Zahoransky Formenbau GmbH, the mold-maker in Freiburg, Germany, has delivered what it claims is the world's first seven-component mold ever built: a toothbrush mold for M+C Schiffer GmbH in Neustadt/Weid, Germany.
The 16-cavity injection mold has two injection stations and one loading and removal station, located outside the mold. Two different materials get processed in the same color in the first station, while two different thermoplastic elastomers are used in the second station. One TPE material is injected in four different colors — but the seven-component Zohoransky mold allows Schiffer to make the toothbrushes without time-consuming color changes.
Making the mold was a challenge, since seven injection units had to be connected to the mold in a tight space, Zahoransky officials said. Other factors included several material feeds, different processing temperatures of the various materials, and the close spacing between the nozzles at the same mold cavity.
Schiffer molds the toothbrushes on a six-component Engel injection press.
Mold-Masters supplied the hot runner technology, including a special two-part soldered runner. Instead of only having straight channels, these runners have as many as three melt levels, with gentle curves and turns. The setup allows two or more melt flow-ways to be integrated into a single runner. The design also allows six and more materials and colors in a single runner.
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