MOLD FLOW TEST DETAILS
Mold flow analysis provides customers with detailed insight into how their polymer compounds will perform in injection molding, extrusion, and other processing scenarios.
Mold flow analysis testing uses a specialized spider mold to assess the flow properties of a given compound. The mold goes into a heated molding press that instigates flow of the compound. Experts can then determine the flow rate of the compound by measuring the fill ratio of the spider cavity.
In some cases, a custom mold can be used for mold flow testing, providing that it fits into the press. This can be valuable for assessing the behavior of a compound within a specific mold and investigating other potential issues, such as weak spots or areas where flow is inhibited.
Mold flow analysis testing is primarily used as a benchmarking tool. Multiple different compounds can be subjected to the same mold flow analysis process, generating reliable data for side-by-side comparisons. This is valuable for:
- Choosing the best compound for a given application.
- Comparing competitive compounds.
- Research and development of new compounds.
Comparative data can be used to make confident decisions regarding material choice and development. If further analysis is desired, data collected during mold flow testing can be used to generate virtual simulations.
Mold Flow Simulation Technology
There are a number of software and other programs on the market that can produce virtual simulations of flow rate. A digital model of the mold is created, and the program runs a simulation to demonstrate how a given compound might flow through the mold. This gives manufacturers insight into:
- The rate and sequence of flow throughout the mold.
- Where potential weak spots may occur.
- Where to place entry points or gates for the compound.
- Potential bottlenecks.
These simulation programs are able to recreate the flow behavior of a given compound based on data collected in a controlled laboratory environment. Without accurate data points, the simulation model is little more than an educated guess. An experienced testing laboratory can collect and generate the data points needed to run a valuable simulation.
Mold Flow Insights from ACE Laboratories
The team at ACE Laboratories has years of hands-on, industry experience and a deep understanding of injection molding, extrusion, and other industrial processes. Our mold flow analysis techniques offer tremendous insight into flow rate and how a given compound may behave during the manufacturing process.
We also have significant experience designing and conducting benchmarking studies, so we generate the quality data you need to compare multiple compounds and make an informed decision about how to proceed.
To learn more about mold flow analysis and how we can help, talk to a member of our team >