Lighter parts. Less scrap. More affordable materials. Greater design flexibility. These are some of the reasons why manufacturers are increasingly using plastics materials for new products and why the use of injection-molding manufacturing processes has expanded every year for the past half century.
As more of today’s leading manufacturers look to plastic as a better alternative to conventionally machined metal parts, the efficiency and quality of injection-molding processes becomes critically important. After all, more than 80 percent of plastic parts have to be injection molded. With more manufacturers leveraging injection-molding technology, companies that consistently produce high-quality, injection-molded parts more quickly and at lower cost gain a distinct competitive advantage.
To demonstrate the accuracy of mold-filling simulations, SOLIDWORKS teamed with the renowned Plastics Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell to conduct a series of physical experiments on three specific part and mold designs: a typical electronics housing, a cap for a medical product, and a radon detector. These molds were chosen for their diversity and unique characteristics in order to broaden the reach of the study and the importance of its findings.
The project involved shooting parts from these three molds while using laser-based instrumentation, precision timepieces, and machine readings to document the key variables related to filling, packing, cooling, and warping, including temperatures, time, clamp forces, pressures, and flow rates. Experiments related to short shots, gate imbalances, gate freeze, weld lines, structural weakness, filling evolution, and strip-mold ejection issues were also conducted.
The findings of these physical experiments were then compared to the results predicted by SOLIDWORKS Plastics mold-filling simulations, using parameters set to match the specific injection-molding machine used. This comparison showed a close correlation—within ±10 percent—between simulation and actual results. These findings validate the efficacy of using SOLIDWORKS Plastics mold-filling simulation software for streamlining and accelerating injection-molded part and tooling development.
To get a complete look at the project’s findings, read this white paper and learn how accurate SOLIDWORKS Plastics mold-filling simulation gives you the tools to design your plastic parts right the first time, every time.