 64
d= 4
3E . π . δ MAX

Support pin length = 250
No. of Support pins = 4
Weight of Cavity Plate = 400 kg
E= Young’s modulus = 2.1 x 103
Allowable Deflection = δMAX = 0.01
length of SP 400 mm
Weight of Cavity Plate 220 kg
Young's Modulus 21000 kgf/mm2
Allowable Deflection 0.01 mm
Diameter of SP 102.6792791 mm
Diameter of single SP 25.66981977 mm

Ejector Pin, Ejector Sleeve Strength Calculation

Mold Design (Advance) Page 49


Mold Design (Advance) Page 50


Mold Design (Advance) Page 51

Chapter - 2

Material &
Heat treatment

Mold Design (Advance) Page 52


2- Mold Material

Limiting our scope to a mold for plastic injection molding, steel is the most popular material.
Particularly JIS S50C and S55C are mostly applied because these are standard materials of the mold
bases in the market.
It is important to select right material to satisfy purpose of the mold and its application on the part
of end users. If necessary, heat-treating or surface finish must be carried out to satisfy requirements.
Here we will take up materials to be used for main parts of the mold, cavity and core.

2-1 Mold Material

2-1-1 Basics
Normally users’ specification specifies if the material is of heat-treated (quenched) or not
heat-treated (raw) for cavity and core material. Note that pre-hardened steel, which is heat-
treated when supplied but will not be heat treated after machining, is classified as raw steel.
As-rolled steel → Raw type
Not heat-treated
Materials for Pre-hardened steel → Raw type
Cavity and Core
Heat treated → Heat treatment → Quenched type

Table shows various steel for plastic mold with bland names. Molds made of as-
rolled steel and pre-hardened steel belong to raw type. Pre-hardened steel is heat-treated
having 30~40 HRC hardness and yet having a good machineability. Molds made of pre-
hardened steel are used without heat treatment. Thus the mold processing is the same as that
of as-rolled steel. Cost of a mold is also similar in both cases.
On the other hand, there are two types in quenched type. One is to harden and temper the
mold after machining and to finish the mold just by simple polishing. Another is to finish a
heat-treated mold with a certain deformation clearance by a grinder or EDM (Electric
discharge machine). The former is used for a mold, which does not require high precision
but only erosion resistance. Thus the cost is on the same level as raw type. But the latter
involves time consuming finishing on the hardened steel surface. Thus the cost is much
higher than raw type. Qualified material for mold should satisfy following points.
① Good machineability.
② High abrasion resistance.
③ High corrosion resistance.
④ High toughness.
⑤ High strength.
⑥ Homogeneous property without segregation and pin holes.
⑦ Good heat-treating with less deformation.
⑧ Good heat conductivity.
⑨ Reasonable price.
⑩ Easy procurement.
No single material satisfies all items above. Particularly the extent of abrasion resistance to
determine mold life is deeply related to machineability that affects cost of a mold (Fig. 2-1-
Major factors for determining mold material in the user’s specification are number of
injection shot, application and molding material.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 53


QT : Quenching and Tempering

PH : Prehardened
I : Improved Steel

SKD 11 Mold

13Cr Class QT

SKD 61 I
Wear Resistance

AISI P21 Winkle Class PH Class PH

13Cr Class QT Winkle Class PH Class PH


SCM Class I

SC Class


Fig. 2-1-1.1 Wear Resistance and Machineability of Plastic Mold Material

2-1-2 Number of shots and mold material

Total number of shots is a product of monthly production volume and mold life.
Total number of shots = monthly production volume×mold life (month)
Naturally, a mold having less number of shots will be made of cost conscious material
because depreciation cost per shot needs to be lowered as much as possible, while a mold
having high number of shots will be made of life conscious material. Note that in this case
cost means machining cost rather than material cost.
Characteristics and application of popular steel materials for mold for plastic molding is
shown below in the order of low durability (Table
2-1-2-1 SC steel
S50C and S55C are used for material of mold bases available in the market. They are widely
used for cavity and core material of which total shots are less than 100,000. Particularly they
are applicable for large molds.
Table shows SC steel under both as- rolled steel and pre-hardened steel. It is
recommended to use pre-hardened one for cavity and core due to better abrasion resistance.
2-1-2-2 SCM steel
Generally machineability of SCM steel is not so good comparing with SC steel. Pre-
hardened steel adjusted for better machineability with 28~33HRC hardness is often used for
cavity and core material, mold base material, mold plates and holders that require hardness
to certain extent.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 54

2-1-2-3 AISI-P21 steel
This is a kind of pre-hardened steel, precipitation hardened with 40 HRC hardness,
originated to AISI-P21 of US specification. This should stand for 500,000 shots for usual
There are two types. One is a material with improved machinebility, close to S50C and
S55C, by adding lead (Pb) and sulfur (S). Another is a material with improved machinebility
for electric discharge machining, texturing ability and polishing. Apply one way or another
depending upon mold characteristics.
So far steel materials that are not quenched after machining have been introduced. These
materials have benefits of easier machining, costs and delivery comparing with quenched
type. Currently 40HRC hardness of pre-hardened steel is the hardest, but it is expected to be
50 HRC hardness in view of recent development in high speed and high precision machining
capability for hard metals.

2-1-2-4 SKD-61
SKD-61 steel is normally used for die-cast mold as tool steel for hot processing. But it also
is applicable for plastic mold for relatively large production volume.
Table shows this material under pre-hardened steel with 40 HRC hardness. But
normally raw steel is machined and quenched to 50 HRC hardness after machining. A life of
quenched mold can stand for at least one million shots for usual resins. If conditions are met,
2~3 times longer life can be expected.
SKD-61 can be nitride to the extent of 0.05mm in depth with 900HV hardness or more. It
means that nitride layer still exists after finishing as much as 0.01~0.02mm. Therefore
nitride SKD-61 is quite effective for a mold that is subject to galling or seizing.

2-1-2-5 SKD-11
SKD-11 steel is normally used for press mold as tool steel for cold processing. But it is also
applicable for mold for plastic with reinforced fiberglass or for mass production.

SKD-11 has high resistance to abrasion. When it is quenched at 58~60 HRC hardness, SKD-
11 can stand for around 5 million shots without special coating on the surface. Weakness
may be poor machineability and toughness. Steel suppliers are developing improved SKD-
11 to cover such weakness.

As Table shows, grains are laid out in dense and homogeneity. Thus powder forging
is made available. SKD-11 is applicable for molds that requires mirror polishing and
abrasion resistance.
Mold Design (Advance) Page 55

2-1-2-6 Powder metal

This is applicable for a mold for super mass production, super engineering plastics with
reinforced fibers, IC, etc.. Similarly to SKD-11, this is made from powder metallurgy
process. Powder metal is superior to high-speed tool steel (SKH-51) in terms of hardness
and toughness, but the cost is much higher. Therefore this is often used partially in the form
of inserts wherever high abrasion resistance is required.

So far we have discussed about typical mold materials in relation with number of shots
required for a mold. It is advised to analyze available materials, applications, number of
shots, etc. for mold design. a sample of which is shown in Table

Mold Design (Advance) Page 56


Table Total Shots vs. Mold Material

Total Shots (×1000)

1,000≤ 500≤ 100≤ 20≤
5,000≤ <20
<5,000 <1,000 <500 <100
Resin, Application

Mold Material Powder Metal SKD-11 (I) SKD-61 (I) P/H Steel (M, T) S50C, S55C AL alloy (HB 150)
Heat Treatment Q/T (62-64 HRC) Q/T (HRC 58-60) Q/T (HRC 48-50) No (HRC 40) No No
Surface Treatment No/PVD No No No No No
Resin for
Mold Material SKD-11 (I) SKD-61 (I) P/H Steel (M, T) SCM (I)
Heat Treatment Q/T (HRC 58-60) Q/T (HRC 48-50) No (HRC 40) No (HRC 33)
Surface Treatment No/PVD No/Nitrided No/Nitrided No

Mold Material Powder Metal SKD-11 (I) SKD-61 (I) P/H Steel (M, T) S50C, S55C
Engineering Heat Treatment Q/T (HRC 62-64) Q/T (HRC 58-60) Q/T (HRC 48-50) Q/T No (HRC 40) No
Plastic (Not Surface Treatment No/PVD No/PVD No No No

Mold Material Powder Metal Powder Metal SKD-11 (I) SKD-61 (I)
Heat Treatment Q/T (HRC 64-66) Q/T (HRC 62-64) Q/T (HRC 58-60) Q/T (HRC 48-50)
Surface Treatment PVD No/PVD No/Nitride No

Mold Material Cemented Carbide SKD-11 (I) SKD-61 (I) P/H Steel (M, T)
Steel Insert
Heat Treatment No (HRA85-90) Q/T (HRC 58-60) Q/T (HRC 48-50) Q/T No (HRC 40)
Surface Treatment No/PVD No/PVD No/Nitride No

Mold Material Powder SUS Class 13 CrSUS Class 13 CrSUS Class 13 CrSUS Class 13 CrSUS Class
Heat Treatment Q/T (HRC 56-58) Q/T (HRC 50-52) Q/T (HRC 50-52) Q/T (HRC 33) Q/T (HRC 33)
Fire Retarded
Surface Treatment No/PVD No/PVD No No No

Mold Material Cemented Carbide Powder SUS Class 13 CrSUS Class 13 CrSUS Class P/H Steel (T) S50C, S55C
Steel Insert
Transparent Heat Treatment No (HRA85-90) Q/T (HRC 56-58) Q/T (HRC 50-52) Q/T (HRC 50-52) Q/T (HRC 40) No
Product, Optical Surface Treatment No/PVD No/PVD No/PVD No No No

Note: Q / T: Quenched / Tempered PVD: Physical Vapor Deposition (Ion Plating)

P / H (M): Prehardened (Free-Cutting class) P / H (T): Prehardened (Wrinkle class) I: Improved

Mold Design (Advance) Page 57


2-1-3 Plastic materials and mold materials

Depending upon plastic material that may include, reinforced fibers or additives,
requirements for abrasion or corrosion resistance vary on the part of cavity and core.

