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Research Papers

Computational Study of the Effect of Governing Parameters on a Polymer Injection Molding Process for Single-Cavity and Multicavity Mold Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Tutar1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mersin University, 33343 Çiftlikköy-Mersin, Turkeym_tutar@mersin.edu.tr, m_tutar@gradyan.com.tr

A. Karakus

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mersin University, 33343 Çiftlikköy-Mersin, Turkey

1

Corresponding author.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 132(1), 011001 (Dec 22, 2009) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000620 History: Received May 14, 2009; Revised November 04, 2009; Published December 22, 2009; Online December 22, 2009

In the present study a more complete numerical solution approach using parallel computing technology is provided for the three-dimensional modeling of mold insert polymer injection molding process by considering the effects of phase-change and compressibility for non-Newtonian fluid flow conditions. A volume of fluid (VOF) method coupled with a finite volume approach is used to simulate the mold-filling stage of the injection molding process. The variations in viscosity and density in the polymer melt flow are successfully resolved in the present VOF method to more accurately represent the rheological behavior of the polymer melt flow during the mold filling. A comprehensive high-resolution differencing scheme (compressive interface capturing scheme for arbitrary meshes or CICSAM) is successfully utilized to capture moving interfaces and the pressure-implicit with splitting operators pressure-velocity coupling algorithm is employed to enable a higher degree of approximate relation between corrections for pressure and velocity. The capabilities of the proposed numerical methodology in modeling real molding flow conditions are verified through quantitative and qualitative comparisons with other simulation programs and the data obtained from the experimental study conducted. The present numerical results are also compared with each other for a polypropylene female threaded adaptor pipe fitting model with a metallic insert for varying governing process conditions/parameters to assess the modeling constraints and enhancements of the present numerical procedure and the effects of these conditions to optimize the polymer melt flow for mold insert polymer injection molding process. The numerical results suggest that the present numerical solution approach can be used with a confidence for further studies of optimization of design of mold insert polymer injection molding processes.

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Figures

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Figure 1

3D geometry setup for the single-cavity mold system: (a) the mold insert geometry, (b) the pipe fitting geometry, and (c) the mold cavity assembly

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Figure 2

3D geometry setup for the multicavity mold system: (a) the mold insert geometry and (b) the mold cavity assembly

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Figure 6

Instantaneous volume fraction contours for case 2 at a nondimensional simulation time of t∗=0.5 for the single-cavity mold system: (a) the present 3D model and (b) MOLDFLOW MPI 3D model

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Figure 7

The comparison of predicted injection pressure evolutions obtained from the present 3D model (cases 1 and 2) and MOLDFLOW MPI 3D model for the single-cavity mold system

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Figure 8

Instantaneous temperature and viscosity field distributions on the midspan plane for case 2 for the single-cavity mold system at a nondimensional time of t∗ = 0.9: (a) temperature field and (b) viscosity field

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Figure 9

The quantitative comparisons of the present numerical results for different processing conditions (parameters) for the single-cavity mold system: (a) the calculated nondimensional averaged injection pressure distribution, (b) the evolution of solidification percentage, (c) the evolution of the rate of temperature increase in the outer surface of the metallic insert, and (d) the evolution of the average temperature increase in the outer surface of the metallic insert

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Figure 10

Filling stages of each cavity of the multicavity mold system for the experimental test case 7 at a series of short shots: (a) cavity 10% filled, (b) cavity 35% filed, and (c) cavity 95% filled

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Figure 11

The pictures of injection molded female threaded pipe fitting with metallic inserts. Case 2 part is on the left, while case 6 part is on the right.

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Figure 3

3D global computational domain of polyhedral meshes used in the present simulations for the multicavity mesh domain

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Figure 4

The experimental setup and operation units of the injection molding machine—Engel ES 600/150

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Figure 5

The evolution of polymer melt flow front obtained from an initial test case performed with the present 3D model and comparisons with the experimental data of Behrens (28)

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Figure 12

The comparison of predicted polymer melt flow advancement with the experimental data for the multicavity mold system at a nondimensional time of 0.3 (case 7): (a) the experimental data and (b) the present 3D model

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Figure 13

The comparison of predicted polymer melt flow advancement with the experimental data for the multicavity mold system at a nondimensional time of 0.75 (case 7): (a) the experimental data and (b) the present 3D model

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Figure 14

The predicted 3D advancements of polymer melt flow front for case 7 for the multicavity mold system at distinct time instants (t∗=0.2, 0.7, and 0.9)

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