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How to evaluate the right material and design for prototype molds

Making prototype molds is as much an art as it is a science and there are a range of feasible mold types that can be utilized in order to develop prototype parts. A few of the typical variants include the following:MUD (Master Unit Die) Molds:This type of mold includes a standard injection molding frame that utilizes a number of inserts in order to define the shape of the internal cavity (and thus the eventual part). MUD inserts can be manufactured via CNC machine or an Electric Discharge Machine (EDM) depending on the material requirements of the mold inserts themselves. If you are injection molding with a plastic that has a very high molding temperature, if you are executing an unusually high number of cycles, or if you are working with parts that have very complicated or fine surfaces, you may need to use inserts with more robust material properties. Depending on the material required, CNC machines may not be able to make the required cuts. An EDM machine can typically accomplish the cuts when a CNC machine is not sufficient.Advantages: The large upside to using Master Unit Die Molds is that it lowers total cost and turnaround time for prototype revisions. The inserts can be easily removed, redesigned, and re-inserted while leaving the larger part of the tool in the injection mold machine. For this reason, if there is a requirement for significant debugging and/or adjustment to the injection molded part then the MUD inserts are a great option.Disadvantages: There are disadvantages to using injection molding as a methodology for rapid prototype revisions in general. Note that such a statement is not really a criticism of MUD Molds per say but rather an endorsement (in those cases where it is possible) to rapid prototype via iterative 3D printing and/or CNC machine cuts. Once such a course of action has been taken, however, it may still make sense to prototype test the injection molding process itself as there are always unexpected eventualities that perhaps were not discovered in, for example, 3D printing.Notes: The use of “slides” or “cams” is not unusual if the part design includes an undercut that requires molding. Slides and cams are moving parts within the mold that allow or restrict access to particular areas within the tooling (and thus facilitate the desired shape of the part). The use of slides or cams can facilitate ejection of certain areas of plastic that might otherwise be trapped in the tooling.Aluminum Mold Tooling:Solid aluminum tooling is often a final deliverable for a project. In other cases, aluminum tools are designed such that potential changes can still be made during the development process (e.g. if prototype iterations are to be made during injection molding). In general, aluminum tools are easier to machine than steel tooling and so iterative design changes are typically less burdensome.Advantages: Aluminum is a very strong conductor of heat (it heats up and cools down very quickly). The fact that it cools down so quickly is what makes it particularly useful for injection molding (a cyclical process). Quicker cooling generally means more cycles in a given amount of time and therefore, faster production. Note: Production time isn’t typically the highest priority when prototyping parts so this may or may not be a relevant issue. In any case, it is good to understand and may help to inform decisions when it comes to full scale injection molded manufacturing.Another advantage of aluminum tooling is that it could potentially improve the flow of material through the mold. Better flow properties can be a significant advantage because you are decreasing the risk of defective parts that ultimately cost you money. Many injection molding defects can be avoided by working with experienced engineers that utilize moldflow software like Solidworks Plastics (read more here). You can read about the ten most common injection molding defects here. Additionally, here is a quick video of an injection mold cycle where the molten plastic is flowing from the gate (point of entry) through the entire part.Disadvantages: Aluminum tooling cannot replicate certain prototypes perfectly - particularly those requiring special finishes. You cannot polish aluminum as well as steel, so if really high-gloss surfaces are required, steel is usually a better choice. Note, you can still get a really good polish on aluminum, just not as good as steel. Additionally of note, polished finishes are typically not the focus during prototype processes. If this is not an important consideration for this phase then aluminum is not necessarily a poor choice. That said, the ability to produce a finished surface directly from the mold is something to consider when moving towards production and the selection of a production tool.A second disadvantage to aluminum tooling is that it is less robust than a steel tool. Although a good aluminum tool can produce from one hundred to even one hundred thousand parts without degradation, when comparing apples-to-apples, steel is typically much more robust. The lifespan of an aluminum tool depends on the molding temperature, the number of cycles, and the intricacies of the part itself. An additional consideration with aluminum is the particular alloy being used. Some of the aluminum alloys in the 7000 series, for example Aluminum 7075-T6, are very robust - and are even comparable to steel in some material properties.Steel Mold Tooling:Steel tools are typically used for full scale production (high volume manufacturing) rather than as a prototyping mold. They are generally considered an upgrade over MUD or aluminum tooling. When working on a steel tool the designer is typically focusing on production issues rather than part design. Large concerns might include mold flow properties, gate location, location and number of vents for trapped air, cycle time, and the material properties of the particular plastic being used.Advantages: Steel molds have very long lifespans and it is for this reason that they are most often used in production. While steel is less thermally conductive than aluminum, it is much more robust as a general rule. Typical injection mold temperatures, even with short cycle time, will not have an adverse affect on the tool itself.  Disadvantages: Steel tools are typically extremely complex and precise. They are either used for production or are one step away from it and so the tolerance for errors is very small. Mistakes in production are very costly and so it is incumbent on the design and development team to get everything exactly right in the pre-production iterative process.Conclusion:There are a vast number of considerations to mull over when evaluating the right material and design for prototype molds. Three common options are the Master Unit Die (MUD), aluminum tooling, and steel tooling. Each have their advantages with regard to cost, efficiency, quality, rapid prototype capability, iterative design capability, scale, and finishing requirements. We evaluate each project for the correct combination of quality, price, and suitable use. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact our team for their expertise.

