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MOLD STRUCTURE

BASIC KNOWLEDGE
Table of Contents

1. Designations and Roles of Injection Mold Component Parts


1.1 2-Plate Standard Mold
1.2 3-Plate Mold and Hoop Mold
1.3 Side Core Relations
2. Types and Characteristics of Gates
3. Structure and Mechanism of Injection Mold
3.1 Mold Opening Sequence of 3-Plate Mold
3.2 Runner ejection mechanism
3.3 Lifter Mechanism
3.4 Side Core Mechanism
4. Insert Molding
4.1 Outline of Insert Molding
4.2 Cavity Structure
4.3 Individual Part Insert
4.4 Hoop Insert
There are several factors that determine the type of the mold structure to be used: shape of the molded part, the runner
system, and the runner/molded part ejection method. There are various kinds of structures depending on the
combination of basic structures such as the ejector system or undercut treatment system.

2-plate Since parts and their runners are formed on the same flat surface,
simply opening the mold to the stationary platen and movable platen
ejects parts. This system can be applied to almost all gates including
side gates and tunnel gates.

3-plate This system is exclusive to pin gates. Since parts and runners are
formed on the different flat surfaces, the mold needs to open its
sections separately to eject them. It is called “3-plate” because the
mold is divided into three sections when it is open.

sprue sprue bush


runner locate ring guide pin

molded part Parting face stationary side


(PL)
movable side
runner
ejector pin sprue return pin
return pin

Fig. 2.22 Enlarged figure of


section A.
stop pin
Fig. 2.19 2-plate mold
runner lock pin
set screw
stop bolt

Runner stripper runner


plate
pin point gate runner

molded part

molded part
tension link

Fig. 2.20 3-plate mold. Fig. 2.21 3-plate mold (when the mold is open).
Basic parts:

Stationary Mold that is mounted on the plasticizing unit of the molding machine.
mold The nozzle touches it and melted resin is injected into it.

Movable Mold that is mounted on the ejector side of the molding machine. It
mold keeps molded parts for a moment and then ejects them with the
ejector

Side core Refers to a method of undercut treatment. It is able to open and close
perpendicular to the closing and opening directions of the molding
machine.

Stripper An ejection method. It is usually a plate. It is used as a runner ejector


in 3-plate mold.

Mold base A set of plates forming the outline of the mold. It is also called a
“mold die set.”

stationary top plate (1)


stationary plate (2)
guide pin (4)
movable plate (1)
backing plate (1)

spacer block (2)


ejector plate

movable bottom plate (1)

Fig. 2.24 Stripper plate mold


Fig. 2 25 Die set. Fig. 2.23 Side core mold.
Designations and roles of injection mold parts
2-plate standard mold

Locate ring Ring for locating the nozzle of the molding  


machine and the sprue that is the resin pouring
spout of the mold.
 
Sprue bush Bush used as a pouring spout of the mold. With  
the pressure of the nozzle touch, it forms the
sprue that leads resin from the molding machine
to the runner of the mold.
Guide pins Pins used to guide the stationary mold and the  
movable mold. At the same time, they protect
cavities and cores.

 
locate ring
sprue bush
stationary plate

stationary cavity
guide pin
ejector pin (K.O pin)
movable cavity return pin
knock pin movable plate
spacer block
ejector plate 1 (K.O plate 1)
ejector plate 2 (K.O plate 2)

movable bottom plate


return spring
Ejector pins Pins used to eject cooled and formed parts from the  
(K.O pin) cavities.
 
Return pins Pins used to reset the ejector plate. They are pushed  
by the stationary retainer platen to reset the ejector
plate during mold closing.
 

Return springs Spring to reset the ejector plate faster than mold  
closing after part ejection.
 

Stationary retainer Plate installed on the nozzle side of the molding  


platen machine. It holds the cavity to prevent cavity
deflection or distortion caused by resin pressure.
 

