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Plastic Injection Technology

BMM 4843

Injection Molding Calculation


Wan Sharuzi Wan Harun
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Universiti Malaysia Pahang
sharuzi@ump.edu.my
jihad_ku@yahoo.com
019 959 0039
09 424 6339

Introduction
When injection mold is fixed in a molding
machine, and molten polymer is injected into
the cavity from a nozzle, a high filling pressure
acts on the inside surface of the cavity.
Since the parting surfaces of the mold try to
expand outward due to this pressure, it is
necessary to clamp the mold so that it does
not open instantaneously.
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The force of keeping the mold closed tightly is


called required mold Clamping Force.
The unit for the force is ton (tonnage) or N
(Newtons).
At the time designing a new mold, it is
necessary to obtain by theoretical calculations
what is the optimum required mold clamping
force that the IM machine has to have for the
mold to be installed in it.
Example of required mold clamping force of
112 tons was obtained by calculations, then
the mold is installed in 80 tons capacity IM
machine, the molded part will be full of flash.

Further, if the mold is installed in a molding


machine with a 350 tons capacity, even if the
molding operation is possible, the molding
operation becomes high in cost due to hourly
cost for 350 tons machine is higher than that
of a 80 tons machine.
Injection pressure (p) value in the range of 340
to 560 tons/inch2.
The value of p varies depending on the type of
plastic, molded item wall thickness, cavity
surface temp., molding condition, etc.
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A projected area (A) of the cavity and the


runner with respect to the parting surface.
Therefore, the value of A varies depending on
the number of items molded and on the
placement of the runner.

Clamping tonnage/force
Clamp tonnage or clamping force defines from
the clamping mechanism which keep the mold
closed during injection.
Direction of clamping tonnage

Fig 1: Direction of clamping tonnage for clamping mechanism

Clamping tonnage/force
Clamp tonnage requirements are determined by
the melt flow index (MFI) or viscosity of the
material being molded.
The melt flow index (MFI) is a measure of the
ease of flow of the melt of a thermoplastic
polymer.
It is defined as the mass of polymer, in grams,
flowing in 10 min through a capillary of a specific
diameter and length by a pressure applied via
prescribed alternative gravimetric weights
alternative prescribed temp.

Melt Flow Index apparatus (MFI)


The method is described in the similar
standards ASTM D1238 and ISO1133.

Melt Flow Index apparatus (MFI)


Weight

Thermometer inside
an oil filled well
Barrel
Insulation

Polymer Melt

Avg. weight of extruded


plastic in 10 mins.

Die

Melt Flow Index apparatus (MFI)


These flow index rating will have between 1 to 20
tons/inch2.
The bigger the value - the easier the flow.

Values can reflect relative chain lengths.


Low shear (not representative of injection moulding)

Spiral flow test better.


Used as a quality control for incoming material.

Specific test conditions must be used.

After the viscosity of the


intended plastic is
understood, projected
area must be estimated,
against which the
injection pressure and
clamp tonnage will be
directed.
Visualizing the shadow
of the part as if it was
viewed with a strong
light behind it does this.

Determine required Clamp Force


=
Projected area of the part can be found based on the part
geometry.
Part thickness is important only if it is more than 1 inch
(25.4 mm).
For every inch of thickness over 1 inch, the total clamp force
must be increased by 10 %.
The injection pressure must vary with the materials flow
ability.
Typical value for injection pressure is between 2 to 8 tons per
inch2 (or 27.6 to 110.3 MPa)
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A material that is stiff will require a greater amount of injection


pressure, and thus a greater amount of clamping tonnage to hold the
mold closed against the injection pressure.

As rule of thumb, 4 or 5 tons/inch2 (55 to 68.9


MPa) can be used for most materials.
Too low a clamping force can lead to flash or
non-filled parts.
Too high a clamping force can lead to mold
damage.

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Clamping tonnage/force
The projected area is multiplied by a factor
(injection pressure) from 1 5 tons/inch2
(13.8 68.9 MPa) to determine the total
amount of clamp tonnage required. The exact
number depends on material viscosity, with
the easy flowing materials needing only 1 3
tons/inch2 (13.8 41.4 MPa).
Stiffer materials needing between 2.5 5
tons/inch2 (34.5 68.9 MPa).

Clamping tonnage/force
The following is an example of how to
determine proper clamp tonnage in U.S.
customary units.
Example 1:
The part to be molded is a square plague that is 6
x 6 inch and 0.060 inch thick. Determine the
clamp tonnage for both molding material which is
Nylon and Polycarbonate. Nylon factor: 2
tons/inch2 & Polycarbonate factor: 5 tons/inch2.

Clamping tonnage/force
After, the total amount of tonnage is
determined, 10 % should be added as a safety
factor, and a machine that provides clamp
tonnage closest to that number should be
used.

Clamping tonnage/force
For instance, in the polycarbonate case noted
earlier, there was a need for 180 tons clamp
tonnage.
Adding 10 % safety factor brings that number
to 198 tons. Ideally, a 200 ton machine would
be used or 225 or 250 tons could be used.

Clamping tonnage/force
The following is an example of how to
determine proper clamp tonnage in U.S.
customary units.
Example 1:
The part to be molded is a square plague that is 6
x 6 inch and 0.060 inch thick. Determine the
clamp tonnage for both molding material which is
Nylon and Polycarbonate. Nylon factor: 2
tons/inch2 & Polycarbonate factor: 5 tons/inch2.

Clamping tonnage/force
Example 2:
Consider calculating the required mold clamping
force when four molded items are obtained using
Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) plastic with 30
% glass fiber added.
Let us assume that the assumptions for calculation
are that the pressure inside the cavity is p = 2.13
tons/inch2, the projected area of one cavity is A1 =
2.37 inch2, and the projection area of the runner
is A2 = 0.85 inch2.

Answer:

21

Thank You
&
Any Questions?

Objectives
To determine specifically the clamp tonnage
required from the material being molded in
plastic injection moulding.

Clamping tonnage/force
Answer: The part to be molded is a square
plague that is 6 x 6 inch and 0.060 inch thick.
The projected area of that plaque would be
found by multiplying length times width, or 6
x 6 inch, which equals to 36 inch2.

Clamping tonnage/force
If the molding material is nylon, which is very easy
flowing, the lower range number of 2 tons/inch2
could be used; 36 inch2 x 2 tons = 72 tons clamping
force is required to keep the mold closed against
necessary injection pressures.
If the molding material is stiffer flowing resins, such
as polycarbonate, the projected area would need to
be multiplied times a factor of 5 instead of 2. That
would yield a total clamp tonnage requirement of 36
x 5, or 180 tons.