Official: Lasers can produce better injection molded parts

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: May 15, 2014 11:43 am ET
Updated: May 15, 2014 11:46 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Injection Molding, Molds/Tooling, ANTEC, Injection molds, Process Controls & Software

LAS VEGAS — An IKV official from Germany said using lasers to heat specific areas of an injection mold quickly can produce better parts, especially those with optical properties or high gloss, and micromolded parts and thin parts with long flow lines.

Maximilian Schöngart is head of the department of part design and materials technology at IKV, the Institute for Plastics Processing in Aachen, Germany. He presented IKV’s research findings during an Antec presentation April 28.

He said the constant cold mold temperature used in injection molding, to cool down the molten plastic in the mold, is not good enough for some demanding parts because the melt solidifies on the outer part of the melt flow. That can make it hard to fill out a part.

Rapid, or pulsed, heating and cooling of a mold is already done by induction, using water, oil, steam and cartridge or ceramic heaters. RocTool and Single are two well-known brands.

Lasers use the same principle, but operate by heat radiation, Schöngart told his Antec audience. He calls it Vario Thermal temperature control.

Lasers can be installed into the mold cavity, but this requires a specially designed mold. It is possible to use a mold, with no modifications required, if you use an external robot to apply the laser radiation, according to Schöngart. The robot directs a diode laser and a high-speed laser scanner to target heat to the mold. At IKV in Aachen, the used a KraussMaffei press with a Wittmann robot to direct the laser device into the open mold.

Schöngart said high-strength lasers require special protection around the press, such as metal sheets and large protective windows.

The research in Germany showed that the rapid-cycling heating and cooling of a mold can turn out a polycarbonate part with no weld lines, in the area where flow paths come together. It also cuts cycle time. 


Comments

Official: Lasers can produce better injection molded parts

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: May 15, 2014 11:43 am ET
Updated: May 15, 2014 11:46 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Report: Suspected former Nazi with plastic connection collecting Social Security

October 20, 2014 3:52 pm ET

AKRON, OHIO — A one-time plastics executive in Akron is among dozens of suspected former Nazis who have been collecting U.S. Social Security...    More

Molder expands in France with new clean room

October 20, 2014 1:30 pm ET

Global Closure Systems (GCS), a global injection molding producer, showed off its new ISO 7 clean room at its Astra Plastique factory in France...    More

Molder goes to auction block

October 17, 2014 12:17 pm ET

An Illinois custom injection molding operation will be auctioned off after its owner decided to close the business.    More

Image

Hasco gets into augmented reality

October 17, 2014 6:00 am ET

Mold makers may be used to seeing cores and pins on the exhibition stand of a supplier — but not augmented reality that looks like it comes...    More

Image

Plastikon expanding in Kentucky

October 17, 2014 11:24 am ET

Automotive supplier Plastikon Industries Inc. plans to more than double the size of its production facility in Leitchfield, Ky.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events