Improving the Camera Lens Cover Roundness with a CAE Tool

When it comes to ensuring the highest photography quality of a camera, the cover is equally as important as its lens and should meet roundness and other dimensional criteria. In this study, it is essential to improve the roundness of the lens cover manufactured from fiber-reinforced material by investigating numerous process condition variations.

Moldex3D was commissioned for the iterative simulation to identify the optimized settings.

After flow and fiber analysis, experiments were performed to verify Moldex3D’s computation result on the product roundness. The results indicate that the roundness could be improved by increasing the mold temperature, and this roundness is negatively affected by the glass fiber because its alignment may lead to non-uniform shrinkage. In order to minimize the effect of fiber on the roundness of the product, different fiber content and runner system design revisions are used and assessed through molding simulation. Through Moldex3D, the improved combination of fiber content, process conditions, and runner design are achieved, bringing substantial improvement to the roundness of the product.

Challenges

  • Glass fiber cannot fulfill the requirement for dimensional accuracy as anticipated
  • Improper roundness of the lens cover will distort photography

Solutions

Moldex3D simulation solutions were used to obtain a more detailed understanding of how each processing parameter plays a key role in the roundness of the camera lens hood, and the optimum conditions for improving part performance were established.

Benefits

  • It is important to understand how process conditions influence the product roundness
  • The roundness should be improved by over 35% through gating location revisions

Case Study

The aim of this study is to identify the most promising combination of process conditions to enhance the roundness of the camera lens cover product (see Figure 1). After the process conditions have been optimized, the MAERC team has to search for the most optimum glass fiber content present in the plastic materials.

The camera lens cover product in this case.

Figure 1. The camera lens cover product in this case.

Moldex3D enables users to assess various process conditions and improve their product designs with minimum cost and effort. In this example, glass fiber added in plastics is anticipated to decrease the shrinkage for more improved product roundness. Conversely, in the majority of real cases, the fiber-reinforced material does not considerably contribute to dimension accuracy and even appears to make it worse. In accordance with Moldex3D’s simulation results, the alignment of the glass fiber is largely towards the Z-axial direction, which may lead to non-uniform shrinkage and have negative impacts on the product roundness. In Figure 2, there is a high consistency in the experimental and simulation results, both demonstrating how the roundness becomes worse upon adding the glass fiber.

The simulation and experimental results show the roundness is worse when glass fiber is added.

Figure 2. The simulation and experimental results show the roundness is worse when glass fiber is added.

Table 1 shows the process conditions variation examination on melt temperature (290~310℃), mold temperature (100~150℃) and injection speed (30~90 mm/s). As demonstrated, the injection speed and melt temperature appear to have slight effects in the final roundness, while higher mold temperature can considerably aid in reducing the roundness value, which means a more improved roundness.

Table 1. The process conditions variation examination

.
Melt Temperature (°C) 290 310 330 310
Mold Temperature (°C) 125 110 150 125
Injection Speed (mm/s) 60 30 90
Roundness (µm) PC TEIJIN L1225Y EXP 92.29 98.8 98.45 113.45 88.82 102.7 97.55
CAE 117.43 114.16 114.27 163.96 71.17 116.57 121.04
PC + 30% GF TEIJIN B4330R EXP 141.19 160.96 162.18 164.63 143.81 156.1 162.49
CAE 269.98 259.19 265.35 294.06 235.41 265.8 259.117

As shown in Figure 3, the fiber aligns with the flow direction (Z-axial); it will lead to non-uniform shrinkage and is the main cause of high roundness.

The fiber aligns with flow direction (Z-axial).

Figure 3. The fiber aligns with flow direction (Z-axial).

MAERC made design changes on the three gate locations (see Figure 4) to enhance the flow balance. In the revised design, the thin and thick parts are supposed to be filled at the same time so that the fiber-induced roundness can be enhanced.

The three gate locations are revised in the design changes.

Figure 4. The three gate locations are revised in the design changes.

Following the changes in the design, the roundness of both materials (PC and PC+30% GF) has been enhanced by over 35%, as illustrated in Table 2.

Table 2. The gating location revisions result in better roundness.

The gating location revisions result in better roundness.

Results

Through this analysis, MAERC discovered that the roundness for this camera lens cover cannot be enhanced by the glass fiber. In this method, Moldex3D’s simulation results are found to be highly consistent and reliable with the experimental results. Therefore, Moldex3D can serve as a valuable tool for further studying the flow imbalance problems also faced in this case.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Moldex3D.

For more information on this source, please visit Moldex3D.

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