Warping and/or Warpage can be defined as a dimensional distortion in a molded product after it is ejected from the mold at the end of the injection molding process. Warping and/or Warpage is sometimes called ”potato-chipping” because the part tends to appear wavy.
Possible Causes & Remedies:
◇ INADEQUATE INJECTION PRESSURE OR TIME
Remedies: Increase the injection pressure or time applied. This will ensure the total part is cooling while constrained and the tendency for warpage will be minimized.
◇ INADEQUATE RESIDENCE TIME
Remedies: Increase the residence time by adding time to the cooling portion of the cycle. While increased cycle time may add cost to the final product, each material requires a specific minimum amount of time to absorb heat in the barrel, and if the time is not long enough warped parts will occur.
◇ BARREL TEMPERATURE TOO LOW
Remedies: Increase the barrel temperature. This will allow the material to come to proper heat and it will fill the mold before solidification takes place. The molecules will be packed and constrained as they cool, thus shrinking at uniform rates, minimizing the chance of warpage.
◇ NOZZLE TEMPERATURE TOO LOW
Remedies: Increase the nozzle temperature 10 degrees F at a time until the warpage disappears. If splay still appears, reduce the temperature of the nozzle, and make sure the nozzle being used is of the proper design for the material being molded. There are many different nozzle designs and some may interfere with proper flow if they are not designed for the material in use.
◇ EXCESSIVE STRESS BUILDUP
Remedies: Increase the barrel temperature and decrease injection pressure until the stress is minimized. It can never be eliminated but lower pressure will result in lower stress. And, higher barrel temperatures allow the use of lower injection pressures.
◇ SMALL GATES
Remedies: Optimize gate size and shape. The material supplier can provide data on proper sizing and shape, or use a computer finite element analysis program to help make the determination.
◇ MOLD TEMPERATURE TOO LOW
Remedies: Increase the mold temperature to the point at which the material has the proper flow and packs out the mold with maximum fill. Start with the material suppliers recommendations and adjust accordingly. Allow 10 cycles for every 10-degree change for the process to re-stabilize.
◇ UNEVEN MOLD TEMPERATURES
Remedies: Check the surfaces of the mold that are in contact with the molten plastic. Use a fast-acting pyrometer to determine if there is more than a 10 degree F difference between any two points, even between the two mold halves. A difference greater than 10 degrees F will cause too great a difference in shrink rates and warpage will occur.
◇ NON-UNIFORM EJECTION
Remedies: Inspect and adjust the ejection system(s) as required. Make sure all adjusting devices are locked down to eliminate slipping, and that all components are properly lubricated. It may be necessary to use a guided ejection system that utilizes leader pins and bushings to keep the system in line and even.
◇ IMPROPER FLOW RATE
Remedies: Utilize a material that has the stiffest flow possible without causing warpage. Contact the material supplier for help in deciding which flow rate should be used for a specific application.
◇ INCONSISTENT PROCESS CYCLE
Remedies: If possible, run the machine on the automatic cycle, using the operator only to interrupt the cycle if an emergency occurs. Use a robot if an ``operator'' is necessary. In addition, instruct all employees on the importance of maintaining consistent cycles.
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