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Injection Molding

Outline
Facts and figures
Why injection molding?
Goals
Advantages
Disadvantages
Overview of the injection molding
process
Equipment
Materials consideration
Critical operation parameters
Mathematical modeling
Mold flow analysis
Commercial software

What is Injection Molding
(IM)?
The process of injecting molten material, most often
plastic, into a mold to form a shape. Once the liquid has
solidified in the shape of the mold, it is ejected from the
mold.
In essence, injection molding is a
process whereby a solid
thermoplastic material is heated
until it reaches a state of fluidity,
is then transferred under pressure
(injected) into a closed hollow space
(mold cavity), and then cooled in the
mold till it again reaches a solid
state, conforming in shape to the
mold cavity.

Introduction to Injection Molding
by Clifford I. Weir
Why should I care?
Unless you are Amish, you probably come into direct
contact with injection molded products constantly.
Even if you are Amish, you could very well come in
contact with an injection molded product, such as an
armrest on a bus or train.
Im plastic.
Im Amish.
Facts and Figures
In U.S. alone:

Over 80 million pounds
Over 1.5 million jobs
Fourth largest industry in US
Over $90 billion dollars in sales
Average rate of growth of 12% over the
past 25 years

Facts and Figures
Thermoplastics:

Over 70 million pounds

Processes:

Injection molding-32% by weight
Extrusion-36%
All others-32%

History
John Hyatt patented the first injection molder in 1872.
Further advances were made in Europe through the 1920s.
In 1951, William H. Willert invented the first molder
machine to use a screw to provide continuous feed of liquid
material. From the 1980s on, the most significant
developments in injection molding have been in the area of
computerization of the process. (Rosato & Rosato)
I also invented the first synthetic material,
Celluloid, which lead to many important
advances in the plastics industry, including
the injection molding industry.
John Hyatt
William Willert
My invention, which allowed
continuous injection, made injection+blow
molding feasible and fast. This is the
method used to create bottles, jars
and many other containers.
Goals
Produce high quality parts in terms of
aesthetic,
functional, and material properties
Maximize profits by reducing cycle
time
Achieve the proper balance between
quality
and cost

Advantages

Tight tolerance parts
Complex geometry
Various surface textures
Highly repeatable process
Low cost in high volume production
Automated process, low labor cost
Net shape
Parts consolidation

Disadvantages
High initial cost-Mold, Injection
machine, Auxiliary equipment
Economical for high volume
production
High amount of scrap
High level of competition

Overview
PART
DESIGN
MOLD
EQUIPMENT MATERIAL
Injection Molding
Machine
Equipment
Injection molding machine

Auxiliary Equipment:

Drier
Chiller
Heater
Granulator
Mixer/Blender
Robots
Mold change system
Injection Molding Machine
Main Components:

Injection system
Mold system
Clamping system
Controls
Process & machine schematics
*
* Source: http://www.idsa-mp.org/proc/plastic/injection/injection_process.htm
*
Schematic of thermoplastic Injection molding machine
Injection System
Function
Plastification
Injection (pump)

Types
Conventional
Piston type
Screw type
Reciprocating Screw
Two Types of Injection Systems
1. Reciprocating Screw System

2. Ram Injection Molding
Plastic is pre-melted in the
hopper, fed into a chamber, and
forced into the mold with a
piston.
Plastic is melted through
shearing and external heat,
forced into the mold with a the
screw.
CYLINDER AND PLUNGER
Most Machines are Reciprocating Screw
Injection Molding machines because:

-More uniform melting
-Better mixing of resin with additives
-Lower injections pressures
-Faster cycle times
-Fewer stresses in parts
-Larger permissible part area
Clamping System
Important in maintaining the right
pressure when the the polymer is injected
Hydraulic Clamp-
Varying amounts of
pressure can be applied
Mechanical Clamp-
Less expensive and faster
clamping/unclamping action
Clamping System
Function
Sizing the clamping unit:

F = P x A
p injection pressure, psi
A cavity projected area, in
2

F clamping force, pounds

1 ton = 2000 pounds

Clamping system
Typical machines:
Small size machines 10-100 tons
Medium size machines 100-500 tons
Large size machines 500-10,000 tons