2-1-3-1 Reinforced plastic

Reinforced plastic with filled material such as fiberglass causes high abrasion on the mold.
The extent of abrasion is higher if the amount of filled material is greater and the material is
harder. For example when glass fiber content is more than 30%, the mold life will become
10~ 20% of the life otherwise.

Mold materials for anti-abrasion were discussed in the previous section. Be minded that hard
steel material may cause chipping due to inferior toughness. It may be necessary to lower the
hardness and compensate it by surface treatment such as PVD.

2-1-3-2 Flame retardant plastic

Flame retardant plastic that includes halogen (bromine) or fluororesin produces corrosive
gas under heat and pressure in the molding. This will shorten the life of a mold. In the case
of PVC, chlorine gas is generated. Thus you need to select mold material with high
corrosion resistance.

2-1-3-2-1 13Cr stainless steel

This is a stainless steel material to include 13% of chromium. This may be called 13Cr steel
or SUS420 in JIS. 13Cr SUS is not quite high in corrosion resistance, but being pre-
hardened steel of Martensite structure it can be used as it is due to its reasonable hardness
33HRC or can be quenched to 50HRC if needed.

Thus 13Cr SUS can be used for a mold to be mirror polished or to be used for fire retard
resin or fluororesin.

2-1-3-2-2 SUS 630

This is a precipitation-hardened stainless steel having high corrosion resistance. This is
supplied as prehardened steel with 35HRC hardness. SUS 630 stainless steel is applicable
for a mold for highly corrosive resin such as PVC.

2-1-3-2-3 Transparent resin

Cavity and core need to be mirror polished when transparent resins such as GPPS, AS,

Mold Design (Advance) Page 58


PMMA, PC, etc. are molded. Particularly for photoproducts such as optical discs or lenses,
high grade of transparency is required.

Although JIS provides no specific standard for mold steel for plastic injection molding,
special steel suppliers made such standard available for our application. Referring to such
references select appropriate steel material to be mirror polished for transparent resin
molding. Improved materials are often processed by special smelting processing such as
vacuum process which brings about homogeneous and dense grain structure with minimum
segregation and pin holes so as to assure a mold to satisfy with precise transcription
capability. 13Cr stainless steel for such purpose is normally made by vacuum process to suit
precision mirror polishing.

2-1-3-2-4 Thin products

Steel material for thin core or fine core is required to be with high rigidity and high
toughness, particularly when injection is made from one side only. For such application,
Maraging steel to include 18% Ni is recommended.

Maraging steel is supplied as solution treated condition and is to be hardened to 53HRC

through age hardening. This material is often used for thin wall core, mirror polished core,
and ejector pin with thin wall or small diameter.

2-1-4 Other mold materials

As explained so far, steel material is most balanced in properties as mold material. Thus it is
widely used. Other materials than steel are being introduced for particular applications.

2-1-4-1 Aluminum alloy

Mold for extremely small production volume is not necessary is of steel material. Mold
made of aluminum alloy can stand for 20,000~30,000 shots. You may extend the life even
more by hardening the mold surface with alumite processing. But be aware that aluminum
alloy is always subject to damage on its surface because of soft material by nature.

Benefits gained from this material must be low cost, short delivery and improved cycle time
due to high thermal conductivity.

2-1-4-2 Copper Alloys

Beryllium copper (BeCu) is a typical copper alloy used for copper alloy mold for plastic
molding. This material can be improved in abrasion resistance through age hardening.

Advantage of copper alloy is its high thermal conductivity, while disadvantage must be its
high cost. Therefore copper alloy is used for inserts to remove heat from hot spots.
Mold Design (Advance) Page 59

Application to a whole cavity is limited to pressure casting and precision casting, which will
be explained afterward (Fig. 2-1-4-2.1).

In processing BeCu by EDM, be equipped with partial ventilation facility due to generation
of toxic gas. As polar consumption is high, processing BeCu by EDM is better be avoided.
BeCu has limitation for corrosion resistance, but it can be improved by electro less nickel-
plating on the surface as much as 0.01mm. In this way it will be also improved in abrasion

2-1-4-3 Tungsten carbide alloy

Tungsten carbide alloy consists of tungsten carbide (WC), cobalt (Co) and nickel (Ni).
Tungsten carbide alloy with more of cobalt, which has high transverse strength, is used for
mold applied to disc mold (CD), mold for highly reinforced resin, IC mold, etc..

Strength of carbide alloy mold is its high abrasion resistance, while weakness is its high
cost. Thus this material should be used just as inserts to the more extent than BeCu. In order
to cover its small transverse strength, which is a half of steel, it is recommended to apply
shrink fitting wherever applicable. Also be aware that its thermal expansion coefficient is
different from that of steel.

Therefore pay attention to fitting accuracy when it is used as an insert for high temperature

Main Core

BeCu Insert
Main Core (for 4 corners)

Fig. 2-1-4-2.1 Application of BeCu Insert

Mold Design (Advance) Page 60


2-2 Heat Treatment and Coating

Physical properties of steel such as tensile strength, hardness, elongation, etc. vary in
accordance with amount of carbon contents. To a greater extent, heat treatment will influence to
physical properties. We can say that good steel characteristics can be realized depending upon
how the steel is heat-treated. In these days, not only heat treatment but also surface hardening
process such as PVD is applied on mold to satisfy expected longer life of molds or requirements
from engineering plastic molding.

Importance of heat treatment is sometimes overlooked because we normally subcontract heat

treatment to outside vendors without being involved. But it is important to understand basics of
heat treatment and surface coating to be able to specify appropriate processing to satisfy
objectives of the mold.

2-2-1 Heat treatment

Let us review basics of heat treatment.

2-2-1-1 Basics of heat treatment

Steel changes in atomic sequence due to allotropic transformation and structure due to solid
solution and separation of carbide in steel under thermal influence. Heat treatment is to
utilize such changes in characteristics of steel material.

2-2-1-1-1 Allotropic transformation

Pure iron has a form of α iron of body-centered cubic structure up to 911℃, and transforms
to γ iron of face-centered cubic structure from 911℃ to 1392℃. When α iron transforms to γ
iron, the volume shrinks. The reverse transformation causes expansion (Fig. 2-2-1-1-1.1). In
the case of steel, transformation temperature and structure vary substantially depending upon
carbon contents. This relationship is given in a graph known as ‘Iron-carbon equilibrium
chart’. You may refer it to textbook or handbook supplied by steel manufacturer. A sample is
shown in Fig. 2-2-1-1-1.2.

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α Iron γ Iron δ Iron

Temperature (℃)

α Iron
δ Iron γ Iron
(Body-Centered Lattice) (Face-Centered Lattice)
Fig. 2-2-1-1-1.1 Iron Transformation and Atomic Structure

A1 Transformation Point: P-S-K Line

A3 Transformation Point: G-S Line

δ Iron+Molten Iron
Molten Iron

Austenite +
Molten Iron
Temperature (℃)


Carbon Compound + Molten Iron

Ferrite Austenite + Carbon Compound

+ Austenite

Ferrite Ferrite + Carbon Compound

Fig. 2-2-1-1-1.2 Equilibrium Diagram of Iron – Carbon Compound

(from日立金属Hand Book)
Mold Design (Advance) Page 62

2-2-1-2 Heat-treating Method

Important point for heat treatment lies in how to heat and how to cool. When heating,
temperature is the important factor, while in cooling the cooling speed is the important

① Heating

Heating rate: Heating should be done slowly except for surface quenching. The rate of
30 minuets per one inch for rising ambient to designated temperature is well accepted
standard. Simultaneous temperature rising from surface to the center is ideal.

Heating temperature: Tempering and annealing are carried out at lower than A1,
transformation temperature (727℃). Complete annealing and quenching are carried out
at A3 transformation temperature (or A1) + 50℃. In the case of alloy tool steel, often
used for mold, the temperature is 800 ~ 880℃ for SKS steel and 950 ~ 1050℃ for SKD
steel taking account of influence of alloy elements. Temperature is determined referring
to technical data from steel suppliers and JIS as well.

② Cooling

Cooling rate: Basic is to anneal slowly and quench fast. But low carbon steel requires
fast annealing and certain steel can be quenched under slow cooling rate. Particularly
influence of cooling rate varies substantially for alloy tool steel. Thus you should refer
specific transformation curve (TTT curve or S curve) given in hand book or catalog
supplied by steel suppliers for appropriate cooling rate.

Cooling range: Referring to Fig. 2-2-1-2.1, steel with poor quenching characteristic
shows nose of S curve in a short time, while steel with good quenching characteristic
shows the nose in the late stage. In quenching, cooling rate should be controlled in a way
that temperature up to Ms point (Martensite point) should stay out of the nose in
question. In short, cooling rate should be controlled to cool fast from heated point to Ms
point and to cool slowly after Ms point to assure homogeneous Martensite.

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Nose of S-Curve

“Nose “of S-Curve appears at

temperature 430℃ and time
Temperature (℃)

15 sec. This means that the

material can be quenched if it
is cooled from 850℃ to
430℃ within 15 seconds.
Thus oil cooling is needed.

Time (S) 850℃ Heated

Isothermal Transformation Curve of SGT (SKS-3)

Nose of S-Curve

“Nose “of S-Curve appears at

temperature 700℃ and time 300
Temperature (℃)

sec. This means that the material

can be quenched if it is cooled
from 1000℃ to 700℃ within 300
seconds (5min.) thus this material
is easy in quenching just by air

Time (S) 1000℃ Heated

Isothermal Transformation Curve of SLD (SKD-11)

Fig. 2-2-1-2.1 Steel Quenching and Isothermal Transformation Curve

(from日立金属Hand Book)

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2-2-1-3 Quenching and tempering

The purpose of annealing and normalizing is to soften the steel, to relieve internal strain or
to improve internal structure. While, in the case of mold, quenching and tempering are
conducted to improve hardness, strength and abrasion resistance.

