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Plastics injection molding process

Simulate and evaluate your entire design and molding process with Moldflow® plastic injection molding simulation software. Visualize and access part properties and materials, and reduce production problems, retooling, and redesign.

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    Injection molding

  • Cooling for overmolding New

    The Moldflow cooling analysis has been extended to gas-assisted injection molding and two-shot overmolding. The effects of part cooling can now be taken into account in filling and warpage, for both the first and second shot components.

  • Surface defect traceability

    Visualize the flow path of polymers to identify conditions that could result in surface defects. Identify which gate fluid particles entered, how far they traveled before freezing, and which path they took through complex geometry.

  • Induction heating

    Simulate the rapid heating of magnetic components within the molds. Use electromagnetic induction to achieve a high-quality surface finish with no visible weld lines.

  • Controlled valve gate opening

    Achieve higher quality surface finishes by combining controlled valve gating with sequential valve gating.

    Optimize the speed with which valve gates open and close for uniform flow and balanced injection profiles. Predict the effects of valve gates opening too quickly or slowly, and help avoid surface defects and hesitation effects.

  • Thermoplastics injection molding

    Moldflow software helps you simulate and optimize thermoplastics injection molding process for your designs, using a vast database of thermoplastic materials. Select the best gate location, identify the processing conditions, and study the filling parameters.

    Determine if you’re cooling the mold adequately, and then check for warpage. By incorporating Moldflow into your design process, you can validate product quality before investing in expensive tooling.

    Molding processes you can simulate with Moldflow software include:

    • Thermoplastics overmolding
    • Thermoplastics compression molding and overmolding
    • Thermoplastics injection molding
    • Thermoplastics injection compression molding and overmolding
    • Gas-assisted injection molding
    • Reactive molding
    • Reactive compression molding
    • Reactive injection-compression molding
    • Microchip and underfill encapsulation
  • Shrinkage and warpage

    Simulate the warpage of the manufactured part to help ensure the end product's fit and function. Generate accurately compensated models for tooling or further geometry modification. In cases of excessive shrinkage and warpage, it's easy to isolate the underlying cause of the warpage (differential shrinkage in the part, mold cooling imbalances, or material orientation) so you can evaluate targeted actions and alternatives to address the issue. The Moldflow database contains grade-specific data to support the highest level of predictive accuracy.

  • Mold cooling

    Capture advanced cooling techniques and layouts, such as conformal cooling, as well as transient heat calculations. Iterate on the cooling channel layout and the cooling process to produce high-quality products with short cycle time. Simulate advanced cooling technologies, like rapid heating and cooling and conformal cooling. Evaluate the effect of highly conductive materials, as well as heating elements and thermal pins, on the cycle time and product quality.

  • Best gate location

    Reduce or eliminate many production problems and defects by selecting the correct gate location. For more complex designs, use the Moldflow Gating Suitability Analysis for advice on a range of gate locations to find your optimal gate locations. The way molten plastic polymer flows through a mold can significantly affect the overall quality of a part. Use the Fill Preview tool to experiment with different gate locations to preview how the mold will fill.

  • Fiber orientation

    Calculate and evaluate the fiber orientation, manufactured shape, and structural properties of your part. You can also export fiber orientation and mechanical results to an external structural analysis package to further investigate the strength of the finished part.

  • Thermoplastics and thermosets

    No matter which type of plastics you use, Moldflow Insight plastic injection molding simulation software can help you find the best molding conditions. Thermoplastics and thermosets are the 2 primary types of plastics used in manufacturing. They have distinct properties and are suited for different applications.

    Select from different molding processes including:

    • Classic injection molding for thermoplastic materials
    • Compression molding for thermoplastics or thermosets
    • Microchip or underfill encapsulation, and other thermoset processes
  • Reduce molding defects

    Simulate how parts are filled and reduce molding defects, retooling, and redesign.

    • Conduct simulations early in the design process to identify where defects will occur.
    • Change the design or molding conditions before costly production.
    • Reduce or eliminate potential defects such as air traps, short shots, burn marks, sink marks, weld lines, core shifts, and more.
  • Manufactured material properties (FEA)

    Perform structural tests using finite element analysis (FEA), and verify critical loads. The injection molding process influences the structural properties of the product, such as weld lines, fiber orientation, and material orientation.

    If the product has a critical load case to meet, then you can perform a structural analysis test within the injection molding process to include in the analysis.

  • Defect visualization

    Visualize and understand how the part geometry and the location of injection points affect defects, such as weld lines and sink marks, as the part goes through shrinkage and warpage

    Optimize the position of the injection points, the part geometry, and the molding process to minimize defects in highly visible areas. The position and depth of sink marks can be exported as .fbx files to Showcase and VRED software, so you can evaluate them in detail.

  • From art to part

    Moldflow injection molding software products provide the tools you need to transform your design concepts into produced parts.

    • Moldflow Design software works in your CAD tool and provides instant feedback about issues that affect the manufacturability of parts.
    • Moldflow Adviser plastic injection molding simulation software shows the best way to feed polymer into the cavity and how to cool the mold properly.
    • Moldflow Insight software helps you assess part degradation and the strength of the final part with an extensive collection of simulation capabilities.
  • Two-shot sequential overmolding

    Simulate the process of 2 sequential injections (or materials), visualize the impact on their relative behavior, and analyze the overmolding process. In two-shot sequential overmolding, different colored versions of the same material or 2 different materials are injected into the mold.

    Use Moldflow to then assess warpage, relative temperature distributions of the materials, and the effect of plastic or metal inserts.

  • Birefringence

    Use Moldflow injection molding simulation software to reduce optical quality issues, such as blurring or double images. Many factors influence birefringence, including the material, mold design, and molding conditions.

    Moldflow tools help you predict optical performance issues in plastics.

  • One-directional core shifts

    Simulate one-directional core deflection on parts with inserts. See pressure differential around the core that could lead to core deflection, and use one-sided constraint to help with your analysis.

    Cores and inserts shift during the injection molding process because of unbalanced pressures around the feature. The injection mold holds part inserts or cores in place by several methods. Sometimes the insert or core can move in 1 direction but not in the opposite direction. Use directional constraints to simulate the core or insert shifting in 1 direction, but not the opposite.