Movable retainer Main plate installed on the ejector side of the molding  
platen machine. It holds the movable cavity.
 

Ejector plate 1 Ejector plate 1 and ejector plate 2 cooperatively pinch  


(K.O plate 1) and hold the ejector pins and return pins. These two
Ejector plate 2 plates work as an ejector of the molding machine.
(K.O plate 2) They eject molded parts with the help of the ejector
pins.
Spacer block Block to support clamping force and assures the space  
for the ejector stroke with its thickness.
 

Movable bottom Plate installed on the movable platen with clamps or  


plate bolts. It holds the movable side of the mold.
 

Stationary cavity Most important parts to consist a mold, and their  


manufacturing costs account for 70 to 80% of the entire
Movable cavity mold manufacturing cost. They are divided into the
stationary side and the movable side by the parting face.
The convex side is called “core” and the concave side is
called “cavity” in principle, but both of them are called
“cavity” for the sake of convenience because there is no
definite distinction between the two.
 
3-plate mold and hoop mold

Runner Plate to eject the pin gate runners in the 3-plate mold. There are two types: one type is
ejector KO activated by mold opening tension and the other is by the hydraulic cylinder of the molding
plate machine.
Lifter Lifter lifts the hoop and its guide when feeding the  
hoop after a cycle of molding. When lifting the
hoop, it needs synchronization with the ejector.
stationary top plate
Hoop hold- Plate installed on top of the lifter to hold the hoop.
down plate It prevents the hoop from lifting up during
insertion.
runner ejector plate
Lifter pin Pin to connect the lifter to the lifter plate. (runner KO plate)
 
pin gate runner section

stationary plate

lifter lifter pin lifter

Lifter plate

Air Cylinder

Lifter Plate to fix the lifter pins. It is lifted by the ejector plate, keeps being lifted by the
plate air cylinder while feeding the hoop, and resets after molding to insert the hoop.
 
Runner ejector KO Pin to guide the runner ejector plate. There are two types;  
plate guide pin one type is forced into the stationary bottom plate and the bolt
stopper collar
other is forced into the runner ejector plate, but both of them
function the same. It is usually equipped with the stopper
collar that limits the degree of opening.
  press-fit section

Runner KO pin Pin to eject the runners when the runner lock is ejected in
force by the runner ejector plate.  
 

Runner lock pin Pin to fix the runner on the ejector plate and to cut the pin  
gate with its undercut.

Mold opening spring Spring and bolt to make a gap between the stationary  
mold opening spring
Mold opening bolt top/bottom plate and stationary plate for cutting the pin
gates.
mold opening bolt

Tension link Link to connect the movable platen to the stationary plate  
and to connect the stationary plate to the runner ejector
plate. It activates the runner ejector plate during mold
opening. It also acts as a stopper for the stationary plate.
runner KO pin
runner ejector plate guide pin runner lock pin
mold opening spring

runner
runner ejector plate
tension link
Stationary plate

3-plate mold
Opening
condition
Structure and mechanism of injection mold gate cut

Opening sequence of 3-plate mold

Space between the stationary bottom plate and the


stationary plate expands due to the force of the
mold opening spring. The runner is lifted up with
the runner ejector plate because it is fixed with the
plate with the lock pin. Accordingly, the gates are
cut off.

runner ejector
runner ejection space

part ejection space

When the part ejection space and the runner


ejection space are maximum, the runner
ejection plate is pulled by the tension link The runner ejection space and the part ejection
and the runner lock is forcibly ejected. At space start to widen along with the mold
the same time, the runner KO pin activates opening. (The space that is easy to open opens
to eject the runner. first.)
Side core relations

Side core  
Core to treat undercut such as side holes. It slides perpendicular to
the mold opening direction due to the angle of the angular pin.
Undercut : The shape that is unable to release in the mold opening
direction

Angular pin Inclined pin to slide the side core during mold opening.  

