WWhat tooling does the injection molding process use Guide, mold components, Design
What tooling does the injection molding process use?
30 Nov 2020
The injection molding process utilizes molds. These are usually made of aluminum or steel. This is the custom tooling of this technique. The mold consists of many components and can be split into two halves. Each half is attached inside the injection molding machine, while the rear part is allowed to slide.
This way the mold can be opened and closed. A mold has two main components: the mold core and the mold cavity. The part cavity is a space created between the mold core and the mold cavity when the mold is closed. This will be filled with molten plastic so the desired part is created. Molds are often very expensive and a big part of your injection molding quote.
The mold core and the mold cavity are both mounted to the mold base. This is then fixed to the platens that are located in an injection molding machine. The front half of the mold base has a support plate. The mold cavity is attached to this one.
The rear half of the mold base includes the ejection system instead. The mold core is attached to this area, just like a support plate. When the clamping unit separates the two halves, the ejector bar will actuate the ejection system. It pushes the ejector plate forward inside the ejector box. This will then push the ejector pins into the molded part, after which the ejector pins push the part out of the mold cavity.
Several channels are placed into the mold design so the molten plastic can flow into the mold cavity. The plastic will enter through the sprue. Other channels, which are called runners, carry the material from the sprue to every cavity that has to be filled.
At the end of each runner, the plastic enters the cavity through a so-called gate. This directs the flow. The molten plastic may solidify inside the runners. This is attached to the part and should be separated after the piece has been ejected from the mold.
There are many design problems that you need to consider in the mold design, this includes the runners and gates. Of course, it is essential that the mold allows the molten plastic to easily flow into every cavity. The removal of a part from the mold is equally as important. Therefore a draft angle has to be applied to the mold walls.
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