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Home > News > Injection

How to achieve high-gloss surface finish using process simulation?

Source:Adsale Plastics Network Date :2024-06-07 Editor :VC
Copyright: This article was originally written/edited by Adsale Plastics Network (AdsaleCPRJ.com), republishing and excerpting are not allowed without permission. For any copyright infringement, we will pursue legal liability in accordance with the law.

A research team by SimpaTec, Premec S.p.A., Toolax, and Contura MTC revealed how to use Moldex3D to yield a high-gloss surface finish with a cost-effective method.

 

In their study, they simulated the injection molding process under conventional thermal and variothermal control using the same injection mold with conformal cooling. Two materials - PC+ABS and PA6-GF30 - were analyzed.

 

The team used Moldex3D to analyze important data such as the shear stresses and the temperatures of the weld lines, making it possible to predict the quality of the surface finish at the early design stage and to estimate the cost and energy requirements.

 

The results suggest that for a better interpretation of important processing parameters, making the most of process simulation counts and it also makes comparing different projects a lot easier.

 

In the case of the PC+ABS reference part

 

Both variothermal control and conventional thermal control could produce an ideal piano-black finish. The reference part of the former was free of streaks, weld lines, and similar defects. This was because the temperature is still so high that the weld lines are less pronounced on the variothermally-controlled side of the part.

 

In contrast, with conventional temperature control, the process may initially yield a streak-free finish, but visible weld lines still could be detected on closer inspection. Thus, a downstream coating process was required, potentially leading to an increase in overall cost and energy consumption.


Moldex3D_1_480.jpg

Under conventional thermal control, weld lines could be observed (left), whereas they were absent in the variothermal variant (right). (Photo: SimpaTec)


Moldex3D_2_480.jpg

Particle tracking showed the temperature of the weld lines as they formed. (Photo: SimpaTec)

 

In the case of the PA6-GF30 reference part

 

The team revealed that it was difficult for parts made from PA6 with 30% glass fiber to achieve a glossy fiber finish without any coating. They analyzed the maximum shear stresses at the end of the filling phase in the two variants.

 

Under conventional thermal control, the gradients of the shear stress suggested a non-uniform part surface. On the other hand, the less-pronounced shear stress gradients in the variothermal simulation could result in a higher quality surface, and yet a downstream coating process might still be needed.


Moldex3D_3_480.jpg

The simulations of the shear stresses (bottom) and real parts made under conventional thermal control (top left) and variothermal control (top right). (Photo Credit: SimpaTec)

 

With these findings, the team showed the feasibility of predicting the quality of the real part’s surface through the shear stress simulation.

 


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