Enhancing the Benefits of Multi-Component Molding Analysis

Automatically generating surface and solid meshes of a part, part insert and mold base calls for a simulation tool for over-molding and insert molding along with a robust pre-processor.

Multi-component molding helps produce complex parts by combining several components inside the mold, eliminates the need for post-molding assembly, bonding or welding, reduces overall manufacturing costs, promotes design flexibility and improves part aesthetics, value, quality and function.

Here, Moldex3D explains how non-matching mesh technology has been extended to support the automatic creation of non-matching mesh connections between the part and the part insert/mold base, which eliminates hours of manual effort spent on matching mesh interfaces.

The first component is a part insert that is pre-placed in the cavity to be over-molded by the polymer melt. This insert can be plastic (over-molding) or metal (insert molding). The key is preparing a good mesh model that incorporates the part insert, which can be challenging when accurate analysis results need to be attained simultaneously.  The solution is a simulation tool for over-molding and insert molding along with a robust pre-processor to automatically generate surface and solid meshes of the part, part insert and mold base.

Previous versions of the simulation tool from Moldex3D support non-matching mesh topology at the contact faces between the part and the part insert. Its analysis could have continuous results across the non-matching mesh boundary, which reducees the time and effort for completing the mesh preparation without bothering to match the mesh elements. This latest version extends the functionality of the non-matching feature by allowing users to generate a solid mold base for the model with a non-matching part and part insert.

Figures 1 and 2 show an example of generating a solid mold base using the non-matching feature for an over-molding model. Both the part and part insert materials were PC+ABS, and the melt temperature, mold temperature and initial part insert temperature were 265 °C, 75 °C, and 30 °C, respectively.

The results from matching the mesh model were used as the reference for the non-matching mesh model. The temperature profile and the Z-displacement were evaluated. The simulation result of the non-matching mesh model is similar to the result from the matching mesh model, indicating that the solid mold base in a non-matching mesh model can work well.

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