Lock block Block to hold the side core during mold opening to prevent the  
side core from being opened by the resin pressure.
 

lock block
side core angular pin
side mold
Side Core Mechanism Stroke S = 5.5 Stroke S = 20.3

Stroke S = 5.5 angular pin


lock block

side core
Stroke S = 5.5 Mold Opening

At the time of mold opening, side core


slides in the direction of the arrow due to the
cam of the angular pin. Side core stops
when the angular pin reaches the limit. The
length of the angular pin can control
sidestroke of the side core.
How to decide a
gate
Product appearance Gates always mark products. Check if the marks do not destroy the
product.
Resin flowability Set the gate in thick areas. When the product is long, set the gate at the
end of the product.

After-treatment of gate Set the gate in the point where the product will not distort or chip

Measures to poor Set the gate where the gate is replaceable or the dent can be
appearance of the gate manufactured.

Measures to weld Avoid multiple gates as much as possible. One gate is much better than
multiple gates.

Measures to distortion Note that some molding materials have fluid orientation.
and warping

Stress cracking There are residual stresses in the vicinity of the gate, so gates easily
crack by external forces.

Gate balance For multiple-cavity molding, adopt simultaneous filling.

Mold intensity Resins must not hard hit slim pins.

(A) 1 side gate (B) 2 side gates (C) 3 side gates (D) Center sprue gate 3 pin-gates

Gate positions and transformations of disk shaped products.


Weld line
Gate Weld line

1 gate 2 gates

Gate positions and weld lines.


Types of gate

Direct gate Gate used for molding a single big article. There is a residual stress in the
vicinity of the gate.

Side gate The most basic gate. It is easy to manufacture a mold, but the gate requires
finishing.

Tunnel gate Gate that is cut by mold opening, but portion of the gate remain depending
on the resin type. On top of that, it cannot be manufactured depending on
the product shape.

Pin gate Gate that is cut by mold opening, but portion of the gate remain depending
on the resin type. 3-plate mold is used.

Shaft-off gate Refers to an automatic cutting method for hardenable side gates, and
requires a special structure. It cannot be used for elastic gates because it
tends to cause thin burrs on molded parts.

Film/Fun gate Film gate and fun gate can reduce distortions and warping of molded parts
caused by fluid orientation.

Disk/Link gate Disk gate and link gate are used for countermeasures against fluid
orientation problems. However, they need to be pressed after molding.
width of gate
stationary platen side
2 ~ 3 mm

45° ~ 65°
gate land

movable platen side


depth of gate
runner

ejector pin 15 °cone

Direct gate Side gate Tunnel gate

runner sprue

molded part gate runner gate

Pin point gate system (4-point gate). Film gate Fan gate
disk gate face Molded part

Enlarged area

Over flow
Ring gate
tab

sprue

Primary gate

Disk gate Ring gate


Tab gate
Points of molded parts layout

Realize simultaneous Equidistant runners are good, but they increase material
filling loss
Decrease material loss Minimize the pitch between parts as much as possible

Ease mold manufacturing Uniform the directions of parts to ease mold


manufacturing
Ease mold repair Locate the side core on the outside to ease mold repair

Regarding hoop molding Consider the molded parts layout when designing the hoop

Types of runner shapes

Round shaped runner Round shaped runner has the smallest fluid resistance but both
upper and lower molds need to be manufactured.

U shaped runner It is cheap to manufacture U shaped runner because it requires


processing only one side (upper or lower) of the mold.

Trapezoid runner When using bad fluid resins, trapezoid runner is used because
it has an extended width.

Trapezoid runner U shaped runner Round shaped runner

Runner shapes.
Basic layouts of runners.

2 parts in-series 4 parts in-series


4 parts in balance 4 parts in balance

8 parts in-series
8 parts in balance 8 parts in 3 rows

16 parts in 2 rows

16 parts in balance 16 parts in balance


Hot runner

“Hot runner” means “runner less molding.” This system can save resources by reducing material loss and
can increase cycles by reducing cooling time.
Types of runner less molding

Hot runner Refers to the runner that can keep melted resin right before the
gate. It produces no loss material.

