Innovative Research Sheds Light on Achieving High-Gloss Surface Finish Using Moldex3D

on 05/13/2024

Hsinchu, Taiwan — May 13, 2024 — Research conducted collaboratively by SimpaTec, Premec S.p.A., Toolax, and Contura MTC revealed how the team used Moldex3D to find out a cost-effective method to yield a high-gloss surface finish. In their study, they simulated the injection molding process under conventional thermal and variothermal control using the same injection mold with conformal cooling. In addition, two materials — PC+ABS and PA6-GF30 — were analyzed in this research.

In the Case of the PC+ABS Reference Part

Both variothermal control and conventional thermal control could produce an ideal piano-black finish. The reference part of the former was free of streaks, weld lines, and similar defects. This was because the temperature is still so high that the weld lines are less pronounced on the variothermally-controlled side of the part. In contrast, with conventional temperature control, the process may initially yield a streak-free finish, but visible weld lines still could be detected on closer inspection. Thus, a downstream coating process was required, potentially leading to an increase in overall cost and energy consumption.


Under conventional thermal control, weld lines could be observed (left), whereas they were absent in the variothermal variant (right). (Photo Credit: SimpaTec)

Particle tracking showed the temperature of the weld lines as they formed.
(Photo Credit: SimpaTec)


In the Case of the PA6-GF30 Reference Part

The team revealed that it was difficult for parts made from PA6 with 30% glass fiber to achieve a glossy fiber finish without any coating. They analyzed the maximum shear stresses at the end of the filling phase in the two variants. Under conventional thermal control, the gradients of the shear stress suggested a non-uniform part surface. On the other hand, the less-pronounced shear stress gradients in the variothermal simulation could result in a higher quality surface, and yet a downstream coating process might still be needed. With these findings, the team showed the feasibility of predicting the quality of the real part’s surface through the shear stress simulation.

The simulations of the shear stresses (bottom) and real parts made under conventional thermal control (top left)
and variothermal control (top right). (Photo Credit: SimpaTec)


The Use of Process Simulation Matters

The team used Moldex3D to analyze important data such as the shear stresses and the temperatures of the weld lines, making it possible to predict the quality of the surface finish at the early design stage and to estimate the cost and energy requirements. For a better interpretation of important processing parameters, making the most of process simulation counts and it also makes comparing different projects a lot easier.


About SimpaTec
The core philosophy of SimpaTec is their motor and at the same time an appeal to their clients: “Break your limits!”. With competence, experience, ambition and the use of the latest software technologies, SimpaTec mutually sets new standards in the holistic development and optimization of processes, components and tools. Due to their market position and international presence, the company is always informed about the latest results of research and development trends. No matter if you are working on design issues with CAD, dealing with process optimization or performing crash test analysis with implicit and explicit CAE applications, you will be supported by highly skilled and trained professionals on their sites worldwide. More information can be found at SimpaTec Website.

About CoreTech System (Moldex3D)
CoreTech System Co., Ltd. (Moldex3D) has been providing the professional CAE analysis solution “Moldex” series for the plastic injection molding industry since 1995, and the current product “Moldex3D” is marketed worldwide. Committed to providing advanced technologies and solutions to meet industrial demands, CoreTech System has extended its sales and service network to provide local, immediate, and professional service. CoreTech System presents innovative technology, which helps customers troubleshoot from product design to development, optimize design patterns, shorten time-to-market, and maximize product return on investment (ROI). More information can be found at Moldex3D Website.


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