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SIGMA allows simulation of compression molding with new software
Source:Adsale Plastics Network    Editor:JK    Date:25.Oct.2021

At Fakuma 2021, SIGMA Engineering GmbH presented the latest release of SIGMASOFT Virtual Molding. Besides a further refined prediction of warpage and numerous enhancements for the calculation of multicomponent parts, the new version 5.3.1 now allows the simulation of compression molding processes of rubber compounds.


Up to now, simulative design of mold and process was mainly focusing on modern injection molding technology. Since SIGMASOFT is successfully introduced at many leading elastomer-molders, there was always a request to also implement the older processes, which remain technically required and/or cost-critical for manufacturing precision parts and O-rings, partly in small series.


The simulation allows reliable prediction of curing degree and cycle-data. Questions around shape, weight, position and number of preforms can also be investigated. The quality of the molded parts can be optimized while reducing the material consumption, without time-consuming and costly trial-work.


25 cavities and 9 preforms in a compression molding process.

"It sounds easy, but implementation was relatively complex," introduced Timo Gebauer, SIGMA CTO. "The challenge is, that the cavity, or the room into which we inject, constantly changes during the closing of the mold. At the same time the inserted preforms are already heating up, are plasticizing and deforming. This development would not have passed the finish line without continuous advice and validation through our customers."


Different to thermoplastics, in the industry only few standardized elastomer compounds are available. Therefore, SIGMASOFT features the creation of own material laws, based on internal or external measurements and supports users during implementation.


"With this approach, there is practically no remaining difference between transfer and compression molding processes for the simulation. Technically, the injection sprue in the middle platen becomes part of the cavity. In the validation, we therefore also calculated Transfer Molding Tools successfully," said Timo Gebauer.


SIGMASOFT v5.3.1 not only includes the first possibility to simulate Compression Molding of Elastomers, but offers especially in the area of Thermoplastics numerous innovations and improvements for example a more precise prediction of warpage and shrinkage. The Autonomous Optimization feature included in the software now also works for 2 component parts. Additionally, the material data base was enhanced.



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