WARREN, MICH. (Dec. 8, 4:15 p.m. ET) — The push for lighter cars is prompting the North American auto industry to take a closer look at microcellular foaming in injection molded parts. But to get the most out of those parts, molders and carmakers alike need to plan for using the process from the start.
Planning for the right expansion rates, cooling needs, wall thicknesses, gating and venting requirements will mean improved weight and reduced cycle times, said Levi Kishbaugh, vice president of engineering for Trexel Inc. during a one-day workshop on using Trexel's MuCell process in Warren Dec. 6.
Check out this video of the workshop.
Proper Group International in Warren is home to a MuCell technical development center created in a joint agreement between Proper and Wilmington, Mass.-based Trexel.
The facility has MuCell production set up on two presses — a 3,000-ton press and an 1,100-ton press — which provides space for customers to try out production. Proper's engineers and toolmakers can also design and build prototype or production tooling specifically for use with the process.
To get the most out of production, molds need to take into account the differing fill rates when MuCell is added, tight sealing for valve gates and the right balance for hot runners, said Michael Tabbert, an engineer at Proper.