Types
Hydraulic
Toggle

Calculate clamp force, & shot size
F=P X A = 420 tons
3.8 lbs = 2245 cm
3
=75 oz
Actual ; 2 cavity 800 ton
Clamp force and machine cost
Reciprocating Screw Injection
System
Function
Injection cycle
Shot size
Screw design
Processing parameters
Screw Design










L/D Ratio, General purpose 20:1
Helix angle 17.8
o

Compression ratio, range 1.5:1 to 4.5:1
Screw profile, e.g 10-5-5
Channel depth in metering section
Screw tip
pitch
Processing
Parameters
Injection Molding Process
Simple Definition:
Plastic is melted and then forced into a closed cavity
mold which gives the cooled plastic shape.
1- Melting
2- Injecting Resin
3- Part Cooling
4- Part Ejection
Processing Parameters
Screw speed
Injection speed
Injection pressure
Barrel temperature
Mold temperature
Back pressure

Process Operation
Temperature: barrel zones, tool, die zone
Pressures: injection max, hold
Times: injection, hold, tool opening
Shot size: screw travel
Flash
Melt
Thermal
degradation
Short-
shot
Temp.
Pressure
Processing window
Typical pressure/temperature cycle
( )
polymers for sec 10
thickness half
3 3
2
cm
t
cool

=
=
o
o
Time(sec)
Cooling time generally dominates cycle time
Time(sec)
* Source: http://islnotes.cps.msu.edu/trp/inj/inj_time.html
*
*
Effects of mold temperature and
pressure on shrinkage
0.030
0.000
0.010
0.005
0.015
0.020
0.025
100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240
Mold Temperature (F)
LDPE PP
Nylon 6/6
PMMA
Acetal
S
h
r
i
n
k
a
g
e

0.030
0.000
0.010
0.005
0.015
0.020
0.025
S
h
r
i
n
k
a
g
e

6000
8000
10000
12000
14000
16000
Pressure on injection plunger (psi)
Acetal
LDPE
Nylon
6/6
PP with
flow
18000
PP across
flow
PMMA
Injection Mold
Overview
PART
DESIGN
MOLD
EQUIPMENT MATERIAL
Injection mold die cast mold
Injection Molds
Mold Detail
Two Main Sections
Stationary Plate
Movable Plate
Mold Cost: $1,000s to $100,000s depending
on the complexity of the design
Important Systems
Cooling System
Part Ejection System
Tooling Basics
Cavity Plate
Cavity
Moulding
Core
Core Plate
Basic mould consisting of cavity and core plate
Runner
Cavity
Gate
Nozzle
Sprue
Melt Delivery
Part
Cavity
Core
Stripper plate
Tooling for a plastic cup
Runner
Knob
Nozzle
Tooling for a plastic cup
Runner
Part
Cavity
Nozzle
Part
Cavity
Knob
Stripper
plate
Runner
Part
Cavity
Nozzle
Tooling
* Source: http://www.idsa-mp.org/proc/plastic/injection/; ** http://www.hzs.co.jp/english/products/e_trainer/mold/basic/basic.htm (E-trainer by HZS Co.,Ltd.)
*
*
*
*
*
* **
Mold Design Considerations
Cavity:
-Single or Multi
The cavity design is dependent upon the design specifications of
your part, the equipment and your budget
higher viscosity polymer = larger runners
Runners:
-Must be the right size and
shape to achieve proper flow
characteristics of the polymer
used
Mold Design Considerations
Gates:
Entry path
between runner
and part cavity
Edge Gate low cost
Submarine
Gate
part separation from
runners
Tab Gate large parts
Fan Gate intermediate size part
Ring Gate hollow cylinder parts
Most common Tool Steel, grade P20
and P21
High
Temperatures
H13 steel
Mirror Finish A2 and A6 steels
Low cost and
low Production
Aluminum
Mold Material:
Ideal properties vs.
design specs
Gate Location
Center gate: radial flow severe distortion
Diagonal gate: radial flow twisting End gates: linear flow minimum warping
Gate
Air entrapment
Edge gate: warp free, air entrapment
Sprue
2.0
2.0
60
Before shrinkage
60.32
1.96
1.976
After shrinkage
Shrinkage
Direction of flow 0.020 in/in
Perpendicular to flow 0.012
Where would you gate this part?
Weld line, Sink mark
* Source: http://www.idsa-mp.org/proc/plastic/injection/injection_design_7.htm
Weld line
Mold Filling
Gate
Solidified part
Sink mark
Basic rules in designing ribs
to minimize sink marks
MOLD COST ESTIMATION
Mold Base Costs

