Experimental Characterization and Simulation of Thermoplastic Polymer Flow Hesitation in Thin-Wall Injection Molding Using Direct In-Mold Visualization Technique

Francesco Regi, Patrick Guerrier, Yang Zhang, Guido Tosello*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

A special mold provided with a glass window was used in order to directly evaluate the flow progression during the filling phase of the injection molding process in a thin-wall cavity and to validate the simulation of the process with particular focus on the hesitation effect. The flow of the polymer was recorded at 500 frames per second using a high-speed camera (HSC). Two unfilled thermoplastic polymers, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), and polypropylene (PP), were used to fill two different 50 mm × 18 mm staircase geometry cavities, which were specifically designed to evaluate the hesitation effect with thicknesses of 1500, 1250, 1000, 750, 500 µm (cavity insert no. 1) and 1500, 1200, 900, 600, 300 µm (cavity insert no. 2). In addition to the video recordings, the simulations were validated using the timings and the data obtained by three pressure sensors and two thermocouples located in the cavity. For each injection cycle recorded on camera the machine data were collected to carefully implement the correct boundary conditions in the simulations. The analysis of the video recordings highlighted that flow progression and hesitation were mainly influenced not only by the thickness, but also by the velocity and the material type. The simulation results were in relatively good agreement with the experiments in terms of flow pattern and progression. Filling times were predicted with an average relative error deviation of 2.5% throughout all the section thicknesses of the cavity. Lower accuracies in terms of both filling times and injection pressure were observed at increasingly thinner sections.
Original languageEnglish
Article number428
JournalMicromachines
Volume11
Issue number4
Number of pages13
ISSN2072-666X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Glass mold
  • High-speed camera
  • Thin-wall injection molding
  • Hesitation
  • Simulation
  • Filling

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