Quenching is a process in which heated steel in Austenite temperature is changed to

Martensite grain structure by being cooled quickly. As explained, once steel is heated to
quenching temperature, α iron and carbide changes to γ iron solid solution (austenite) with
shrinkage, and in cooling process, γ solid solution changes to α solid solution with

High carbon steel or high alloy steel, which is often used for mold, tends to leave austenite
structure in martensite structure. Important point to assure dimensional stability of mold is
how to minimize retained austenite content through appropriate heat-treating.

Tempering is done immediately after quenching at lower temperature than A1,

transformation point (727℃). In the tempering, low tempering is done at 150℃ ~ 200℃ and
high tempering is done at 400 ~ 650℃.

A few important considerations in quenching and tempering mold will be explained below.

① To regard quenching and tempering as one process

Tempering must be done immediately after quenching. You should never skip tempering
nor temper after elapsed time. Even if quenching temperature is happened to be bit low
for a material which is not hardened by tempering, you should carry out tempering with
low temperature around 100℃. In this way toughness will be improved without losing
hardness. Sometimes tempering is conducted at low temperature at 180℃ intending to
improve toughness knowing some sacrifice in losing hardness.

Normally it is advised to quench at austenite temperature and then to temper at 400 ~

600℃ to assure intended hardness.

② To temper at high temperature

It is advised to apply high temperature (400 ~ 650℃) for tempering mold for not only
high temperature molding for thermosetting resin or super engineering plastics but also
for usual thermo plastic resins. High temperature tempering can minimize remaining
austenite structure to cause dimensional deflection as time elapses, and can minimize
deflection due to heat treatment when surface hardening such as PVD is conducted.

When high temperature tempering is conducted on many kinds of alloy tool steel,
hardness can be improved at 500℃ due to improved conversion to martensite grain
structure (Fig. 2-2-1-3.1). Refer to catalogs and handbooks supplied by tool steel
manufactures for further details.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 65


Hardness (HRC)

Tempering Temperature (℃)

AC: Air Cooled

Remaining Austenite (%)

As Quenched
Tempering Temperature (℃)

Fig. 2-2-1-3.1 Quenching / Tempering of HPM31 (Improved SKD 11) and

Remaining Austenite (from日立金属)

Mold Design (Advance) Page 66


③ Subzero treatment for long life precision mold

Problem incurred from remaining austenite can be solved by high temperature tempering
for usual molds. If a mold is for high precision to be used at high temperature (100℃ or
higher) for long period of time, subzero treatment is recommended.

Subzero treatment is conducted immediately after quenching when austenite is not

stabilized. It is to hold the mold for certain time length at minus 100℃, and to temper at
high temperature afterward. Subzero treatment minimizes retained austenite structure,
thus assures to minimize deformation after elapsed time, and in addition improves
hardness (Fig. 2-2-1-3.2).

④ To apply steel with high quenching characteristic

Mass effect is a phenomenon in that cooling rate at the center of material cannot be as
fast as the surface so that the quenched hardness cannot be attained in the center of thick
material. Mass effect is associated with thickness of the material to be quenched and
quenching characteristic of the material. You need not too much concern about mass
effect on the mold for plastic molding because quenched hardness is not required in the
center the mold wall usually. However be minded in this respect if cavity and core are
odd shaped so that quenching of a material with poor quenching characteristic may
invite cracks or deformation due to mass effect.
Temperature (℃)

Time (Hr)

Quench- Sub-Zero Tempering


Fig. Fig. 2-2-1-3.2 Heat Treatment Process of SKD-61 Steel

Mold Design (Advance) Page 67


2-2-1-4 Vacuum heat treatment

Vacuum heat treatment is conducted in a vacuum environment of a certain vacuum rate. For
quenching, usually 10-2 ~ 10-5 tore (mmHg) of vacuum rate is applied. The vacuum furnace
is made to vacuum condition before heating. This is to take oxygen out to protect the mold
from oxidization. And then the furnace is heated by adding nitrogen 0.5 torr to minimize
evaporation of steel element. Characteristics of vacuum heat treatment are as follows.

① Shiny surface can be attained without oxidization influence.

② Deformation can be minimized through proper installation of a product in the furnace.
③ Automated heat treatment reduces manpower overhead.
④ Working environment is clean and comfortable because the furnace is insulated.
⑤ There is no environmental issue like salt bath furnace.
⑥ Cost of facility is high.

Fan Motor Cooling Fan

Insulation Cooling Door Cooling Coil
Material (Opened)
View Heater

Door Basket
Furnace Bed
Insulation Material
(Ceramic Fiber)
Cooling Door

Fig. 2-2-1-4.1 Vacuum Heat Treatment Oven of Gas Quenching Type


Mold Design (Advance) Page 68


Temperature (℃)

Time (min)
Vacuum (Tore)

(*Numbers are incorporated to explanation in the text book.)

Fig. Fig. 2-2-1-4.2 Vacuum Quenching Chart of SKD-61

2-2-2 Surface treatment

Limiting our scope to surface hardening, various processes are classified as shown in Table Below explained is some of the surface hardening processing often used for the
mold of plastic molding. In order to improve surface hardening quality, some combined
processes are applied.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 69


Table Fig. Various Surface Treatments

No. Classification Treatment Method Remarks

1 Surface High Frequency Suitable for bars and axises. This is to apply high
Quenching frequency induction heating.
Flaming Partially quenched by acetylene gas burner. It requires
some skills.
Electro Beam Electro beam is applied in vacuum chamber. Facility cost
is high.
Laser Laser is applied. Quenching is done in atmospheric
environment. Little heat strain.
2 Diffusion Cementation Carbon is diffused on low carbon steel with 0.2% and the
Penetration surface is hardened as high carbon steel. Solid
cementation, liquid cementation, gas cementation,
vacuum cementation and ion cementation are made
Nitriding To harden the surface by nitrogen diffusion. Gas, salt
bath and ion Nitriding methods are available. Good
application to mold.
Soft Nitriding Nitrogen and carbon are applied. Gas, salt bath and ion
soft Nitriding methods are available.
Boron Boron is applied on steel surface. Gas, salt bath and
powder methods are available.
3 Wet Plating Hard Chrome Chrome is plated by electric plating. Wide application to
Electro less Nickel Nickel is plated chemically. Plate thickness is more even
than hard chrome plating.
4 Dry Plating Welding To add harder steel alloy on the steel by welding.
Thermal Spraying To add harder steel alloy on the steel by plasma or flame
thermal spraying.
PVD Coating material is vaporized in vacuum chamber and
(Physical Vapor Deposition) deposited on the steel surface. Vacuum, iron plating and
spattering methods are available. Suitable to mold
CVD Coating material gas is chemically react with heated
(Chemical Vapor Deposition) steel surface and hard coating is formed. Due to high
temperature, application to mold is limited. Low
temperature CVD can be widely applied to mold.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 70


2-2-2-1 Gas Nitriding

An object is heated in the atmosphere of nitride gas such as ammonia gas (NH3) to be diffusion-
permeated by carbon and nitrogen. Characteristics of this process can be summarized as follows:

① Any small surface of any kind such as internal surface of small hole can be hardened.
② Assuming proper tempering at higher temperature than nitride temperature is conducted,
deformation is small due to processing in rather low temperature (500℃ for alloy tool steel).
③ Does not influence surface roughness.
④ All steel except stainless steel can be treated, particularly effective for SCM steel, SKD-61 steel
and prehardened steel of precipitation hardened type.
⑤ There is no environmental problem as salt bath Nitriding.
⑥ White layer (or ε layer), hard and brittle composite, is formed on the surface. But this can be
minimized by controlling temperature and nitrogen concentration precisely.

In view of various characteristics above, a mold can be gas-nitride after finishing or before final
finishing. In the case of precision mold, gas Nitriding is conducted before final finish by leaving
finishing margin 0.01 ~ 0.02 mm. Nitride depths is at most 0.05 mm even for SKD-61. Therefore
amount of margin for finishing should be limited. Gas Nitriding is effective against galling and
seizing. Therefore you can apply this surface hardening not only for cavity and core but also for
sliding surface in the mold components.

Gas Nitriding is difficult to apply on stainless steel, as explained, because its surface is made of
stable oxidized steel. But ionized Nitriding to apply glow discharge under low-pressure gas can make
stainless steel nitride.

2-2-2-2 Ion Plating

Ion plating is a kind of physical vapor deposition (PVD). This is a surface treatment method to ionize
vaporized coating elements such as carbide and nitride and to deposit them on the surface of an
object with negative voltage (Fig. 2-2-2-2.1).

PVD includes vacuum vapor deposition and spattering. But they are usually not applicable for
surface hardening.

Characteristics of ion plating are as follows:

① Deformation is extremely small because temperature under treatment is only 300 ~ 500℃. Be
minded tempering should be conducted at the higher temperature.
② Film thickness 1 ~ 4 µm is given evenly.
③ Super hard coating HV 2000 ~ 3000 can be attained by applying Tin and TiCN.
④ No influence to surface roughness.

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⑤ Applicable to all kinds of steel.

⑥ Work environment is favorable because all activities are carried out in the vacuum chamber.
⑦ Generally adhesive strength is not as high as CVD. The adhesive strength is much affected by
surface condition and treatment temperature.
⑧ Coating on the surface such as internal surface of small hole, on which deposit is unlikely made,
is rather difficult.

In view of above characteristics, this method is applicable to cavity with flat shape and smooth
surface, core and core insert with simple shape. But you need to check carefully items ①, ⑦ and ⑧.

Referring to ⑤, ion plating is applicable to aluminum alloy and copper ally as well. But adhesive
strength is not so high because hardness of such material is not hard enough. Thus it is recommended
to limit this application to steel having hardness more than 50 HRC. Ion plating can be combined
with gas Nitriding for better surface hardening. In this case white layer should be removed by shot
pining in order to assure adhesive strength in ion plating.

The surface condition before ion plating processing should be metallurgically active. This can be
said to the surface when electro discharge machining is conducted. Ion bombardment processing is a
popular method in this respect by bombarding ionized argon gas on the object surface before ion
plating is processed.

