Technology for injection moulding ‘in-mould decoration’ gets dedicated simulation tools

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The melt front time comparison between the simulated and experimental results

Growing alongside the demand for injection moulding, a new plastics decoration technology In-mold Decoration (IMD) has been developed, combining printing and injection molding technologies.

The decoration while in the mould enables the injection molded parts to be resistant to friction, scratch and corrosion while possessing eye catching colours and aesthetics – making IMD prominent in the manufacturing of laptop shells, mobile phone panels, circuit boards, LCD panels and automotive dashboards.

The process isn’t without its pitfalls; with two common manufacturing issues of the IMD process are ink washout at filling stage and product warpage or distortion due to uneven cooling at cooling stage, it usually requires several design iterations to get things right.

The mold temperature distribution analysis of the IMD mold

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To solve the problems, Moldex3D has updated its latest software version to attain more accurate simulation results of the in-mold thin film temperature distribution, and then simulate the filling temperature and velocity vector field.

It also claims to predict ink washout based on the product’s geometric properties, by analysing the temperature field of IMD process, users will be able to attain a better understanding of the mould temperature changes, cooling and volumetric shrinkage behaviors.

According to these analysis results, users can then reduce product warpage and moulding defects, and furthermore optimise product designs.

Additionally, Moldex3D supports boundary condition options in pre-processing procedure. It enables users to efficiently and easily process the mesh layer of decorative pieces.


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