Improving Automotive Interior Part Design with Injection Molding Simulations

Przemyslaw Narowski, CAE Engineer at Dr. Schneider, elucidates on how the real requirement of an injection-molding simulation process emerged within his company and the reason for choosing Moldex3D.

Moldex3D is applied for a feasibility analysis of a newly designed part, and the increased application of other simulation solutions from Moldex3D widen their technical capabilities and future outlook for a streamlined engineering workflow from CAD through CAE to CAM. His story illustrates multiple real scenarios to illustrate the accuracy of Moldex3D’s results and the values.

Challenges

  • Surface defects due to air traps
  • Serious product warpage
  • Find effective venting of the cavity

Solutions

Moldex3D can be used to reduce the warpage amount in a fuel filler part by 40% to guarantee dimensional accuracy. Air traps on the surface of an automotive interior part can also be eliminated by using Moldex3D.

Benefits

  • Investigate new designs for part feasibility, for example, the estimated cycle time and the ideal gate locations
  • Overcome tough molding challenges, like warpage (by 40%) and air traps
  • Encourage “Reverse Simulation” concept for the future product development direction

Case Study

The main aim is the validation of the accuracy of Moldex3D simulation results in comparison with real experimental case and further prevention of the high warpage and visible air trap issue on the product.

In the first case, Dr. Schneider applied Moldex3D to simulate the warpage behavior of a guiding element (Figure 1) and the lever of a car phone box (Figure 2), and found that the simulation results matched with the experiment results.

The warpage results of simulation and reality of the guiding element.

Figure 1. The warpage results of simulation and reality of the guiding element.

*The match between simulation and real warpage is near perfect

The warpage analysis result vs. real measurement.

Figure 2. The warpage analysis result vs. real measurement.

In the second case, Moldex3D was used to predict the excessive warpage and air traps in the fuel filler lever and its lid. These potential difficulties could lead to failure in assembling and have an impact on the external appearance of the part.

Dr. Schneider used Moldex3D to develop an innovative design that reduced the amount of material in the area of the highest shrinkage by half (Figure 3) and identified appropriate venting locations (Figure 4). Consequently, the prediction demonstrated that there was a considerable improvement in the total warpage displacement.

The optimized design minimized the amount of material by half in the area of the highest shrinkage.

Figure 3. The optimized design minimized the amount of material by half in the area of the highest shrinkage.

Moldex3D can precisely predict the locations of air traps and identify suitable venting locations.

Figure 4. Moldex3D can precisely predict the locations of air traps and identify suitable venting locations.

Using Moldex3D, Dr. Schneider simulated the original design and the improved design. The outcome of the analysis of the original design demonstrated that high shrinkage would take place in the thick areas of the part (Figure 5) and lead to excessive warpage. Upon varying the part thickness, the prediction demonstrated that the warpage displacement has been minimized by nearly 40% (Figure 6).

Excessive warpage was predicted in the original design.

Figure 5. Excessive warpage was predicted in the original design.

Total warpage displacement has been reduced by almost 40%.

Figure 6. Total warpage displacement has been reduced by almost 40%.

Results

With the help of Moldex3D analysis, Dr. Schneider gained clear insights into the warpage and filling behavior and could predict potential flaws before the actual production. Currently, at Dr. Schneider, Moldex3D is one of the most vital tools applied for feasibility studies in the product development stage. It is necessary for each injection-molded design to undergo mold filling analysis. If there is something amiss, for instance, if warpage values are undesirable, Dr. Schneider’s team will take corrective action. In conclusion, Dr. Schneider has been able to successfully overcome manufacturing problems and optimize product and mold designs, which helps in efficiently reducing mold modification costs and mold trials prior to actual production.

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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