Electric Beam Electric Gun Vacuum Chamber

Vacuum chamber is of cylindrical shape in


Ar Gas Reactor Gas general. Coating material is placed in the

middle and electric gun is installed to melt
Product it. Products are laid out around. Products
Product rotate around crucible to assure even
coating on the surface.

Crucible Coating Material

Fig. 2-2-2-2-1 Principle of Iron Plating Device

Mold Design (Advance) Page 72


2-2-2-3 Other surface treatments

Traditionally hard chrome plating and electro less nickel plating have been widely applied.
Treatment temperature for hard chrome plating is as low as 45 ~ 65℃. Hard chrome plating
is of low cost but with good abrasion resistance, mold separation and corrosion resistance. It
has been widely applied to mold, which is not complex in shape, or IC mold. Comparing
with PVD, plated film is thick, 0.01 ~ 0.03 mm, and in addition there will be a build up at
edges or corners. Thus you need to evaluate the usage carefully before application. Table illustrates characteristics of hard chrome plating and electro less nickel-plating for
your reference.

Surface treatment by spattering, which is a dry type instead of a wet type in hard chrome
plating, is highlighted in these days. This has better adhesion and even film thickness, but
cannot be applied to small area such as internal surface of fine hole. With regard to coated
film, CVD, the same dry type as spattering, is far better in adhesive strength, but its
weakness lies in deformation to precision parts due to high temperature treatment.

In this respect it should be worth attention that CVD in low temperature treatment or plasma
CVD is under development. Such new technology should provide you with a new insight for
a superior surface treatment.

Table Wet Plating Methods and Characteristics

Item Hard Chrome Plating Electro less Nickel Plating

Methods Electric plating Chemical plating
Temperature Liquid 45 ~ 65℃ Liquid 90 ~ 95℃
Plating Layer Cr Ni 92 % ~ 98%
Thickness 5 ~ 50μm (usually 10µm) 10 ~ 30µm
(Without Heat Treatment) 800 ~ 900 HV 450 ~ 550 HV
(With Heat Treatment) 750 ~ 850 HV (300℃) 650 ~ 900 HV (250 ~ 350℃)
• High wear resistance. • Even plating thickness.
• Good separation. • High wear resistance.

Strong Points • High acid resistance. • High corrosion resistance.

• Easy reworking (re-plating). • High adhesion.
• Low cost. • No pinhole. No crack.
• Weak adhesion • High cost (Plating Liquid)
Weak Points • Uneven plating thickness. • If plating liquid flow is not smooth, even
• Corroded by halogen gas. coating thickness cannot be attained.

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Chapter - 3


Mold Design (Advance) Page 74


3- Undercut Handling

Undercut has nature in which ejection of a product in the direction of mold open/close cannot be
possible. As it affects mold cost and product cost as well, undercut should be avoided at the stage of
product evaluation. On the contrary, tendency is toward increased undercut to satisfy needs to
reduce number of parts and to simplify joints by utilizing resin elasticity.
Undercut mechanism as well as ejection mechanism is one of a few mechanical operations in the
injection mold. It is expected to make the mechanism reliable.
Here we will discuss various methods in handling undercut, and then typical methods, slide core
and inclined core, will be taken for details.

3-1 Classification
There should be various ways to classify undercut. Generally accepted way is to classify
undercut to two, namely whether the undercut locates outside of the product or inside, in other
words whether the undercut is to be handled from outside of the product or from inside.
Outside undercut
Inside undercut
Through hole on the outside of a product may be classified to either way. It should be
appropriate to be classified to outside undercut because a handling from outside must be easier.
1) Outside undercut (Fig. 3-1.1)
Outside undercut is easier than inside undercut because enough space may be made
available. In the most cases, slide core mechanism, which will be explained later, is used for
the outside undercut handling. The weakness must be that parting line of slide core and
cavity comes on the outside of a product. This may influence appearance quality of the
2) Inside undercut (Fig. 3-1.1)
Parting line is hidden in the inside of a product because undercut is located in the inside
(core side). But the design is difficult due to limited space. Various undercut handling
methods are proposed, in which inclined core (loose core) mechanism is widely accepted.

3-2 Undercut Handling Methods

There are many handling methods are proposed depending upon shape and size of undercut.
Typical methods are as follows.
Slide core
Inclined core (loose core)
Dogleg cam
Undercut handling methods
Elastic core
Removable core
Power source of undercut handling is from mold open/close, ejection, outside force, manual, etc.
as showing in (Table 3.2.1).

Mold Design (Advance) Page 75


(a) Outside Undercut (b) Inside Undercut

Fig. 3-1.1 Undercut Classification

Table 3.2.1 Undercut handling Method Classification

Undercut Parting Force Application

Handling Mold
Ejection External Out Characteristic
Method Open / Manual Inside
Force Force Side
Generally accepted handling
Slide Core ◎ ○ ○ ◎ ○

Slant Core Used for inside undercut

◎ ○ ◎
(Loose Core) handling.

Used for small undercut.

Dogleg Cam ◎ ○ ◎
Small lot production.

Used for small undercut.

Elastic Core ◎ ○ ◎ Medium and large

Extremely small production.

Fixed Core ◎ ○ ○
Low cost.

Depends on part shape and

Enforced ○ ◎ ○ ○ ○ ○

◎: Suitable ○: Possible

Mold Design (Advance) Page 76


3-3 Characteristics and Application of Various Undercut Handling Methods

1) Slide core
Slide core is the most widely used undercut handling mechanism. Normally it is applied for
outside undercut, but can be used for inside undercut depending upon the product
requirement. This mechanism is to release undercut by means of transfer of a core, which
forms undercut, in the parallel direction to the parting line. The name comes from sliding
transfer of the core.

Driving force for the sliding comes from either mold opening force, which is converted to
horizontal force through angular pin, and outsourced force such as hydraulic cylinder (Fig.

Mold opening (Angular pin, cam)

Slide core driving force
Outsourced (hydraulic cylinder, air cylinder)

Generally, angular pin or angular cam is mostly applied for a mechanism to utilize a mold
opening force. In this case slide core is located on the movable side and the slide stroke is
relatively small. If the slide stroke is big, mold design will be difficult due to restraints from
angular pin, length of the pin, mold thickness, etc.. In addition loss in molding cycle due to
big opening stroke will be invited. In this case you should consider application of outsourced
device to allow big sliding stroke. You may apply hydraulic cylinder, pneumatic cylinder,
actuator to convert motor rotation to linear force through rack and pinion gear, etc..

If a sliding core is installed on the fixed side, outsourced application makes the mechanism
simple and gives more flexibility for various product shapes with higher reliability. When
mold opens, product will separate from the fixed side mold (cavity) and transfer with the
movable side mold (core). Thus it is required to release undercut from the cavity before
mold opens.

When the driving force is sourced outside, you should design an electrical inter locking
device on the injection machine not to start mold opening or ejection process until slide core
comes to the designated position.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 77


Angular Pin
Slide Core
Slide Core Coupling

Hydraulic / Pneumatic

(a) To apply mold opening force (b) To apply outside force

Fig. 3-3.1 Driving Mechanism of Slide Core

Undercut Release

(a) Injection Filling Process (b) Cooling Completion Process

(c) Mold Opening Process

Fig. 3-3.1 Sequential Movement of Fix Side Slide

Mold Design (Advance) Page 78


2) Inclined core (loose core)

Inclined core, which may be called loose core, is typical inside undercut handling
mechanism. This may be called ‘inclined ejector pin’ because this has a function of ejector
pin as the core to form undercut is installed on the ejector plate with designated angle.

The undercut handling is done in such a way that the inclined core transfers to the direction
to release undercut incorporating to ejection stroke. Ejector plate installed on the inclined
core should slide smoothly on the ejector plate not to cause galling.

Traditional inclined core has a structure in which ejection point and guide area are located
too far a part. Then the ejection force works as a bending moment on the inclined core. Thus
traditional structure was considered as troublesome undercut handling mechanism (Fig. 3-

But in these days, improved design is proposed, in which the bending moment on the
inclined core is eliminated by installing a slide guide rod diagonally on the receiving plate
and the movable side mounting plate. This improved type is available in the market (Fig. 3-

If you adopt above reliable mechanism, you can extend the inclined core application to wide
range. You will have a benefit to minimize cavity pitch for multi cavity application with
outside undercut because it does not require a wide operation space that is needed if slide
core method is adopted.

3) Dogleg Cam
Dogleg cam is applied for a mold for multiple cavity in which the space is limited. In this
case undercut should be relatively small (Fig. 3-3.4).

If undercut area locates in the movable side, you may apply it on the both outside and inside.
But in practice inside undercut is more in cases. Core to form undercut is in the shape of a
dogleg. Similarly to the inclined core, the core will slide on the ejector plate in the releasing
direction from undercut area incorporating the movement of ejection stroke.

Accordingly, galling may be incurred if the core does not slide smoothly on the ejector plate
similar to the inclined core.

Another weakness may be that the core hole edge is subject to abrasion because the dogleg
cam hits on the hole edge every time when ejector plate returns to the original position.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 79

inclined core and ejection force point are
far apart.


Fig. 3-3.2 Problem in Traditional Inclined Core Structure

Inclined Core
(Loose Core)

Guide Plate Guide Rod

Slide Base (This if to cancel a
bending moment on
the inclined core.)

Holder Bushing
(a) Inside undercut handling mechanism (b) Outside undercut handling mechanism
(a) Inside undercut handling mechanism
Fig. 3-3.3 New Inclined Core Mechanisms (from catalog of タカオ設計事務所)

Dogleg Cam

Edge of this part tends to

be worn away.

Operational trouble
will be incurred
unless this part moves

Fig. 3-3.4 Dogleg Cam Application

Mold Design (Advance) Page 80


4) Elastic core (collapsible core)

The undercut core is made of an elastic steel which is inclined if there is no load. The core,
which is reformed by other parts, tries to be back to original position at the ejection process.
Undercut is handled by this motion. There are two types. One is cylinder type to take care of
inside undercut of round parts. Another is bar type to take care of small undercut. They are
available in the market under the name of ‘Collapsible Core’ and ‘Spring Core’ respectively
(Fig. 3-3.5).

