Tag: core shift

Using Aluminum for Injection Molds?

By Bozilla
July 14, 2022

Aluminum tooling has significant benefits when compared to steel tooling because of the cost of aluminum as well as the ease of manufacturing Aluminum tools can be cut much quicker than steel saving a lot of time and money These benefits can result in shorter cycle times and price-per-part savings However, there are some drawbacks of aluminum such as being a softer metal which can cause mold deflection and also having a fatigue limit which can be catastrophic In order to better understand the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing aluminum for injection molds we will take a closer look at the properties of both aluminum and steel

Let’s compare the properties of aluminum to steel

Table of Aluminum v Steel properties

aluminum v steel table

The above table compares the properties of aluminum and steel Based on this table, we can determine the following

Density:                                  Aluminum is 279 times less dense than Steel

Hardness:                               Aluminum is much softer than steel

Thermal Conductivity:          Aluminum is 655 times more conductive than Steel

Thermal Diffusivity:              Aluminum has 79 times the thermal diffusivity than Steel

Yield Strength:                      Aluminum has almost half of the yield strength of Steel

Poissons Ratio:                      Aluminum deforms more than Steel

 Advantages of Using Aluminum for Injection Molds

 Now that we’ve compared aluminum to steel, we can take a look at the advantages of using aluminum for injection molds based on the above properties


 Aluminum is 279 times less dense than steel resulting in a lighter end product As the cost of shipping is increasing dramatically, the weight of any product will have a direct impact on shipping costs and must be kept low as possible


The softer aluminum reduces machining hours and wear and tear on machining components

Thermal Conductivity and Diffusivity:

Thermal conductivity and diffusivity is extremely important in injection molding as it directly impacts the cycle time Aluminum is 655 times more conductive and 799 times the diffusivity of steel which results in a significant reduction in cycle time, faster start-up times, reduction in response times to process temperature changes, and mold change times

The faster thermal recovery of aluminum also modulates the cyclic ‘highs-and lows’ of the tool temperature during processing As the melt is injected into the mold, the heat must be removed as quickly as possible Aluminum is able to process the heat out of the tool much faster than steel resulting in a more stable mold temperature and thus a more stable process

Disadvantages of Using Aluminum for Injection Molds

Poissons Ratio:

The Poissons Ratio of Aluminum is 033 and Steel

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Creating a Virtual Plastics Injection Molding Window

By Bozilla
April 27, 2022

Since the inception of plastic injection molding, creating a robust injection molding process has always been a challenge As time has progressed, the design of plastic parts has become more detailed and intricate, the tolerances have become tighter and the boundaries of injection molding standards are being pushed to their limits The combination of each one of these factors is making it more and more difficult to create and maintain a robust molding process

Initially, it wasn’t difficult to design a basic injection molding window that would result in a robust molding process However, with the advent of increasingly demanding factors it has become more difficult to design a process molding window that is large enough to be robust and create consistently good parts As a matter of fact, not only is it difficult to create a wide process molding window, it’s nearly impossible to create a suitable molding window- Period We will discuss how and why it is necessary to first create a virtual injection molding window and how that data can be translated to the floor in order to have the best injection molding window possible

Let’s begin with understanding what a molding window (or process window) is Typically, a molding window is comprised of three major factors: Fill time (or fill speed), Mold Temperature and Melt Temperature Each of these factors has the greatest impact on the injection molding process

Graphs below will illustrate the impact of each

The influence of each factor:

  • Fill Time (fill speed): As fill speed decreases, the material moves into and through the cavity slowly which allows the cooling effects of the tool steel to have more time to influence and cool the temperature of the plastic resulting in a higher viscosity response and a greater pressure to fill the cavity Conversely, as the fill speed increases, the material will shear thin (the viscosity will decrease) significantly, but ultimately the plastic will resist filling the cavity and require a greater pressure to fill the cavity Somewhere between filling extremely slow and filling extremely fast is a sweet spot that requires low pressure to fill the cavity If plotted out in a graph, it will be a u-shaped curve where the lowest point is typically a good fill speed

molding window pressure

  • Mold Temperature: The mold temperature is highly influential with regards to having the material fill the cavity The thickness of the part relative to the flow length is an important relationship with regards to the impact of the mold
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The Reality of Core Shift- Is this happening to You?

By Bozilla
March 23, 2022

Core shift is not always obvious or suspected Recently, Bozilla Corporation was called upon to investigate a part that was warping differently and more than expected The customer had a flow simulation conducted by a third party and the warpage results did not match the actual part data Sometimes part warpage does not match the flow simulation and in many cases, it is easily explained However, after a quick investigation, the underlying cause of the excessive deflection was not easily understood It was time for our Team to troubleshoot

(The animations and images presented in this article do not represent the Customers actual part file and is just an example of how core deflection occurs)

Core deflection fill time graph

To begin the investigation, we compared the floor process to the simulation, which is standard operating procedure They matched fairly well They are never a perfect match but were very close We then looked at the part data and tool design then compared it to the data utilized in the flow analysis The data matched This was good news because through process of elimination, we were nearing the target

We then began taking a closer look at the part along with the flow simulation results We noticed that there were long features extending from the core side of the tool that the polymer had to flow around and down The features were thin so they did not have cooling in them therefore it was suspected that these long cores were heating up excessively causing the polymer to stress relieve and therefore warp However, the simulation software accounted for this to some degree and we did not see a trend that suggested the hot core feature was contributing to additional deflection

Having a long history with examining many polymers and how they behave in varying geometries caused us to take a closer look at the differential pressure within the cavity as it flowed around and along the long core features We discovered a significant pressure differential that occurred on either side of the core We also learned that the polymer did not freeze uniformly around that core during the 2nd stage pack process Having differential pressure and non-uniform freezing threw up a few flags

Core shift pressure graph

We had to investigate the impact of the differential pressure and non-uniform freezing on these features We knew it was time for a core-deflection analysis The customer was fairly confident that the P-20 tool steel was robust enough to

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