Beaumont highlighted the following products and services at NPE:
1. Therma-floTM — The Therma-flo™ in-mold rheometer is a next-generation method developed by Beaumont Technologies for characterizing the injection moldability of a polymer melt. Unlike today’s extrusion-based melt characterization methods, Therma-flo duplicates both the hydrodynamic and thermodynamic conditions of the injection molding process by injecting a melt through a cooled mold channel using an injection molding machine. Polymer melt is injected through both circular and slit flow channels that have a variety of cross sectional sizes. Each channel’s temperature is controlled to a desired condition, where the flow rates, melt and channel temperatures replicate those found in a mold during normal injection molding processes. The non-isothermal flow environment creates the same diabatic conditions found in an injection mold where actual melt temperatures and frozen boundaries are a result of the thermal exchange between the melt and the mold.
Data can be provided in a variety of formats including traditional viscosity values. Real-world molding results can also provide data in easily-understood and more relevant units such as pressure-per-inch of flow at various thicknesses and flow rates for any tested material. Therma-floTM melt characterization is being adopted by Nexeo Solutions as an integral part of their new Scientific Material SelectionTM. Additionally, Therma-floTM data can be used to calculate a “Critical Velocity” for which a molder can use to optimize the injection molding process for a given material and part. Beaumont’s Critical Velocity is defined as the injection velocity in a mold where the bulk melt conditions are at a thermal equilibrium. This condition maximizes the processability of an injection molded part and material while minimizing the risks of defects due to thermal instability in the part.
2. New ISO 294/ASTM Integrated Molding Cell — Beaumont’s new ISO 294/ASTM integrated molding cell offers a higher level of process methodology, control and documentation that goes beyond the basic ISO/ASTM requirements for molding test specimens. Beaumont’s molding cell helps assure that molded test specimen are prepared to the highest standards where process dependent property variations are minimized. The work cell was established to help eliminate the ambiguity of process effects on the material properties that will be tested. The environmentally-controlled molding cell utilizes Beaumont’s specially designed and highly instrumented modular test mold. The quick change test mold provides a high level of rigidity and process feedback to a high speed data collection system. Process procedures include application of Beaumont’s Critical Velocity Model. All molded samples will be provided with process documentation and certification.
3. Official Moldflow® Training Consultants — Autodesk recently recruited Beaumont Technologies to be an official Moldflow® Training Consultant. In the near future, Beaumont Technologies will be holding on-site 3- and 5-day seminars that will encompass the varying functions this simulation software employs to track part and mold design, and part processing. Trainings will focus on different degrees of student knowledge (beginner, intermediary, and advanced).
4. Plastics Professional TrainingTM Series — Although Beaumont Technologies has prided itself on its previous two comprehensive trainings that it has brought to numerous companies over the years, Beaumont is excited to announce additional training seminars that are just recently being offered at Beaumont’s headquarters in Erie, Pa. Unlike other companies who only offer process training, Beaumont’s seminars focus on learning fundamental plastic flow principles, rheology, troubleshooting, and the design of parts and runner systems. With a newly-designed training facility, Beaumont offers its students access to computers with Moldflow® and Beaumont’s 5Step Process diagnostic software; and molding machines for in-house, hands-on lab sessions. Beaumont’s training room also offers state-of-the-art smart projection system with a write-on white wall.
5. 5Step Software — Beaumont introduced its 4th generation 5Step software, which is designed to tackle mold filling and part quality diagnostics. This updated version has added the following functions:
a. Three new runner layouts
b. The ability to enter other diagnostic data, such as a part dimensions and mold maintenance issues
c. A part weight reference for judging the percent of full being analyzed in the short shots
d. The ability to upload pictures of a mold and parts for easy reference
e. A new look to the diagnostic reports, including overall mold imbalance data
f. An improved procedure document further explaining the intricacies of doing a proper short shot analysis
g. A new user interface, with updated graphics
h. The feature to now print directly to a PDF document