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Mould design
- Sep 15, 2017 -

Mould design 1.

The mould consists of two primary components, the injection mould (A plate) and the ejector mould (B plate). These components are also referred to as moulder and mouldmaker. Plastic resin enters the mould through a sprue or gate in the injection mould; the sprue bushing is to seal tightly against the nozzle of the injection barrel of the moulding machine and to allow molten plastic to flow from the barrel into the mould, also known as the cavity.The sprue bushing directs the molten plastic to the cavity images through channels that are machined into the faces of the A and B plates. These channels allow plastic to run along them, so they are referred to as runners. The molten plastic flows through the runner and enters one or more specialised gates and into the cavity geometry to form the desired part.

The amount of resin required to fill the sprue, runner and cavities of a mould comprises a "shot". Trapped air in the mould can escape through air vents that are ground into the parting line of the mould, or around ejector pins and slides that are slightly smaller than the holes retaining them. If the trapped air is not allowed to escape, it is compressed by the pressure of the incoming material and squeezed into the corners of the cavity, where it prevents filling and can also cause other defects. The air can even become so compressed that it ignites and burns the surrounding plastic material.

To allow for removal of the moulded part from the mould, the mould features must not overhang one another in the direction that the mould opens, unless parts of the mould are designed to move from between such overhangs when the mould opens (using components called Lifters).

Sides of the part that appear parallel with the direction of draw (the axis of the cored position (hole) or insert is parallel to the up and down movement of the mould as it opens and closes) are typically angled slightly, called draft, to ease release of the part from the mould. Insufficient draft can cause deformation or damage. The draft required for mould release is primarily dependent on the depth of the cavity: the deeper the cavity, the more draft necessary. Shrinkage must also be taken into account when determining the draft required. If the skin is too thin, then the moulded part will tend to shrink onto the cores that form while cooling and cling to those cores, or the part may warp, twist, blister or crack when the cavity is pulled away.

A mould is usually designed so that the moulded part reliably remains on the ejector (B) side of the mould when it opens, and draws the runner and the sprue out of the (A) side along with the parts. The part then falls freely when ejected from the (B) side. Tunnel gates, also known as submarine or mould gates, are located below the parting line or mould surface. An opening is machined into the surface of the mould on the parting line. The moulded part is cut (by the mould) from the runner system on ejection from the mould. Ejector pins, also known as knockout pins, are circular pins placed in either half of the mould (usually the ejector half), which push the finished moulded product, or runner system out of a mould.The ejection of the article using pins, sleeves, strippers, etc. may cause undesirable impressions or distortion, so care must be taken when designing the mould.

The standard method of cooling is passing a coolant (usually water) through a series of holes drilled through the mould plates and connected by hoses to form a continuous pathway. The coolant absorbs heat from the mould (which has absorbed heat from the hot plastic) and keeps the mould at a proper temperature to solidify the plastic at the most efficient rate.

To ease maintenance and venting, cavities and cores are divided into pieces, called inserts, and sub-assemblies, also called insertsblocks, or chase blocks. By substituting interchangeable inserts, one mould may make several variations of the same part.