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Hybrid mould instrumentation for plastic parts

Deboodt , Deboodt Bjorn ; Ferreira, L.F. ; G. Martinho, Pedro G. Martinho ; Ribeiro, C.

Hybrid mould instrumentation for plastic parts, Proc Rapid Product Development - RPD , Marinha Grande, Portugal, Vol. , pp. - , October, 2012.

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Abstract
In last years, the market of the plastics products has been having a vast evolution. The international competition and the technological progress leads to an industrial urge in order to find an economical and rapid way to produce new products. In this scope, new concepts of injection moulds, named hybrid moulds, have been developed to fulfil the new trends of the plastics industry. Hybrid moulds were developed as an alternative to produce small series of plastic parts and to reduce costs and the time-to-market. This recent mould solution involves the use of light non-metallic materials and rapid prototyping technologies. The moulding blocks, core or/and cavity, are manufactured using alternative metallic materials or synthetic ones, commonly resin composites. However, the mechanical and thermal strength of these alternative materials is much lower than conventional materials, as steel. Nevertheless, constructive comparisons between the con-ventional moulds and the hybrid moulds have be made.
In this paper information is presented on a study of a instrumented hybrid mould with moulding blocks pro-duced by Epoxy Resin based composite mounted in an existing conventional mould structure. Measurements of cavity pressure, contact temperature, temperature in different points in the mould, cooling water tempera-ture and strain were achieved to evaluate the mould performance. For the processing study a polypropylene homopolymer was used and a friendly process control program was developed in order to collect the data ob-tained from the instrumented mould, during the injection moulding cycle, in real time.