How to pull plastic injection mould core

To provide as safe and efficient a plastic injection mold as possible,the mold designer should specify the use of limit switches to confirm that moving core is in its forward or retracted position.These position signals can be used by the injection molding machine to ensure that the moving cores are properly positioned so as to not damage the molded parts or the injection mold during mold opening or part ejection.Furthermore,the mold designer should strive to design the moving core such that the injection mold opening or part ejection does not damage the mold if the moving core is improperly positioned.Consider,if the mold is opened and the part ejected with the moving core in itis forward position,it is nearby ejector sleeve and ejector blade.Obviously,this event is undesired and should not occur for a properly set molding process.However,such events do occur and molders greatly appreciate a robust injection mold design that can withstand intermittent abuse without reworking the ejector pins,blades,sleeves,or moving cores.if you need help, pls contact me, I am Tea, my email is injectionmold2006@163.comwhatsapp+8615958816137  skype:injectionmold2006@163.com

How to understand the Cooling System Design ?

The cooling system is extremely important to the economics and operation of the designed mold , and yet remains one of the most under engineered systems in injection molds. Perhaps the reason for the lack of engineering is that the temperature distribution is not obvious when molding compared to defects related to flow.Improperly designed cooling systems often result in two undesirable outcomes. First, cooling and cycle times are much longer than what could have been achieved.If you need help, pls contact me, i am Phoebe, my email is injectionmold2004@163.com  whatsapp +86 182 3716 2307 

How to Minimize Distortion of Moldings

Just as the ejection forces can cause stress and deflection in the ejection system components, the ejection forces can also stress and deflection in the plastic moldings. To avoid permanent distortion of the plastic moldings, the number,location,and design of the ejection components must be development to apply a low and uniform state of stress across the moldings. If the ejection force is uniformly distributed across many points in the mold cavity,then the molding will be uniformly ejected from the mold without any permanent distortion.If you need help,please contact me,Lisa. And my email is injectionmold2005@163.com    whatsapp/skype:+86 15617940830

How to control Insert Mold with wall Temperature

   Another example of insert molding is provided in Figure 13.7[53],which is particularly directed to the control and improvement of weld lines around an inserted component for the production of a water faucet handle.The mold design consist of two separable mold halves 30and 31 having recesses 32and 33 that together form a mold cavity. The inserted component 35 is held in position by two opposing pins 36. After mold closure and prior to mold filling, asubstabtially uniform cavity thickness exists between the inserted component 35 and the mold halves 30and 31.In this mold design, the mold wall temperture of the mold is locally controlled by the flow of a controlled fluid through channels 40 and 42.Different fluids such as water,oil,or steam can be provided to different portions of the mold at different temperatures.

How to Determine Parting Line ?

         The term "parting line" refers to the location at which the cavity insert, the core insert, and the plastic molding meet. Since the core and cavity insert meet at this location, any significant deflection of the cavity insert away from the core insert will result in a gap into which the plastic will flow and form a thin film of plastic known as "flash" . Imperfections in the core and gaps into which the plastic will flow.. Even with new and well-crafted molds, the location of the parting line usually results in a very slight "witness line" along its length..        For this reason, the parting line should be located along a bottom edge of the part, or some other non-visual, non-functional edge. Consider the previous cup shown in Figure 4.1.Placing the parting line very close to the lip as indicated by the dashed line in the left drawing of Figure 4.6 would result in a witness line and possible flash that might make the molded cup unusable, Alternatively, a better location for the parting line is at the bottom of the rim as indicated in Figure 4.2, corresponding to the parting line shown in the right drawing of Figure 4.6.    Hello,i am Cherry,if you need any help,pls contact me via email:injectionmold2008@163.com  Whatsapp:+86 15112289056

How to Maintain Uniform Wall temperature

Maintain Uniform Wall temperatureThe temperature of the molded parts at the time of ejection mould is a complex function of the molded part design,cooling line design,material properties,and processing conditions.While high heat transfer rates are desired,an overly aggressive colling system design can actually cause quality problems.As the cooling lines approach the plastic injection mold cavity surface,the heat transfer path between the surface and the cooling line becomes more direct.As a result,there can be a great variation in the temperature across the cavity surface unless the cooling lines are also placed very close together.if you need help, pls contact me, I am Tea, my email is injectionmold2006@163.comwhatsapp+8615958816137  skype:injectionmold2006@163.com

What’s ejector sleeves?

