Smaller pitch distances, fewer leaks, more uniform temperature profiles, and easier-to-use controls are themes to be found in displays of new hot-runner products at this month's mammoth show in Dusseldorf, Germany. Here's a rundown of news revealed before show time.
Smaller is better
Pitch center distances down to less than 9 mm distinguish the new 3SFT Micro Series nozzles (230V) from Gunther Hot Runner Systems Inc., Buffalo Grove, Ill. They are offered in thermal-gate and valve-gate versions, both of which are suitable for engineering resins.
Mold-Masters Ltd., Georgetown, Ont., will also bring out a tiny Cartridge Heater Nozzle with 15-mm pitch and less than 10 mm diam. It's aimed at lipstick caps and medical parts. The one-piece unit makes the heater into the melt channel.
Also aimed at deep parts like lipstick caps is the 500 Series hot tip from Caco Technologies Inc., Altadena, Calif. The nozzle, formerly part of Caco's custom line, is now available as an off-the-shelf assembly. It has 28-mm pitch, anti-leak collar, small gate well to speed color changes, and choice of two screw-in tips. Caco Technologies (div. of Caco Pacific Corp.) has also converted its 309 multi-tip custom nozzle into a standard product. It has four flow channels with small gate wells, pitch of 1 in. or 1.125 in., "clampless" profiled heater, and selective use of copper in the body to promote thermal balance and uniform heat profile.
Center distances as close as 0.71 in. can be achieved with new Straight Shot nozzles, which are available with hot-half packages from Polyshot Corp., West Henrietta, N.Y. The replaceable carbide probe stands up to abrasive materials. Thermocouple and heater are also replaceable by the user.
Temperature uniformity and leak resistance are selling points for other new nozzle entries. Husky Injection Molding Systems Inc., Bolton, Ont., will show its new "leak-proof" Ultra nozzle line. Recently commercialized Ultra 500 (0.5 in. diam.) can deliver 1 to 50 g/sec. It's accompanied by the Ultra 750 (5 to 350 g/sec) and Ultra 1000 (200 to 600 g/sec). They have a new tip design and improved heat profile.
Heatlock of Sweden (distributed by DMS Inc., Taunton, Mass.) is introducing the Micro series of ceramic insulators, whose tight tolerances are said to prevent leaks in high-cavitation molds. The firm has also expanded its Size 1 nozzle line for high-cavitation molds to include lengths from 49 to 133 mm.
Heatlock also introduced manifolds deliverable in three weeks. Users select from four configurations, six flow-channel dimensions, and three manifold heights, and also specify spacing between drops. For even faster delivery, Heatlock offers "manifold-express" service.
Husky will unveil its new UltraBalance manifolds, whose special "mixing geometries" are said to improve melt balance and homogeneity.
ALBA Enterprises Inc., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., now offers pre-wired manifolds for customers who prefer to machine their own plates but want to reduce installation time.
Mold-Masters will bring out two new Temp-Master TMMZ temperature controllers, one with up to 24 zones and the other with up to 84. Each zone handles a 16-amp load versus a more typical 10A .
Gammaflux L.P., Sterling, Va., will show off its new TTC family of temperature controllers for 12 to 256 zones. They have more user-friendly software with enhanced algorithms for tighter control. They are also smaller and cost less than the company's earlier products. The new units can be panel mounted with the molding machine's control to eliminate a cabinet.
Network communications is a new feature on the new RMC line of auto-tuning, single-zone hot-runner controls from Athena Controls Inc., Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Users now can set or change zones from one module or from a remote PC.