Mini runner When hot runner is inapplicable, mini runner could be used as a
sub runner.

Sprue less Only spur works as a hot runner.

Warm When the runner is hardenable, it is called warm runner.


runner

long nozzle bush type nozzle


mold mold

cylinder
cylinder

molded product molded product

molded product heat insulation board


long nozzle type

Runner less molding. Sprue less molding.


cartridge heater
hot runner block

spear
thermoelement

Spear system hot runner. Mini runner.

Layout of mini runners.


Cold slug well

After a cycle of molding, there remains half-cooled material at the tip of the nozzle. These half-cooled materials are stored
in the cold slug well and ejected to prevent appearance failure during the next cycle of injection. Cold slug wells are
usually located right under sprues or the ends of runners.

sprue
slug well

sub runner
Slug well combining sprue puller

Sprue slug well. Runner slug well.

Air vent
Air vents are grooves that discharge air from cavities during injection. If air is not discharged, the air is insulated,
compressed and overheated. Accordingly, short shot or discoloration will occur. Air vents shall be located on the front of
gates or the ends of runners.

Depth
0.01 ~ 0.05mm
vent
(gas)
PL face

gate 3~
5mm Runner air vent.

Core air vent.


Ejector (Knockout, KO)
How to design ejector
The point which has littleEjectors should be located deep in the mold in principle.
influence of mold release

Good mold release balance Ejectors should eject molded parts in good balance without causing
distortion.

Thick areas Ejectors should be located at thick areas because they mark on thin areas.

Effect of gas vent Ejectors should be located at the point where resin is filled up and gases
stack.

Good mold intensity Pin insertion should not decrease mold intensity.

Types of ejector

Round ejector pin Pin that is commonly used because of its ease of manufacture.
Square ejector pin Pin used for narrow areas that cannot accept round pins.
Ejector sleeve Sleeve to push thin cylindrical sections. (Set with a core pin)
Stripper plate Plate to push the circumference thin products such as cases. (One
mold base activates.)
Ejector block A simple stripper type block. It pushes the circumference of a
product.
Inclined pin Pin not only works as an ejector but also treats undercuts.
Types of ejectors.

ejector plate

bottom plate

Round ejector pin Square ejector pin Ejector sleeve

Ejector block
Stripper plate
Inclined pin
Mold temperature control

Purposes of mold temperature control:


To shorten molding cycles Lower the mold temperature to speed up hardening (plasticity).

To realize beautiful surfaceKeep the appropriate mold temperature for the resin to be used.
conditions
To prevent distortion orUniform the temperatures of mold component parts.
deformation
To improve mechanicalWhen using crystalline resins, set the mold temperature high to
characteristics heighten crystallinity.
To improve flowabitily For resins with bad flowability, set the mold temperature high

Mold temperature control methods

Hot water or hot oil: Mold temperature controller is used. This is the most popular method.
Cold water: Cold water circulation unit (chiller) is used.
Electric heater: Electric heater is applicable to hardenable resins and engineering plastics.

Core cooling

Cooling holes are usually located on the mold base. For thick or large-size products, cores should be cooled
down to stabilize quality and improve productivity.
Methods of core cooling

V shaped path Refers to the method of manufacturing a reciprocating path in the core. It
is used for relatively big cores.
Partition Partition is used when V shape path is inapplicable..
Heat pipe Pipe that makes use of heat transferability. It is used for big cores.
Logic seal The temperature controller made by Logic Device Co. (USA). Resistant to
leaking since it absorbs cooling water at a lower pressure than
atmospheric.

V shape path
Partition Heat pipe Logic seal

Methods of core cooling.


Undercut

Undercut refers to the section of a molded part that cannot be released from the mold by the regular mold opening direction.
Undercut is designed when the undercut is a part of the part design or when the undercut is necessary to keep the part on the
ejector side.