The function of an ejector sleeve is similar to that of an ejector blade,in that both are typically used to push on a vertical section of the molded part.The design of the ejector sleeve varies significantly,however,since it is a hollow cylinder that slides along a fixed core pin to provide an ejection force at the bottom surface of a plastic injection molded boss.Ejector sleeves are very effective components for part ejection,since they push on a stiff portion of the part at a location where friction forces between the molding and the core occur.if you need help, pls contact me, I am Tea, my email is injectionmold2006@163.comwhatsapp+8615958816137  skype:injectionmold2006@163.com

Do you know cooling system design process

Given that there are multiple objectives in the design of the cooling system,it is not likely that every objective will be simultaneously optimized.The goal is for the plastic injection mold designer to reach a good compromise,such that fast and uniform cooling is achieved in a cost effective manner.The following seven step analysis is provided to support the plastic injection mold design decisions that have to be made.Afterwards,some common cooling issues and designs are developed.if you need help, pls contact me, I am Tea, my email is injectionmold2006@163.comwhatsapp+8615958816137  skype:injectionmold2006@163.com

How to facilitate mold usage

Molding machine operations should be able to operate the injection mold with minimal information.The number of external connections should be kept to a minimum,and preferably two(one inlet and one outlet)per mold half.If more than two connections are required,then the connections should be labeled”in”and”out”to help the operator avoid forming a dead circuit.To avoid damage to the cooling system,all external components should be recessed to avoid direct contact with tie bars,work tables,or other items.if you need help, pls contact me, I am Tea, my email is injectionmold2006@163.comwhatsapp+8615958816137  skype:injectionmold2006@163.com

HOW TO ADJUST Plastic injection mould Dimensions

After the shear rate,pressure,drop,and gate freeze time have been calculated for an initial design,the type and dimensions of the injection mould gate can be modified to improve the design.For aesthetic and de-gating purposes,smaller gate sizes are desired.As the previous examples have shown,however,excessive shear rates may dictate the use of larger gate sizes.These shear rate calculations are dependent upon an assumed flow rate,and this flow rate will not be known until after the molder has optimized the process with the implemented mold. For this reason,the plastic injection mold designer should assume a reasonable flow rate for analysis,select a type of gate that can be enlarged, and specify dimensions that are “steel safe”.In this way, the size of the gates can be readily increased to reduce shear rates as needed.if you need help, pls contact me, I am Tea, my email is injectionmold2006@163.comwhatsapp+8615958816137  skype:injectionmold2006@163.com

How to control Mold Wall Temperature?

The analyses and designs for cooling system are adequate for most injection molding applications.However,there are some applications in which the use of conventional cooling designs in unacceptable.Normally,the development of a solidified skin occurs when the hot polymer melt contacts the cold injection mold wall.In some molding applications,the solidified skin may lead to premature freeze-off of the melt in the cavity,excessive birefringence in the molded part,or inadequate levels of gloss or surface replication.In other applications,mold wall temperature fluctuations across the surface of the plastic injection mold cavity may lead to a lack of dimensional control.As such,some molding applications involving lenses,airplane cockpit canopies,optical storage media,and fiber reinforced materials may seek to improve the quality of the moldings through dynamic control of the mold wall temperature.Several different strategies are next discussed.if you need help, pls contact me, I am Tea, my email is injectionmold2006@163.comwhatsapp+8615958816137  skype:injectionmold2006@163.com

Do you know more about TPU material?

       The flame retardant grade of TPU is the same as that of general wire products, and a little better V1, ordinary V2                                   Halogen-free flame retardant TPU polyurethane raw materials, polyester / polyether, hardness: 71A - 95A, the processing level can be divided into: injection molding / extrusion processing, color: Black / White / Grey / transparent, bright surface / surface effect to semi matte / fog surface quality: no powder, no precipitation, cold. Hydrolysis resistance, oil resistance, abrasion resistance, weather resistance, flame retardant grade: UL94-V0/V2, making wire by: VW-1 (vertical burning test does not drip).        Thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer (TPU) has excellent mechanical properties, wear resistance, solvent resistance, high temperature resistance and other comprehensive properties. It is an ideal coating material for wire and cable. However, TPU itself is easy to burn, and it is accompanied by droplets, which can easily ignite the surrounding flammable substances and aggravate the occurrence of fire.Therefore, thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer (TPU) should be widely used in the field of wire and cable, so it is necessary to further improve its flame retardancy.           Hello,i am Cherry,if you need any help,pls contact me via email:injectionmold2008@163.com  Whatsapp:+86 15112289056

How to select plastic injection mold base

After the core and cavity layout inserts have been initially sized,the plastic injection mold layout can be further developed and the mold base selected.It is critical to order a mold base with appropriately sized plates and materials,since any mistakes in the mold base selection can consume significant time and expense.To determine the appropriate size,the mold designer must first arrange the injection mold cavities and provide allowance for the cooling and feed systems.Afterwards,the mold designer should select a standard size from available suppliers and verify suitability with the molder’s molding machine.if you need help, pls contact me, I am Tea, my email is injectionmold2006@163.comwhatsapp+8615958816137  skype:injectionmold2006@163.com