Advantage is that molding cycle can be made fast and reliable as there is no operation
mechanism like sliding. But you cannot apply it to a product with a big undercut because
undercut is handled only by the inclined core.

Collapsible core is often applied to a product, which has female threads inside like a bottle
cap. Spring core is used similarly to dogleg cam and inclined core (Fig. 3-3.6). As it is more
reliable than dogleg cam or the inclined core, consider the spring core first if situation is

Mold Design (Advance) Page 81


Spring Core Core

Center Pin

(a) Spring Core (b) Collapsible Core

(from日本金型産業catalog) (from日本ディエムイーcatalog)

Fig. 3-3.5 Elastic Core Application

(a) Dogleg Cam (b) Inclined Core (c) Elastic Core

Fig. 3-3.6 Various Undercut Handling Applications

Mold Design (Advance) Page 82


3-3-5) Removable core

This is used for a small lot production. This is not operated through mold mechanism but to
remove the core, placed in undercut area, manually after the product is ejected with the core
in it (Fig. 3-3-5.1).

Accordingly the core cost can be low, but productivity should be low, too. This kind of core
is seldom used in Japan where labor expense is high. It is used only for a prototype mold
before production mold is produced.

Removable core is set at the undercut area in the mold like insert. Normally two removable
cores are prepared per one undercut so that one can be removed while another is under
molding processes.

Basically similar consideration to insert molding should be paid for the design of removable

① To evaluate the method of the core removal at the time of mold design.
② To design the removal core that can be easily inserted in the mold with a foolproof
③ To design the removable core to be positioned exactly in the mold. It should not be
dislocated by the mold clamping motion.
④ To layout an ejector pin for the removable core.
⑤ To use light metal with high thermal conductivity. Aluminum alloy is recommended.

3-3-6) Enforcing
This is to take the undercut out just by enforcing the product manually or by ejector
depending on the elasticity of the material. The quality of the product will be very much
influenced by the shape and the kind of material. Thus a thorough evaluation is essential at
the design stage (Fig. 3-3-6.1).

Following considerations are needed in the design when enforcing method is chosen.

① Undercut should be within a size so that distorted product could be elastically regained
to the designed shape.
② Edge of the undercut area should be designed to have smooth R corners.
③ If undercut is enforced by an ejector pin or a stripper plate, the structure should be made
so that the product can be elastically deformed.
④ Material should have enough elasticity to be distorted and to be regained to the designed
shape. Gene rally, crystalline non-reinforced resin such as PE, PP, PA, etc. is relatively
applicable for the enforcing.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 83


Removable After product is taken out, apply a

spanner to this part for removal.

Ejector Pin

Fig. 3-3-5.1 Screw Forming by Removable Core

Pull cavity insert

out so that product
Cavity Insert can be elastically


(a) Molding Completed (b) Before Enforcing (c) After Enforcing

Fig. 3-3-6.1 Enforced Pullout of Tape Guide Roller

Mold Design (Advance) Page 84


3-4 Design of Slide Core Mechanism

3-4-1 Driving mechanisms

As explained, driving mechanism of slide core has two ways depending upon how to source
the driving force. One is to utilize mold open/close force and another is to source the force
from outside. Here we will discuss the design criteria of the driving mechanism of an
angular pin, which is most commonly applied.

① One angular pin per one slide core

The function of an angular pin is only to activate sliding core. It has neither function for
bearing injection pressure, nor for positioning. Thus positioning between angular pin and
sliding core is not severe, and in the same principle, high rigidity is not required.

Rough positioning between angular pins and sliding core is associated with difficulty to
keep relative position accurately in machining. This tells you that if 2 angular pins are
installed for a sliding core, one is in contact but another is not. This will give a moment
to sliding core, then result in galling on the sliding area.
Thus, one angular pin should be prepared for one slide core in the normal practice, but if
you need to install 2 angular pins for some reason, you need to machine relative
positions accurately (Fig. 3-4-1.1).
② To keep angle less than 25°
Angle of an angular pin is better be 10°~25°. In practice, 15° or 20° are often used. If the
angle is set beyond 25° in the case of large stroke, initial resistance due to mold
separation becomes too big to risk damage of the mold.(Fig. 3-4-1.2).
If you need a large stroke, you should consider outsourced actuator or installation of an
angular cam, which can change the angle in the ejection process.
The angle of a locking block should be 2° plus pin angle in principle.

③ To assist mold opening by a spring.

It is advised to apply a spring to assist mold opening not only for a mold to have a
sliding core on the top but also on any position.

In principle the main function of the spring is to push the sliding core against the stopper
in order to position the sliding core accurately, and the secondary function is to assist
separation of the product from the mold. The spring should not be too strong not to
induce unstable movement of the sliding core.
There are 2 ways for spring installation. One is to install it between sliding core and
main core. Another is to install it on the end of the sliding core by way of a stripper bolt.
The formar is popular because of its compact layout. In this case it is advised to prepare
a spring cover so that any foreign materials cannot be pinched by the spring (Fig. 3-4-

Mold Design (Advance) Page 85


Slide Core Quenched Plate

Slide Core
Angular Pin Hole
(2places per slide core)

Section A-A

(a) Improper • l1 < l2 (b) Proper • l1 < l2

• 2 Angular Pins per slide core. • One Angular Pin per slide core.

Fig. 3-4-1.1 Proper / Improper Slide Core Design

Slide Core

Locking Block

Stopper Block

Spring Cover (Surface A plays a role of stopper, not

Wear Plate extrusion surface.)
Ball Plunger

Fig. 3-4-1.2 Points of Slide Core Design

Mold Design (Advance) Page 86


3-4-2 Guide mechanisms

Generally 2 guide rails are to guide a side face of the sliding core. These design criteria are
explained as follows.

① To design guide longer than a slide core width

The longer the guide is, the better the guiding stability will be. It must be ideal to have
the length 1.5 times of the slide core width. If it is not possible, maintain the length at
least more than the slide core width. If the length is less than the width, you will have a
back lashing movement similar to old drawers. Naturally this will cause galling. The
tendency toward a galling is evident if you try to handle multiple undercut areas by a
wide sliding core (Fig. 3-4-1.2). In this case prepare a narrow guide, which is a guide of
parallel key shape, on the bottom face of the sliding core and let the guide rails on the
side work in the direction toward brim thickness only.

② To apply hardened metal for the guide

In wear consideration, hardened metal or other kind of metal such as brass is used on the
sliding surface. This general principle should be applied to guide area of the sliding core.
Or one of sliding core and sliding guide should be made of hardened metal. Normally
sliding core of small and medium size mold is made of hardened metal, but mold bases
are not. They may be of pre-hardened steel as it is. In this case you are advised to attach
partially hardened wear plate on the sliding part of the mold base to improve wear
resistance. If partial load is not expected, wear plates made of brass or oil-less metal can
also be useful (Fig. 3-4.1.2).

3-4-3 Positioning mechanisms

Sliding core should be positioned precisely at the time of mold clamping and mold opening
as well. Otherwise mold can be damaged. Positioning criteria of the sliding core will be
discussed as follows:

① To use a stopper block in the mold opening direction

Occasionally a sliding core, installed horizontally from operation side to non-operation

side, relies on the positioning of the last stroke by means of ball plunger only without
spring and stopper block. Even for only horizontal direction, this type of positioning is
very unstable and unreliable.

As a spring of the ball plunger is not made strong, there is always a risk of dis-
Mold Design (Advance) Page 87

positioning through vibration and moment inertia of the sliding core. This risk is
particularly evident when toggle-clamping mechanism with a quick motion is applied to
the injection machine.

The final positioning of the sliding core stroke in the direction of mold opening should
be set by a contact of the sliding core against a stopper block with a help of a spring
force (Fig. 3-4-1.1). Thus a ball plunger should be used as a supplemental means for
possible damage of the spring.

② To select the surface for positioning except touching surface in the mold clamping
Positioning toward mold opening can be done by a stopper block. Do not position the
end of mold clamping against touching surface. Particularly if you use a small touching
surface as a stopper for positioning, the surface is likely to have marks or to be concaved
due to concentrated force on the surface.

Positioning toward mold clamping direction should be made against a large surface such
as core side, which does not affect product quality. The properly selected area should
function as a stopper to withstand touching of the sliding core together with a locking
block, and the touching face should be protected (Fig. 3-4-1.1).

3-4-4 Layouts
Slide core should be laid out horizontally in the direction of operation side to non-operation
side, and avoid a vertical layout (Fig. 3-4-4.1). If you need to select a vertical layout for a
product to require 4 directions sliding or for other reasons, safety consideration for the
sliding core not to fall by its weight should be made carefully.

A safety consideration may be to install a spring having 1.5~2.0 times strength of the sliding
core weight and in addition to install a ball plunger under the sliding core in case of the
spring failure.

Similar safety consideration had better be paid for any kind of layout of the sliding core.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 88


Top Platen of Injection Machine


Not preferable
sliding direction.

Preferable sliding


Fig. 3-4-4.1 Layout of Slide Core

Mold Design (Advance) Page 89


3-5 Design of An Inclined Core

It was explained that traditional inclined core has a weakness in mold failure and parting failure
because of a bending moment on the inclined core derived from too far a distance between
ejection point and guiding area.

It should be ideal to develop a new inclined core to eliminate such bending moment, but here we
will discuss some idea for modification or design points based on traditional design concept of
the inclined core.

① To prepare a guide on the support plate or on the core plate

A bending moment on the inclined core can be reduced if the guiding area of the inclined
core comes closer to the ejection point.

Specifically, a quenched guiding plate can be installed on the support plate or the lower core
plate surface (the other side of PL surface). In this way two areas, core and support plate (or
core plate), will take care of guiding. This will contribute to improved operational stability
of the inclined core (Fig. 3-5.1).

② To minimize friction on the inclined core slide

Inclined core will slide on the ejector plate under an ejecting force applied to the mounting
part on the ejector plate. If the sliding is very smooth, the ejection force can be converted
effectively to a pushing force along the inclined direction not to a bending moment on the
inclined core.