Undercut treatment methods

Side core Core that slides perpendicular to the mold opening direction. Its types vary from a mere part of the
mold to a main part of the mold.
Inclined pin Pin that slides perpendicular to the undercut while ejecting the molded part.
Undercut Undercut makes use of elasticity of resins. This method is not suitable for molded part shapes, so it is
mainly used to hold molded parts on the ejector side.

Side core operation methods

Angular pin The most popular pin. Many purchased pins are available at reasonable prices.
Angular cum When the stroke of the side core is small, the mold can be compact.
Hydraulic cylinder This method is used when the stroke of the side core is large or when cycle up is
targeted.
Angular pin Angular cum Hydraulic cylinder.

Applications of inclined pins


Pay attention to the use of inclined pins because their sliding faces are easily abraded.

The position of the slide


core after ejection.

inclined pin

This face receives resin


pressure. When ejecting
molded parts, angular pin
slides.

Enlarged section of the inclined pin

Inclined pin
Applications of undercut
Sprue lock Lock used to keep the sprue section on the ejector side.
Runner lock Lock used to keep the runner on the ejector side after gate cut.
Molded product Make the product uneven to keep it on the ejector side, if no problem.

Ring type Reverse-taper Z pin Ring BTaper

Sprue lock Runner lock of pin gate.

Enlarged undercut section

Product shape Countermeasures against mold release


Movable/Stationary plate design

It is difficult to calculate the actual intensity of movable/stationary plates because they usually have a manufactured hole.
Even so, you should investigate their intensity very carefully because wrong calculation might lead to mold damages or
burrs on products.

Plate manufacturing methods


Pocket carving Pocket carvingis the most common and the best method for keeping plate intensity.
However, it is difficult to realize high accuracy of the bottom face.
Penetrating hole is good for plate accuracy but deteriorates plate intensity. To use this
Penetrating hole
method, therefore, the outline should be big.
Grooving Grooving is good for plate accuracy but deteriorates plate intensity. To use this method,
therefore, the plate needs to be hardened.

Pocket carving. Penetrating hole. Grooving

Plate manufacturing method.


Steel for molds
Steel for molds stipulated by JIS
Type of Steel Code Hardness Applications
HRC
Carbon steel for mechanical structure S50C S55C 16-30 mold bases
Chrombriden steel SCM440 SCM435 30-37 cavities, cores
Carbon steel SK2 SK3 SK5 SK7 54-60 pins
Alloy tool steel SKS2 SKD11 SKD61 58-62 cavities, cores
High speed steel/Bearing steel SKH9 SKH51 SUJ2 58-63 pins

Contrast chart of steel brands for molds


Classification HRC JIS code Steel makers

Hitachi Metals. Daido Steel Co,. Aichi Steel Nippon Koshuha Kobe Steel, Ltd. Uddeholm
Ltd. Ltd. Steel Co,. Ltd.

Pre-harden steel 13 SC family HIT81 PDS1 AUK1 KPM1 KTSM2A


KTSM21

28 SMC family HIT82 PDS3 AUK11 KPM2 KTSM3A


KTSM31

33 SCM HPM2 PD55 KPM25 KTSM3M HOLDAX


SNCM HPM17 PD555 KPS1 KTSM60 IMPAX
SUS family HPM38 PD742 PAMAX-S
SUS family ASL3OF

35 SUS family PSL NAK101 U630

40 SKD61 FDAC DH2F FDAS KTSM40EF


AISI P21 HPM1 NAK55 KAP KTSM40E
AISI P21 HPM50 NAK80 KAP2

Hardening/ 60 SKD11 HPM31 PD613 AUD11 KSP2 RIGOR


Temper steel
52 SUS family HPM38 PD555 KSP1 KTSM60 STAVAX

High temperature aging 53 Mal aging -steel YAG MASIC KMS18-20 KMS-CF19
steel
43 Non-magnetic steel YHD50FM NAK301 KTSM-UMI