Study of process parameters effect on the filling phase of micro injection moulding using weld lines as flow markers

Guido Tosello, Alberto Gava, Hans Nørgaard Hansen, Giovanni Lucchetta

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Micro-injection moulding (micro-moulding) is a process which enables the mass production of polymer microproducts. In order to produce high-quality injection moulded micro-parts, a crucial aspect to be fully understood and optimised is the filling of the cavity by the molten polymer. As a result, the relationships between the filling pattern and the different process parameter settings have to be established. In this paper, a novel approach based on the use of weld lines as flow markers to trace the development of the flow front during the filling is proposed. The effects on the filling stage of process parameters such as temperature of the melt, temperature of the mould, injection speed and packing pressure have been investigated. An optical coordinate measuring machine has been employed for the investigation. The micro-cavity, which presents micro-features ranging from 600 μm down to 150 μm, has been manufactured by micro-electrodischarge machining. A commercially available polystyrene grade polymer has been moulded using a high-speed injection moulding machine. The design of experiment technique was employed to determine the effect of the process parameters on the filling phase of the micro-cavity. In addition, extensive measuring uncertainty analysis was performed to validate the experimental plan. Results show that the temperature of the mould and the injection speed are the most influencing process parameters during the injection moulding of a micro-component.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Volume47
Issue number1-4
Pages (from-to)81-97
ISSN0268-3768
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Uncertainty
  • Micro-injection moulding
  • Weld lines
  • Design of experiments
  • Process analysis

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