You may apply non-lubricant type sliding plate available in the market. But modification by
having a quenched plate on the ejector plate and a cam follower or a needle bearing to
provide small friction resistance are more likely effective (Fig. 3-5.1).

③ To minimize product movement along with inclined core

Undercut handling of the sliding core is to release the undercut part by pushing it parallel to
the plate being derived by the ejection force on the inclined core.

Accordingly the product should not move angularly with the inclined core. Following points
may be useful to cope with this problem.

* If possible, to prepare a draft angle on the undercut area to reduce releasing resistance.
* To have an ejector pin to cut into the product as much as 0.1~0.3 mm.
* To make the height of the inclined core lower than the main core as much as 0.1~0.2mm.

④ To minimize the angle of the inclined core

In order to minimize a bending moment, minimize the angle.

Imagine an ejection stroke without undercut consideration and then set an minimum angle to
operate the undercut with the stroke.

It is advised to limit the angle to maximum 15°. If it exceeds 15°, you are advised to
consider a design with no bending moment. This new type of core is subject to patent issue.
Thus you cannot manufacture it in house, but can purchase it in the market.
Mold Design (Advance) Page 90

Draft Angle

Detail A

Receiving plate

Guide Plate

Needle Cam Follower

Pin Bearing

Wear plate

Fig. 3-5.1 Design Points for Traditional Inclined Core

Mold Design (Advance) Page 91


Chapter - 4

3-Plate Mold

Mold Design (Advance) Page 92


4- 3 plate structure
When a gate is designed on the upper surface of the product like pin point gate, a runner
stripper plate is required for runner separation in addition to 2 plate mold. This is called 3
plate mold.

3 plate mold has one more plate on the 2 plate mold, but the structure and the operation is
quite different from the 2 plate mold. The big difference is in open/close of the plate. 3 plate
mold requires a big open/close stroke to open runner parting (PL2) for taking runner out in
addition to open/close of main parting line (PL1) for taking product out. Therefore the mold
cycle is slower than 2 plate molding. Another disadvantage in comparison with 2 plate mold
is the higher cost due to increased parts required for its complex structure. However 3 plate
mold is popular as it has advantage over 2 plate mold in molding comparatively large
products maintaining a good balance in the shape.

Open/close of PL surface of 3 plate mold is worked by transferring a force of movable side

mold, initiated by open/close of the injection machine, to fixed side through mold
mechanism. Concern must be on the sequence of PL surface opening.

Factors to determine sequence of the opening are separation resistance of product and
runner, and operation resistance from runner stripper plate. In the normal mold, either main
PL surface or runner PL surface opens first and runner stripper plate opens next. Fig. 4.1
shows the relationship.

There is a mechanism to lock PL surface (PL1) and let the runner PL surface (PL2) open
first. This is applicable for a thin product of which releasing resistance is small on the core
side. This enables the product to stay on the core surface. (Fig. 4.2)

Basic structure of the movable side is the same. Thus various types of the mold explained for
2 plate mold are applicable to the case of 3 plate mold. In this way 3 plate mold can cope
with the requirement of various shapes of the products.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 93


Runner Stripper Plate F1: Core side separation resistance.

Cavity Plate F2: Cavity side separation resistance.
Core Plate F3: Runner separation resistance.
F4: Gate cut-off resistance.
F5: Cavity plate operational resistance.
F6: Runner plate operational resistance.
F7: Runner lock pin separation resistance.
F8: Sprue separation resistance.

[Required Conditions]
(1) PL1 opens and then product stays on the
core side.
(F2 + F4) < F1
(2) Before PL3 opens, PL2 opens.
(F3 + F4) < (F6 + F7 + F8)

[Sufficient Conditions]
(1) Before PL2 opens, PL1 opens.
F2 < (F3 + F5)
(2) Before PL1 opens, PL2 opens.
F2 > (F3 + F5)

Fig. 4.1 Opening Sequence and Various Resistances for Three Plate Mold

Parting Lock

(1)Parting lock locks PL1 and PL2

opens first.
(2)As PL2 precedes opening, then PL1
(3) Lastly, PL3 opens.

Fig. 4.2 Mold Opening Control by Parting Lock

Mold Design (Advance) Page 94


Arm for Runner

Arm for Product
Automatic Take-out
Automatic Take-out

Decide ‘Required’ and ‘Sufficient’ S1, S2 & S3 in mold design

Fig. 4.3 Mold Open Stroke of Three-Plate Mold

4-1 Support pin

Support pin is a unique part in the 3-plate mold. It is to guide fixed side mold plate and
runner stripper plate in the process of the mold opening. Therefore both support pin and
guide pin/bushing are used for standard mold base for 3-plate mold. Both share a function of
guiding fixed and movable plate. But this structure limits a space for puller bolts and other
components in the mold. Thus there is other type of standard mold base to enable support
pin to perform double purpose by adding guiding function of movable mold plate (Fig. 4-

This double purpose structure provides more space for other components but be aware that
support pin collar cannot be used here. The support pin collar is a safety device to stop the
fixed mold plate from coming off from the support pin when a head of the stop bolt happens
to be broken. Therefore if the double purpose structure is adopted, you should either
consider other method for safety consideration or use stop bolts and puller bolts of higher
strength to ensure high reliability.

Be advised that the double purpose structure is inferior to the functionally shared structure in
terms of the positioning performance of the mold plate because there are possibility of pin
deflection and clearance problem with guide bushing as the support pin fixed on the fixed
side clamping plate has to guide the movable side mold plate. Considering all above,
Mold Design (Advance) Page 95

following design criteria can be presented for designing guide and support pin structure of 3
plate mold.

① In the case of a mold with movable side guide pin structure, like stripper plate ejector,
the basic structure should be that support pin and guide pin/bushing are laid out

② In the case of a mold with a thick fixed side mold plate or with a large opening stroke in
PL2, select a basic structure to assure better performance for guiding mold plate because
support pin deflects and positioning performance should drop.

③ In the case of double purpose mold that requires accurate positioning of the movable and
fixed side mold plate, increase positioning accuracy of the cavity and the core by
applying a taper pin on the PL surface.

Guide Structure Basic Structure Flexible Structure

R plate R plate


• High positioning accuracy between • High flexibility in parts design such as

cavity and core puller bolt.
• Low flexibility in parts design such as • Poor positioning accuracy between
Characteristic puller bolt. cavity and core, thus taper pin
positioning should be considered for
procision mold.

Fig. 4-1.1 Mold Guide Structure with Guide Pin and Support Pin
(from catalog of フタバ)

Mold Design (Advance) Page 96


4-2 Control parts for the extent of opening.

4-2-1 Stop bolt
A stop bolt is a part to limit the stroke of runner stripper plate. As Fig. 4-2-1.1 shows,
various types of stop bolts are made available.

Type a in Fig. 4-2-1.1 is the most popular kind of stop bolt and it can be located in the same
location as puller bolt. Thus it is good in space utilization and in addition it saves machining
on various plates.

Other types are more or less the same shape as puller bolt, but a puller bolt is too long for
the stop bolt. It is rather recommended to find a stopper bolt among stripper bolts which
have better possibility to be used for a stop bolt and are available as standard press die parts.

4-2-2 Puller bolt

A puller bolt is commonly used as a control part to control opening extent between runner
stripper plate and cavity plate, in other wards opening extent of runner parting line (PL2).
Also it is used for controlling opening extent of main parting line (PL1). This mechanism is
preferable when space is widely available for a mold where a support pin has a dual function
to guide movable side mold plate. One thing you should not forget is to pay enough
consideration on the workability and interference with automated take-out device in the
scope of product take-out.

Puller bolt has two types. One is male screw and another is female screw type. Female screw
type is widely used because it can be used as a pair with stop bolt. Even it is used
independently, female screw type has better reliability for repeated load application because
it can be fastened from runner stripper plate side (Fig. 4-2-2.1).

Mold Design (Advance) Page 97


Fixed Side
Mounting Plate

Runner Stripper Plate

Puller Bolt

• High Space Efficiency • Good molding • Good molding • Good molding
• Poor in molding workability. workability. workability.
workability and • Poor reliability in • High reliability in • High reliability in
maintainability. strength of screw area. strength of screw area. strength of screw area.
• Good maintainability. • Poor maintainability. • Good maintainability.
• High cost.

Fig. 4-2-1.1 Various Stop Bolts and Characteristics

Female Type

Male Type

Female Type

Fig. 4-2-2.1 Kinds of Puller Bolt and Application

Mold Design (Advance) Page 98


4-2-3 Tension link

Tension link is installed on the plate side of the mold to control the limit of mold opening. It
is used for controlling opening of the main parting line (PL1) (Fig. 4-2-3.1). As explained,
puller bolt is used for controlling opening of runner parting line (PL2), but tension link can
be used for PL2 if layout space is not given enough to apply puller bolt.

Like above example, tension link gives more flexibility in layouting parts for mold opening
control, but close attention should be paid not to interfere with couplers mounted on the
plate side face for temperature control. Also attention should be paid on the workability of
product take-out, particularly of manual take-out, because tension link is installed on the
side face of the mold plate. Thus the layout of the tension link should be carefully made in
consideration of take-out method of product and runner as well.

4-2-4 Chain
Tension link and puller bolt are normally installed in the range of mold thickness, but once
in a while there is a case in that the range of mold thickness is not wide enough for their
installation when the extent of the opening is large relative to the mold thickness. In this case
chain can be effectively applied (Fig. 4-2-4.1).

As it is flexible, the chain can be used for most of the cases. When the mold is closed, the
chain can be folded and stored within the mold plate thickness. However a chain may hang
down when the mold is closed and may interfare with couplers for temperature control
device. Thus a chain should be only used for special cases as in the case explained above.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 99


Type Short Stroke Type Long Stroke Type


• One end is fixed by a bolt. Thus • Can be used for a big opening.
operation is assured. • Rather high noise.
• Possible to make mold open / close • Cannot make mold open / close fast
Characteristic fast.
• Less noise.
• Not suited for a big opening.

