By Cameron Chai
BASF and Arburg will jointly present various methods to increase energy efficiency in injection molding process at the Fakuma 2011 exhibition. Both the companies will discuss new developments that can contribute to energy savings by using a specialty plastic and suitable machine technology.
A plastic with improved flow characteristics, such as Ultramid B3WG6 High Speed (above) is capable of properly filling a complex component, whereas a conventional plastic with the same glass fibre content fails to do so at the same processing temperature (below).
The complete injection molding process starting from the product design to the production plan will be reviewed in terms of energy-efficiency. The companies will practically demonstrate production of two different plastics and will discuss how energy efficiency can be improved by selecting the right material. To perform this, Arburg’s electric Allrounder 370 E injection molding machine will make test parts using a standard plastic and a material with enhanced flow characteristics. The comparison has revealed that the use of an energy-optimised machine along with a plastic material with enhanced flow characteristics contributes to considerable energy-efficiency in the injection molding process.
Ultramid B3WG6 High Speed is a new thermoplastic material offered by BASF with improved flow properties. It allows a lower processing temperature that leads to significant energy, cost and time savings. A unique feature of the new thermoplastic material is the exceptional surface quality of the component. Ultramid B3WG6 has mechanical properties similar to standard plastic. It minimizes the heat needed for the operation of injection molding machine. BASF testing has shown that the use of the optimized material helps to achieve a total energy saving of 30% depending on the number of components produced.
Allrounder 370 E machine also contributes to energy efficiency in the production of molded components. It helps to minimize energy consumption by 25% to 50% when compared to standard hydraulic machines. All Edrive series machines from Arburg have the "e2" energy-efficiency label, which represents their optimum energy efficiency during operation.