The Feasibility of an Internal Gas-Assisted Heating Method for Improving the Melt Filling Ability of Polyamide 6 Thermoplastic Composites in a Thin Wall Injection Molding Process
In thin wall injection molding, the filling of plastic material into the cavity will be restricted by the frozen layer due to the quick cooling of the hot melt when it contacts with the lower temperature surface of the cavity. This problem is heightened in composite material, which has a higher viscosity than pure plastic. In this paper, to reduce the frozen layer as well as improve the filling ability of polyamide 6 reinforced with 30 wt.% glass fiber (PA6/GF30%) in the thin wall injection
... wall injection molding process, a preheating step with the internal gas heating method was applied to heat the cavity surface to a high temperature, and then, the filling step was commenced. In this study, the filling ability of PA6/GF30% was studied with a melt flow thickness varying from 0.1 to 0.5 mm. To improve the filling ability, the mold temperature control technique was applied. In this study, an internal gas-assisted mold temperature control (In-GMTC) using different levels of mold insert thickness and gas temperatures to achieve rapid mold surface temperature control was established. The heating process was observed using an infrared camera and estimated by the temperature distribution and the heating rate. Then, the In-GMTC was employed to produce a thin product by an injection molding process with the In-GMTC system. The simulation results show that with agas temperature of 300 °C, the cavity surface could be heated under a heating rate that varied from 23.5 to 24.5 °C/s in the first 2 s. Then, the heating rate decreased. After the heating process was completed, the cavity temperature was varied from 83.8 to about 164.5 °C. In-GMTC was also used for the injection molding process with a part thickness that varied from 0.1 to 0.5 mm. The results show that with In-GMTC, the filling ability of composite material clearly increased from 2.8 to 18.6 mm with a flow thickness of 0.1 mm.