Fig 4-2-3.1 Extension Links and Characteristics

(drawings are fromミスミcatalog)


Fig. 4-2-4.1 Restriction of Mold Opening by Chain

Mold Design (Advance) Page 100

4-3 Parts for opening sequence control

4-3-1 Parting lock
Parting lock is to control mold-opening sequence providing operational resistance in the
opening mechanism through various methods. Generally it is used to lock main parting line
(PL1) and let the opening of runner parting line (PL2) operate in advance.

For example, in the case of shallow product, which has not, much difference in the releasing
resistance of fixed side and movable side, the product tends to remain on the fixed side due
to gate cutting resistance. In such case it is effective if PL1 is locked by a parting lock by
eliminating a chance of the product to remain on the fixed side. In a ward, the parting lock
stabilizes releasing balance of the fixed and movable side.

Creation of operational resistance can be made by mechanical system, friction, magnetic
force, etc.. Parting locks associated with various methods are classified as follows.
Mechanical lock
Parting locks Spring lock
Plastic lock
Magnet lock

Features and application

① Mechanical Lock
Mechanical lock is installed on the plate side face of the mold and controls the sequence
of the mold opening. There are various types of mechanical locks available in the

There is a common mechanism. A portion is kept closed by means of combination of

latches and springs until a certain stroke is achieved by another parting device (Fig. 4-3-
1.1) example a locking device on the PL1 can be set not to release PL1 to open until PL2
opens to a certain position.

As you see, this kind of mechanical locking device can eliminate mold parts, such as a
tension link to control mold opening of PL1. The most important thing is the proper
timing of the locking release. Parting line opens in the sequence of PL2→PL3→PL1.
Release bar of the mechanical locking device should be adjusted to release the latch
somehow earlier than the opening extent set by stop bolt or puller bolt.

If the release if too early, it will result in insufficient opening of PL3 (PL between fixed
side clamping plate and runner stripper plate). If the release is too late, it will result in
the damage of stop bolt or puller bolt. Mechanical locking device can be said the most
reliable parting locking device though it is costly.
Mold Design (Advance) Page 101

Fig. 4-3-1.1 Parting Mechanism by Mechanical Locking Device


Mold Design (Advance) Page 102


② Spring Locking Device

Spring locking device is to control sequence of the mold opening being installed on the
plate side similar to mechanical locking device. It has a structure in which a plate spring
or a roller falls into the undercut portion to resist mold opening, driven by the plate or
dish spring force (Fig. 4-3-1.2).

Traditionally the plate spring has been commonly used but adjustment of the spring force
could not be made. In these days a roller to enable both locking and adjustment by a dish
spring with a screw is made available in the market. This type is available in the market
and the reliability has much improved.

Spring locking device cannot control a stroke of the mold opening but is easier to be
handled comparing to mechanical locking device. In the durability aspect, it is much
better than plastic locking device to follow.

③ Plastic locking device

Plastic locking device has a structure to lock the parting line by the friction force of a
extruded part of a plastic cylinder pressed in a hole on the mold plate by the mold
clamping force. This plastic cylinder is installed on the PL surface of the fixed or
movable side mold plate.

The center of the extruded part of the plastic cylinder is made by a tapered bolt. Thus the
outside diameter of the extruded part can be changed by screwing in the tapered bolt.
Thus the friction force can be adjusted. (Fig. 4-3-1.3)

This parting lock device is less costly and easy for installation but due to the stress
relaxation of plastic material tapered bolt it tends to be loosened comparing to other
options. Thus evaluate how to stop loosening of the bolt and be ready for spares for the
replacement whenever needed.

④ Magnet locking device

Magnet locking device has a structure in which a permanent magnet is installed on the
side face of the mold plate and is to pull steel block by magnet force (Fig. 4-3-1.4).

This device has no better reliability comparing to mechanical locking device and no
adjustment mechanism comparing to spring locking device and plastic locking device.
But it can contribute to an efficient molding cycle because no mold clamping force is
wasted, and you need not slow down the speed of mold closing. In addition the device
can be made to standard parts because it can be easily installed and removed to and from
the mold plate.
Mold Design (Advance) Page 103

Lock Holder (S50C) Bolt for

Bolt for adjustment adjustment Lock Holder

Internal Plate Fixed Side

Screw for fixing Spring
of bolt for Roller
Lock Roller
(SUJ2 high Movable Side
frequency quenched.)

High Frequency Quenched

Lock Bushing Lock Roller

MPLKB Lock Bushing (SK3)

Fig. 4-3-1.2 Spring Locking Device to Enable Adjustment of Holding Force


Plastic Lock

Dowell Pin
Tapered Screw

Fig. 4-3-1.3 Plastic Locking Device and Application (from HASCO

Mold Design (Advance) Page 104


Material SS400
Magnet MLK 40-100 Alnico Magnets (Max. temp. 80℃) Magnet Lock
Magnet Lock Steel Block
MLK 80-200 Rare Earth (Max. temp. 200℃)

Square Magnet

Steel Block


Material SS400

Fig. 4-3-1.4 Magnet Locking Device (fromミスミcatalog)

Mold Design (Advance) Page 105


4-3-2 Runner lock pin

Basic functions of the runner lock pin are as follows.
① To cut off a gate
Main function of the runner lock pin for 3 plate mold is to create a cutting force to cut
off a gate along with the mold opening. Undercut part at the tip of the runner lock pin is
to hold the runner on the runner stripper plate against an integral force of parting
resistance of the runner and the 2nd sprue and cutting resistance of the gate. ndDue to this
holding force, the gate is cutted off and at the same time the runner and the 2 sprue can
be taken out from the fixed side mold plate. Accordingly the runner can be taken out.
② Mold opening sequence control.
The secondary function of the runner lock pin is to control sequence of the mold
opening. Opening of PL3 is for pushing off the runner. Thus PL3 should open after PL2
is opened. As undercut part of the runner lock pin locks PL3, the desired sequence can
be maintained.
Design considerations
Design considerations to assure above functions are explained as follows.
① Shape and amount of undercut
Shape and amount of undercut at the tip of the runner lock pin should be appropriate to
suit resin and runner size. If the amount is too small, the gate cannot be fully cut off and
the runner may stay on the fixed side mold plate. If the amount is too big or corner edge
portion is still remained, undercut portion will stay in the ring form and the gate cutting
force cannot be created for the next injection (Fig. 4-3-2.1).
② Layout
Runner lock pin cannot be located at any place on the runner. It should be located at the
same position of the gate or near the gate in order to effectively cut off the gate. If it is
located far from the gate, the gate may not be cut off due to bending deflection of the
runner when mold opens. (Fig. 4-3-2.2)
③ Structure and layout in terms of resin flow resistance
When a runner lock pin is laid out on the gate following the principle ② above, undercut
portion of the runner lock pin may be subject to flow resistance. In such a case, a resin
pool on the runner stripper plate can be prepared. Do not make it too deep. If too deep,
injection cycle becomes long (Fig. 4-3-2.2). Or you may shift the position of the runner
lock pin 2~3mm against resin flow direction.
④ Galling
When there are many runner lock pins, you may face galling trouble. In order to waive
galling, the best solution is to match the taper of the runner lock pin with that of the
runner stripper plate. But taper fitting is a difficult work. For easier solution it is advised
to use heat-treated bushings on the runner stripper plate (Fig. 4-3-2.3).
To protect from galling, another consideration is to give a certain flexibility for fixing
method of the runner lock pin. For example, in the case that the runner lock pin is fixed
by a screw bolt from the brim side, it is suggested to apply a collar, which is a bit thicker
than the brim, and fasten the collar so that the brim can be designed to have a certain
dimensional freedom on the both radial and axial directions (Fig. 4-3-2.3).

Mold Design (Advance) Page 106

Tip Details

Resin forms a ring due

to poor design of runner
Tip Details lock pin.

* Tip should be with smooth R in shape

Fig. 4-3-2.1 Runner Lock Pin and its Tip Shape (fromミスミcatalog)

Lock Pin

Big Big


a. Poor Resin Flow b. Poor Gate Cut-off c., d. Good Resin Flow and
(improper) (improper) Good Gate Cut-off

Fig. 4-3-2.2 Proper / Improper Design for Resin Flow and Gate Cut-off

Mold Design (Advance) Page 107


Screwed Plug


(Improper) (Proper) (Proper) (Proper) (Best)

Fig. 4-3-2.3 Proper / Improper Structure for Galling of Runner Lock Pin

4-3-3 Push pin

Push pin is a supplementary part for PL2 and PL3 opening. As long as runner lock pin
operates satisfactorily, it will perform supplementary function for gate cut-off and releasing
of sprue and runner. Particularly for a mold to apply parting lock device, PL2 should open
before PL1. Push pin enables sure opening sequence and gate cut-off as well.

The similar function can be attained by installing a spring between the runner stripper plate
and the fixed side mold plate being guided by a puller bolt. Generally this mechanism is
used more frequently but this does not have a function to support opening of PL3. (Fig. 4-3-

4-3-4 Runner ejector

Runner ejector is an ejector installed on the runner stripper plate. This is to assure a runner
to drop by a spring force after the runner separates from the sprue bushing. Therefore a
runner ejector is effective when the product is taken out by the gravity force. If automated
device is used for product take-out, this device is better not be installed.

The runner ejector is sold in the market as a set including runner ejector pin, spring and
housing. This can be easily installed if the specification meets the requirement (Fig. 4-3-

When it is applied, the runner ejector should not use a pin smaller than runner width. A part
of the pin should be in contact with PL2 surface of the fixed side mold plate, otherwise the
pin will be inside of the groove of the runner and may be in touch with the surface of the
draft angle or the bottom of the runner. In either case, function of ejector cannot be worked.
(Fig. 4-3-4.2)
Mold Design (Advance) Page 108

Push Pin

Mold Binding → Supplemental Device to open

PL2 → Supplemental Device to open PL3

(a) Push Pin (b) Supplemental Device by spring

(for PL2 opening)

Fig. 4-3-3.1 Supplemental Device for PL Opening by Push Pin and Spring

①Housing ②Pin

①Housing ②Pin
Material Material
Hardness Hardness

①Housing ②Pin ③Spring

OD-Free Length Spring Constant

Fig. 4-3-4.1 Example of Runner Ejector Set (fromミスミフェイス)




A case of malfunction because pin is Pin does not perform as an ejector
in contact with runner. (Pin is to be because it goes into resin.
returned by resin pressure)
(a) Proper (b) Improper

Fig. 4-3-4.2 Proper / Improper Application of Runner Ejector

Mold Design (Advance) Page 109

4-4 Pinpoint gate

Pinpoint gate may be called pin gate. This is of 3 plate mold structure and the gate is cut
off automatically. Because of 3 plate structure, the manufacturing cost is higher than
submarine gate, the same automated cut-off gate, but made of 2 plate.

