Hsinchu, Taiwan — January 5, 2024 — The effective development of components increasingly relies on simulation technology. Allocating resources to precise early design simulations can reduce the need for iteration cycles in the prototype stage, simplifying the overall mold design validation process and saving significant costs. To showcase the outstanding application of simulation technology in this field, Moldex3D recently joined forces with Shin-Etsu Silicones of America, M.R. Mold & Engineering, and SIMPATEC, to collaboratively address and understand the complex challenges of Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) molding.
This collaborative research, based on the optical LSR grade provided by Shin-Etsu, focuses on mold, injection, and curing defects. The strategic design of the demonstrative mold, featuring four cavities with two facing upwards and two facing downwards, highlights the subtle impact of gravity in LSR molding.
Challenges and Solutions:
Flash, Jetting, and Imbalanced Filling: The team utilized Moldex3D’s Design of Experiments (DOE) functionality to simulate 20-30 different gate positions, determining the optimal design parameters and providing preventative solutions to these challenges.
- Curing: Simulation was employed to assess cycle time, preventing the occurrence of delayed curing areas and ensuring complete solidification of the parts.
- Air trap and Jetting: Early inspection through simulation of gate positions, sizes, melt viscosity, filling time, etc., was conducted to avoid air entrapment and later-stage jetting problems.
- Imbalanced Filling: Simulation was used to find the optimal filling speed and direction, mitigating the gravitational impact on the bottom two cavities and ensuring balanced molding.
Figure 1 – Air Trap
Figure 2 – Imbalanced Filling
This collaborative project not only underscores the importance of simulation technology in LSR molding but also emphasizes Moldex3D’s commitment to collaborating with industry-leading companies. Conducting simulations before mold construction allows for the anticipation and effective resolution of molding challenges, providing the industry with more efficient solutions.