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Keywords of this article:  injection molding 
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CHINAPLAS 
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injection mold 
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injection mold 
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Fig.1 – The fiber orientation changes with the position of the injection point. With the help of a virtual DoE different injection positions and their resulting fiber orientation are easily compared to find the ideal set-up.
Fig.1 – The fiber orientation changes with the position of the injection point. With the help of a virtual DoE different injection positions and their resulting fiber orientation are easily compared to find the ideal set-up.
Photo: 12

SIGMA Engineering GmbH from Aachen, Germany, will be introducing its SIGMASOFT Virtual Molding software and the enclosed Autonomous Optimization technology at various exhibitions.

The Autonomous Optimization and its included possibility to conduct virtual Design of Experiments (DoE) help the user to optimize their parts, molds and processes even easier than before.

SIGMASOFT works as a virtual injection molding machine and allows the user to test different set-ups and new concepts without risk on the computer. With the now included possibility to conduct a virtual DoE, different geometry and process parameter variations can be compared and evaluated in one single calculation.

In this way, the user can easily answer various questions on the part and process upfront during the design stage without conducting tests on an injection molding machine.

A common type of virtual DoE, regardless of the used polymer, is the determination of the ideal injection point for the part. For fiber-reinforced thermoplastic materials, the injection point has a main influence on the resulting fiber-orientation inside the part (see Fig. 1).

Depending on the flow path of the melt, the fibers show a varying orientation inside the part. This leads to different mechanical properties. By determining the best injection point, the user can considerably improve the fiber-orientation and thus the mechanical properties of the part.

For rubber and LSR (liquid silicone rubber) materials, the required injection pressure is mainly depending on the gating system. To optimize the pressure loss and the whole gating system, a virtual DoE, which evaluates different positions and number of gates, is a straightforward approach.

At the same time, the risk of potential air entrapments is rated (Fig. 2). Based on this first evaluation the ideal configuration of the cold runner and the optimum filling time can be determined. In the further course of the project, the design of the whole mold and its concept for the heating cartridges is supported by the software.

With the possibility to conduct a virtual DoE, the user can rely on SIGMASOFT Virtual Molding during the design of parts, molds and processes. The software provides an easy to use tool to answer questions arising on topics like ideal injection point, temperature layout of the mold or optimum cycle time. Thus, it enables the user to make decisions on a sound basis and helps to reduce trials on the machine and iterations for the mold significantly.

SIGMA will exhibit its technology at the following shows:

  • MECSPE in Parma, Italy, March 28-30, 2019
  • KUTENO in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany, May 7-9, 2019
  • CHINAPLAS in Guangzhou, PR China, May 21-24, 2019

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