Advantage is that runner layout is flexible, thus this gate can be applied to small
products and to big products as well. Disadvantage is that this gate does not suit to a
resin of poor flowability such as acryl resin because the gate is small and nor to a resin to
include fiberglass, which erodes the gate quickly.

Automated cut-off in the pinpoint gate works like a pulling action generated by the mold
opening force. Therefore the cut length varies. To cope with this problem gate area
sometimes is designed to be 0.3~0.5mm in concave shape. To compensate decreased
thickness of the product, it is advised to make the core side the same amount in convex
shape if possible (Fig. 4-4.1).

Gate Shape

• Easy mold machining. • Good balance in machinebility, • Priority is placed on cutting

• High mold strength strength and cutting performance rather than
Characteristic • Gate cut – off length L should performance. machinebility and strength.
be allowed. • Applicable when high gate is
not allowed.

Fig. 4-4.1 Various Pin Point Gate and Characteristic

Mold Design (Advance) Page 110


Mold Design (Advance) Page 111


5 Corrective Actions for Defective Molding

Defective molding may be derived from improper setting of the injection parameters or material

Corrective action or improved procedure should be in practice by finding out the cause of the
defective molding.

Typical phenomena of the defective molding, possible causes and actions for improvement shall be
explained as follows:

5-1 Short filling (short shot)

A short shot is a condition in which resin cannot be fully filled into the mold. This will cause
poor appearance and poor function of the product.

Possible causes of the short shot are as follows:

• Resin fluidity is poor.

• Amount of resin measured by the machine is too less.
• Product wall thickness is too small.
• Air pocket due to flow pattern of the resin.
• Air ventilation of the mold is poor.
• Resin temperature is too low.
• Temperature of the cavity surface is too low.
• Injection speed is too slow.
• Injection pressure is too less.

5-2 Flashes or burrs

Flashes are thin filmy resin adhered to edges of the product. Flashes may cause difficulty in
assembly of the molded parts and may be hurting when handled.

Flashes can be resulted from following conditions:

• Resin viscosity is too low.

• Clamping force of the mold is not enough.
• Dimensional problem of the cavity.
• Clearance on cavity parts is too much.
• Rigidity of the mold plate is not enough.
Mold Design (Advance) Page 112

• Resin temperature is too high.

• Cavity surface temperature is too high.
• Injection speed is too fast.
• Injection pressure is too high.

5-3 Sink mark

Sink mark is a concavity on the product surface. It causes poor appearance and poor function of
the molded product.

Sink marks can be resulted from following conditions:

• Contraction factor of the resin is too high.

• Wall thickness of the product is too thick.
• The gate is too small.
• Runner is too small.
• The gate location is too far.
• Cavity temperature is partially too high.
• Cooling capacity of the mold is too less.
• Holding pressure is too low.
• Time for holding pressure is too short.
• Cooling time is too short.

5-4 Void

Void is a bubble in the product. There can be classified to two causes.

One is caused by water or air mixed into the material and another is caused by vacuum cavity
created when material is contracted. Void results in weak strength of the product or poor
appearance if the products need to be transparent.

Void can be resulted from following reasons.

(In the case of mixed air)

• Preheating of the pellets is not enough.

• Rotation speed of the screw is to fast.
• Staying time of the resin is too long.
• Resin temperature is too high.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 113


• Injection speed is too fast.

• Air ventilation in the mold is not enough.

(In the case of vacuum void)

• Holding pressure is too low.

• Time for holding pressure is too short.
• Gate is too small.
• Runner is too small.
• Amount of cushion is too less.
• The wall of the product is too thick.

5-5 Flow mark

Flow mark is a wavelike mark of the resin flow left on the surface of the product. Appearance
and surface quality should be affected.

Flow marks can be caused by following reasons:

• Resin flow is poor.

• Resin temperature is too low.
• Gate is too small.
• Injection pressure is too low.
• Holding pressure is too low.
• Surface temperature of the cavity is too low.
• Injection speed is too low.

5-6 Weld line

Weld line is a line mark on the surface of the product appeared around merging area of the resin
flow. Appearance and strength of the product should be affected.

Weld line can be caused by following reasons:

• Resin flow is poor.

• Resin includes additives such as fiber.
• Surface temperature of the cavity is too low.
• Staying time of the resin is too long.
• Location of the gate is not proper.

Mold Design (Advance) Page 114


• Air ventilation is not enough.

• Injection pressure is too low.
• Injection speed is too slow.
• Holding pressure is too low.
• Time for holding pressure is too short.
• Preheating of the pellets is not enough.

5-7 Burn

Burn is a phenomenon in that resin burns when air is heated upon compression around final
filling area and air pocket area. Burn should affect appearance and quality of the product.

Burn can be caused by the following reasons:

• Air pocket can be created.

• Air ventilation is not enough.
• A certain gas has plugged the vent line.
• Injection speed is too fast.
• Resin temperature is too high.
• Gate is too small.

5-8 Jetting

Jetting is a snaking mark appeared on the product surface, this tends to appear when the gate is
too small.

Jetting can be caused by the following reasons:

• Gate is too small.

• Gate is located around the thick wall of the product.
• Injection speed is too fast.
• Injection temperature is too low.
• Surface temperature of the cavity is too low.

5-9 Silver streak

Silver streak is a fine silvery line on the surface of the product.

Silver streak can be caused by the following reasons:

Mold Design (Advance) Page 115


• Preheating of the pellets in not enough.

• Air ventilation is not enough.
• Gate is too small.
• Resin temperature is too high.
• Rotation speed of the screw is too fast.
• Injection speed is too fast.

5-10 Poor luster

Poor luster is a phenomenon in that luster on the product surface is not enough or inconsistent. It
affects appearance of the product.

Poor luster can be caused by the following reasons:

• Resin flow is poor.

• Too much variation in the wall thickness of the product.
• Surface finish of the cavity is too rough.
• Preheating of the pellets is not enough.
• Injection speed is too slow.
• Injection pressure is too low.
• Holding pressure is too low.
• Time for holding pressure is too short.
• Surface temperature of the cavity is too low.

5-11 Inclusion of foreign matters

Foreign matters such as dusts, dirt, bugs, etc. may be included in the material. Appearance and
material strength may be affected.

Causes may be as follows:

• Preheating management is poor.

• Foreign matters tend to be in at the crashing process.
• Cover of the hopper dryer is left open.
• There may be a fluorescent light above the machine.
• 5 S is not in practice in the factory.
• Management in keeping material bags is not proper.
• Oil and separation agent are spread too much on the mold.
• Air ventilation tube of the mold is plugged.
Mold Design (Advance) Page 116

• Cleaning of the mold is not sufficient.

• Color change is not proper.
• Staying time of the resin in the cylinder is too long.
• Foreign matters are on the screw.

5-12 Poor releasing of the mold

Poor releasing of the mold is a phenomenon in that the product sticks to the cavity. There are
three patterns for this problem. One is that the product sticks to the cavity when the mold is
opened. The second is that the product sticks to the core when product is to be ejected. The third
is that the product sticks to the slide core. When poor releasing happens, naturally continuous
production is interrupted and product surface may be damaged.

Poor releasing can be caused by the following reasons:

• Releasing resistance of the resin is too big.

• Draft angle is too small.
• Cavity surface is too rough.
• Direction of the cavity surface finishing is perpendicular to draft direction.
• Cavity is machined in the shape of under cutting.
• Measured resin is too much.
• Amount of cushion is too much.
• Injection pressure is too high.
• Holding pressure is too high.
• Time for holding pressure is too long.
• Cooling time is too short.
• Cooling capacity of the mold is not enough.

5-13 Bending and deformation

Bending and deformation is a phenomenon of the bent and deformed product.

Bending and deformation can be cause by the following reasons:

• Contraction rate of the resin is too big.

• Wall thickness of the product varies too much.
• Gate location is not proper.
• Filling pattern is not even.
• Surface temperature of the mold varies from one place to another.
Mold Design (Advance) Page 117

• Holding pressure is too low.

• Time for holding pressure is too short.
• Surface temperature of the cavity is too high.
• Cooling time is not enough.
• Layout of the ejector pins is imbalanced.
• Draft angle is too small.

5-14 Dimension defect

Dimension defect is a phenomenon is that the product dimensions fall outside of specified

Dimension defects can be caused by the following reasons:

• There is a fluctuation in the quality of the material by the lot.

• Machining dimensions of the cavity may be in error.
• Contraction rate of the material is out of scope.
• Flow pattern of the resin is not stable.
• Molding condition is not stable.
• Surface temperature of the mold is not stable.
• In the case of multi-molding, balance of the runner and gate is not appropriate.
• Holding pressure is released before gate sealing.

1) “Reading of Plastic Molding”, written by Y. Sakurauchi, published by (株) 工業調査会
2) “Easy Injection Molding”, written by K. Takano, published by (株) 工業調査会
3) Molding Standard Parts Face 1999-2001, published by (株)ミスミ

Mold Design (Advance) Page 118


Table 5.1 Variety of Defective Mold and Causes

Mold Design (Advance) Page 119


Fig. 5.1 Molding Cycle Diagram

Fig. 5.2 How to Experimentally Establish Appropriate Holding Pressure and

Time for Holding Pressure
Mold Design (Advance) Page 120

Fig. 5.3 Relationship between Injection Pressure and Pressure in the Cavity

Mold Design (Advance) Page 121