Cb = 1000 + 0.45 Ac*hp^(0.4)
where
Cb = cost of mold base, $
Ac = area of mold base cavity plate, cm^2
hp = combined thickness of cavity and core
plates in mold base, cm
MOLD COST ESTIMATION
Cavity and core manufacturing costs
Initial cost estimates are based on the
use of a standard two-plate mold.
Decisions regarding more complex molds
can only be made by comparing the
increased cost of the mold system with
the reduced machine supervision
associated with semiautomatic or fully
automatic operation
MOLD COST ESTIMATION
Cavity and core manufacturing costs
Transform a pre-assembled mold into a
working mold
deep hole drilling of the cooling channels
milling of pockets in the plates to receive
the cavity and core inserts
work on ejector plate and housing to
receive the ejection system
insertion of extra support pillars where
necessary and the fitting of electrical and
coolant systems
Formulas to estimate cost

MOLD COST POINT SYSTEM
A point system for mold cavity and
core cost estimating
Establishes a point scale for various
attributes of the mold
These points are added to yield the
Total Points Score
Total Point Score is then multiplied by
average $/hr for mold manufacturing
Material
Material and Design Considerations
Factors in Material Choice
-Shrinkage
-Thermal Properties
-Viscosity
-Viscoelasticty
When choosing a material it
is important to consider:
Design specs of the part
Mold design
Material properties
Special issues about
injection molding of
reinforced materials
Microstructure
Fiber orientation Description
Fiber orientation prediction
Fiber orientation measurement
Fiber orientation control
Issues with long fibers
Part Design
Injection Molding
*
*
* Source: http://www.idsa-mp.org/proc/plastic/injection/injection_design_2.htm
Part design rules
Simple shapes to reduce tooling cost
No undercuts, etc.
Draft angle to remove part
In some cases, small angles (1/4) will do
Problem for gears
Even wall thickness
Minimum wall thickness ~ 0.025 in
Avoid sharp corners
Hide weld lines
Holes may be molded 2/3 of the way through
the wall only, with final drilling to eliminate weld
lines
Part Design
Hand out from Steinwall, Inc.
Cost
Cost Analysis
Cost Considerations:
Material and additives
Tooling Cost
Machine Cost
Labor cost
Finishing cost

Injection Molded Parts
Process Modeling
Modeling
Dissection of the process
Fundamentals of fluid flow and heat
transfer
Analytical flow modeling in simple
molds
Use of Moldflow simulation products
Fiber orientation modelling
Reynolds Number
* Source: http://www.idsa-mp.org/proc/plastic/injection/injection_process.htm

VL
L
V
L
V
= =
s viscou
inertia
Re
2
2
Reynolds Number:
For typical injection molding
2 3
1
3 2 4 3 3
10 ;
1
10
time Fill
length Part
ess thickn 10 ; 10 1
m s N
s
V
m L s m N cm g
Z
= = ~
= = =

4
10 Re

=
For Die casting
300
10
10 10 10 3
Re
3
3 1 3
=

~


Viscous Shearing of Fluids
v
F
h
h
v
A
F

F/A
v/h
1

Newtonian Viscosity
h
v
t =
Generalization: t

=
) ( q

Injection molding
rate shear :
Typical shear rate for
Polymer processes (sec)
-1


Extrusion 10
2
~10
3

Calendering 10~10
2

Injection molding 10
3
~10
4

Comp. Molding 1~10
Shear Thinning
~ 1 sec
-1
for PE
Viscous Heating
Rate of Heating
= Rate of Viscous Work
2
|
.
|

