Compression Molding

Jonathan Chodosh, Sherif Madkour,
Jesse McGrath
Compression Molding: What?
 Is a processing technique that
combines forming the product along
with simultaneous curing of the resin.
 High Pressure
 Higher Temperature
 Curing Agent
Development
 1909 when Leo Hendrik Baekeland
 phenol-formaldehyde resins
 Patents on a automatic compression
machine date back to 1930
 Development of C.M was hindered by
reaction knowledge.



Thermosets
 Heat compression causes an irreversible
chemical charge in the plastic which
solidifies the part .
 The plastic won’t soften, so the mold
doesn’t need to be cooled.
 After short interval, the press is opened
and the molded part is removed.
 Any plastic remaining in the mold is
removed by compressed air. The
operator breaks the flash.

Thermoplastic
 Preheated in a dielectric heater.
 The mold is cooled to a point where
the plastic retains enough integrity to
be removed from the mold without
partial distortion.
 The same steps used for thermosets
are repeated here as well.
Advantages
 Molds are
inexpensive
 Labor costs vary
 Great for large parts
 Minimum waste
 Dimensional
accuracy
 Warping and
shrinkage minimized
 Fast cycle(1-5
minutes)

 High volume output
 High quality surfaces
 Complex parts
Disadvantages
 No delicate pieces
 Uneven parting
lines
 High initial
investment
 secondary
operations (e.g.
trimming)
 Mold depth is
limited
 Product
consistency

Considerations
 Mold heating
◦ Temperature, heating rate and heating
method
 Compression rate
 Max compression force
 Curing time
◦ How long until part can be removed from
mold.
 Mold cooling rate
 Mold cycling rate

Equations
T
*
= (T-T
0
)/(T
0
-T
ad
) = Reduced
Temperature
t
*
= (xt)/(h’)
2
=Reduced Time

y*
= y/h = distance form slab centerline
T
0
=Original Temperature
T
ad
=Adiabatic Temperature
X=Thermal Diffusivity
h’=Heat Transfer Coefficient between.
Mold and polymer
h= half thickness of slab.
Range of Materials
Thermoset Thermoplastic
 Bulk molding
compound (BMC)
 Sheet molding
compound (SMC)
• Unidirectional tapes
• Woven Fabrics
• Chopped Strands
• Randomly oriented
fabrics
 Preforms

 Pellets
 Sheets
 Extruded

Elastomers
 Extruded
Typical Products
 Automotive parts
◦ Hoods, bumpers, fenders, spoilers, etc.
 Medical equipment
◦ Caps and plugs to blood separation
machines and ultrasound equipment
 Aerospace
◦ Electrical connectors to guided missiles


http://www.tqc.co.uk/images/bumper7.jp
g
http://www.rdmoulds.com/rdmoulds/ma/24%20fr
ont%20bumper%20molds.jpg
http://www.compositesworld.com/uploadedimages/Publications/CW/Artic
les/Internal/hoodHyundai.jpg
Transfer Molding
 Hybrid between Injection and
Compression molding
 Cross linking reaction is started prior
to placement in the mold
 Resin is heated and put under pressure
 “Slushy mix” is then forced into the
Mold.

 This point on Transfer molding follows
the Compression molding process.
Benefits/Constraints of T.M.
Advantages Disadvantages
 Rapid production rates
 Largest Benefit over C.M.
 Geometrical Accuracy
 Intricate Parts Possible

 Expensive molds
 Expensive equipment
 Much material loss
 Size limitations of
products
References

 http://composite.about.com/library/glossary/c/bldef-c1203.htm
 http://twistertechnology.com/Process%20Capabilities.html
 http://www.me.gatech.edu/jonathan.colton/me4793/compmold
.pdf
 http://www.daprorubber.com/index.aspx
 http://www.rdmoulds.com/rdmoulds/ma/24%20front%20bump
er%20molds.jpg
 http://www.tqc.co.uk/images/bumper7.jpg
 http://www.compositesworld.com/uploadedimages/Publication
s/CW/Articles/Internal/hoodHyundai.jpg
 http://www.bsu.edu/web/jebutcher/compressionmolding.htm