NPE2015 in Orlando this month will see the launch of software for “mapping” the injection molding characteristics of particular materials. Therma-flo R1.1 from Beaumont Technologies, Erie, Pa., was developed to manage and manipulate the extensive data set generated for a single resin by using Beaumont’s Therma-flo Moldometer semi-automated test cell. That cell includes special test tooling that uses cooled flow channels—as in actual injection molding—to simulate flow in parts of different wall thickness. It also includes a Sodick Plastech two-stage injection press with specially developed controls and a high-speed data-collection system. The cell is used to measure flow through up to 15 channel geometries in thicknesses from 0.020 to 0.160 in. (0.5 to 4 mm). Flow velocities and pressures are captured directly through the highly instrumented tooling (see June ’12 feature for details).
The test data and the new software can provide a picture of how resin molding performance is influenced by temperature, injection rate, and cavity wall thickness. Users can select multiple polymers and graphically compare their actual molding
performance. These data can be used by product developers to assess how a candidate polymer will mold. Molders can use it to help with process optimization, troubleshooting, and investigation of alternate materials. Resin developers and compounders can use it to optimize products for particular applications.
Editor PickNew Way to Characterize Moldability Of Resins & Part/Tool Designs
Experienced injection molders have long known that a resin’s melt flow index (MFI), measured under very low-shear conditions, provides very little information about how it will process under many orders of magnitude higher shear in an actual mold.