\
|
= =

=
h
v
h
v
A
F
Vol
v F
Vol
P

Rate of Temperature rise


2 2
or
|
.
|

\
|

=
|
.
|

\
|
=
h
v
c dt
dT
h
v
dt
dT
c
p
p


Rate of Conduction out
2 2
2
~
h
T
c
k
dx
T d
c
k
dt
dT
p p
A

=

T k
v
A
=
2
Conduction
heating Viscous
Brinkman number
For injection molding, order of magnitude ~ 0.1 to 10
Non-Isothermal Flow
v
Flow rate: 1/t ~V/L
x

Heat transfer rate: 1/t ~a/(L
z
/2)
2

x
z z
x
z
L
L VL
L
L V
=

o o 4
1
4
~
rate Heat xfer
rate Flow
2
For injection molding
5 . 2
10
1 . 0
/ 10
1 . 0 / 10
4
1
~
rate Heat xfer
rate Flow
2 3
=

cm
cm
s cm
cm s cm
For Die casting of aluminum
2
2
10
10
1 . 0
/ 3 . 0
1 . 0 / 10
4
1
~
rate Heat xfer
rate Flow

cm
cm
s cm
cm s cm
* Very small, therefore it requires thick runners
Small value
=> Short shot
Fountain Flow
* Source: http://islnotes.cps.msu.edu/trp/inj/flw_froz.html ; ** Z. Tadmore and C. Gogos, Principles of Polymer Processing
*
**
Heat transfer Note; o
Tool
> o
polymer

y x
x
q
y x T c
t
x
p
A A
c
c
= A A
c
c
) (
) ( ) ' ( kind 3rd
constant ) ' ( kind 2nd
constant ) ' ( kind 1st

= =
c
c

= =
c
c

= =
T T h x x
x
T
k
x x
x
T
k
x x T Boundary Conditions:
1-dimensional heat conduction equation :
The boundary condition of 1
st
kind applies to injection molding since the
tool is often maintained at a constant temperature

x
T
k q
x
c
c
=
q
x
q
x
+ Aq
x

2
2
2
2
or
x
T
t
T
x
T
k
t
T
c
p
c
c
=
c
c
c
c
=
c
c
o
Fouriers law
Heat transfer
T
W

T
ii

t
x
+L -L
Let L
ch
= H/2 (half thickness) = L ; t
ch
= L
2
/o ;
AT
ch
= T
i
T
W
(initial temp. wall temp.)
Non-dimensionalize:
2
; 1 ;
L
t
F
L
x
T T
T T
O
W i
W

= + =

=
o
u
2
2

u u
c
c
=
c
c
O
F
Dimensionless equation:
Initial condition 1 0 = = u
O
F
Boundary condition
0 2
0 0
= =
= =
u
u
Separation of variables ;
matching B.C.; matching I.C.

= ) ( ) ( ) , ( u g F f F
O O
Centerline, u = 0.1, F
o
= ot/L
2
= 1
Temperature in a slab
Bi
-1
=k/hL
Analytical Modeling
Flow simulation in a center gated
round mold
Computer Simulation
Flow Simulation Project
Use of Part Advisor and MPI software
Design project for the course
New
Developments
New developments- Gas
assisted injection molding
New developments ; injection
molding with cores
Cores and Part Molded in Clear Plastic
Cores used in Injection Molding
Injection Molded Housing shown in class
Environmental
Considerations
Environmental loads by
manufacturing sector
Carbon Dioxide and Toxic Materials per Value of Shipments
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
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T
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Manufacturing industries
W
e
i
g
h
t
/
D
o
l
l
a
r
s
CO2 (metric ton/$10,000)
Toxic Mat'ls (lb/$1000)
EPA 2001, DOE 2001
The estimated environmental performance of various mfg
processes (not including auxiliary requirements)
*Energy per wt. normalized
by the melt energy
** total raw matl normalized
by the part wt.
The problem with plastics is
What are the solutions?