Eliminating Uncertainties for Molding & Die Processes

Before using Moldex3D, Extreme had many questions regarding its molding process—what will be the fill time? Can the press produce the required sprue pressure? How much clamp force will be required? Is the shot size suitable for the barrel? To alleviate these doubts, Extreme turned to Moldex3D’s software solutions, which aim to provide manufacturers with greater confidence before commencing production.

Challenges

  • Identify the appropriate coolant temperature
  • Achieve effective packing times to meet shrinkage specifications
  • Identify appropriate venting locations

Solutions

Moldex3D advanced package (Flow, Pack, Cool, Warp) and 3D Coolant CFD can be used to identify optimum conditions in the molding process.

Benefits

  • Optimize cycle and cooling times
  • Reduce the part shrinkage
  • Identify areas that require venting

Case Study

Extreme chose Moldex3D to help eliminate uncertainties arising from the molding process. The company wanted to utilize Moldex3D to identify areas where extra air venting might be needed, assess whether or not a press would be required, estimate a reasonable filling time, identify what the maximum clamp force would be¸ and ultimately predict product warpage before the mold trials.

From the packing/filling simulation, the company understood that the filling pressure was well below the maximum, the maximum shear rate was under the limit, and the maximum clamp force was satisfactory. As a result, they concluded that the press was able to meet their requirements (Figure 1).

From Moldex3D filling /packing simulation, Extreme knew their press was acceptable.

From Moldex3D filling /packing simulation, Extreme knew their press was acceptable.

Figure 1. From Moldex3D filling /packing simulation, Extreme knew their press was acceptable.

The Moldex3D simulation results of the melt front also helped Extreme make informed decisions as to where to vent and also drive the tool design right from the start. Therefore, they didn’t have to wait for short shots to occur in the first sample to make corrections or adjustments (Figure 2).

Moldex3D’s short shot analysis correlates to the actual result.

Figure 2. Moldex3D’s short shot analysis correlates to the actual result.

Following this, Extreme changed the coolant temperature, which resulted in a much lower average surface temperature. They simulated three different coolant temperatures and noted their effect on the surface temperature as well as the shrinkage of the part. Consequently, they found that the shrinkage met the required specifications, at 117 °F (Figure 3).

According to the simulation of three different coolant temperatures, 117 °F degrees was found the most desired.

Figure 3. According to the simulation of three different coolant temperatures, 117 °F degrees was found to be the most optimal temperature.

Extreme then increased the packing time. They simulated four different packing times and noted the shrinkage results. It was found that 17 seconds could be a reasonable compromise (Figure 4).

The packing time of 17 seconds was found a good compromise for shrinkage.

Figure 4. A packing time of 17 seconds was found to be a good compromise for shrinkage.

Results

Moldex3D simulation software offers tools that allow manufacturers to study potentially complex part areas and, as seen in the examples in this article, provided Extreme with valuable information, allowing the company to make informed decisions in the molding process of a product. The company used the information gained from a Moldex3D simulation to determine cycle time and optimize cooling.  This important software allows manufacturers to avoid expensive mold repairs and reworks, and produce future designs with confidence and accuracy.

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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