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Content archived on 2024-06-10

The development of design and processing tools to promote gas injection moulding of plastics


Competitiveness is increasingly determined by the ability to reduce time to market, lower costs, improve production flexibility and minimize environmental impacts on an ongoing basis. Concerning the traditional sector of plastic processing, gas (assisted) injection moulding (GAIM) is a technology with a high added value. GAIM products are characterised by a regular solid outer wall and a hollow (gas filled) core. GAIM of plastics is an existing technique which offer great number of advantages e.g. l) greater freedom in design during moulded part lay-out, 2) higher productivity. and 3) savings of weight/material. Unfortunately, GAIM has only been implemented in the plastic moulding market to a very limited scale. The main cause is the knowledge gap concerning the design and processing of gas injection rnoulding of plastics, the (expensive) quality control and missing process control. Therefore, the objective of this project is to develop practical GAIM design and processing tools: I) GA1M design rules and processing conditions/criteria, 2) practical CAD and CAE tools; i.e. simulation programmes and 3) an ultrasonic in-mould measurernent system (US-IMM) which functions as closed loop process monitoring (quality) tool. The developed design and processing tools will be used (validated) on a series of selected cases (products) of the participating injection moulders. The expected achievements for the injection moulders (7 SMEs) are: I) an improvement of the productivity by at least 25 %, 2) lower processing costs by savings of raw materials (5 - 50%) and a lower energy consumption (5 - 20 %), and 3) an improved product quality (less waste). For the seven injection moulders, an average of 3 products each and a product cycle of 5 years the total potential benefits amounts 30 - 90 MECU. The consortium consists of suppliers of materials and technology: AIR (gas equipment), ENG (IM machinery) and GEP (engineering plastics). developers: KRA (US sensors and US equipment), TOH (moulds) and STF (US-IMM system), endusers: NOR, BEK, DPB, HOF, STF, WIS and MOL (all injection rnoulders) and the RTD-performers: TNO and IKV. The listed objectives of the proposed project directly refer to the priority areas: 1 1.1.S 1.1.2.S l.4.1.S 2.2.1.S and 2.3.2.S of the Brite-Eurarn III programme.

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Norplast Lamas BV
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1,Sontweg 1
9700 AN Groningen

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Participants (13)