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Polymer Processing

Plastics
Rubber
Thermoplastics Elastomers
Fibers

Plastics

Plastics Processing

Conversion of a plastic materials in to finally finished products is termed


plastics processing.
Depends on melt flow behaviour and thermal properties of materials.
Three steps are involved in converting plastics granules/power in to the
required shapes.
1. Pre processing
a) Compounding of additives with different formulation
b) drying
2. Primary processing
3. Post processing
a) welding
b) Joining and Machining
c) Decoration of products by printing
d) Surface treatment
e) Thermoforming
f) Biaxially oriented film.

Plastics Processing
Plastics Processing involves 3 key stages:
1. Heating to liquid state
T > Tm or Tg (amorphous polymers).
2. Forming to required shape under pressure
p up to 108 Pa (1
(1 kbar)

3. Cooling to solidify
Generally quenchedquenched-in nonequilibrium structure
(chain orientation, orientation and fraction of
crystallities, ....)

Aim : Correct shape + property enhancing microstructure


Heating
Shaping
Cooling

Polymer processing

There are a variety of different


processing methods used to
convert resins into finished
products. Some include:

THERMOPLASTICS

Extrusion
Injection moulding
Blow Moulding
Rotational Molding

THERMOSET
1.Resin Transfer Moulding
2.Pultrusion
3.SMC / DMC Moulding
4.Compression Moulding
5.GRP Moulding
6.RIM
7.Foam Production

Polymer processing

There are a variety of different


processing methods used to
convert resins into finished
products. Some include:

Extrusion

Profile and Sheet extrusion


Pipe extrusion
Cast film extrusion
Blown film extrusion

Polymer processing

There are a variety of different processing


methods used to convert resins into
finished products. Some include:

Injection Moulding
Common Injection
Moulding
Insert Moulding
Gas Assisted Injection
Moulding
Structural Foam Moulding
Reaction Injection Moulding
Injection Blow Moulding

Polymer processing

There are a variety of different


processing methods used to convert
resins into finished products. Some
include:

Blow Moulding
Injection Blow
Moulding
Extrusion Blow
Moulding
Stretch Blow
Moulding

Polymer processing

There are a variety of different


processing methods used to
convert resins into finished
products. Some include:

Thermo forming
Vacuum Forming
Pressure forming

Thermoforming

Thermoforming is a method of manufacturing


custom plastic enclosures by preheating a flat
sheet of plastic and bringing it into contact
with a mold whose shape it takes
takes.. This can be
done by vacuum
vacuum,, pressure and or direct
mechanical force
force..

Pressure Forming

Pressure forming involved forcing a hot plastic


sheet against a mold by introducing
compresses air to the sheet's outer side
side..

Vacuum Forming

It involves the automatic draping of a heatheatsoftened plastic sheet over a female or male
mold.

Injection Moulding

Plunger type
The main problem with a straightforward
plunger arrangement was that no melt mixing
or homogenisation could be readily imparted
to the thermoplastic material

Injection Moulding
Reciprocating screw injection moulding unit

Injection Moulding
Injection Moulding Process
1. Screw Plasticating
2. Moulding

Injection Moulding
Material is introduced into the injection
moulding machine via a Hopper
Hopper.. The
injection moulding machine consists of a
heated barrel equipped with a reciprocating
screw (driven by a hydraulic or electric
motor), which feeds the molten polymer
into a temperature controlled split mould
via a channel system of gates and runners
runners..
The screw melts (plasticizes) the polymer,
and also acts as a ram during the injection
phase.. The screw action also provides
phase
additional heating by virtue of the shearing
action on the polymer
polymer..
The polymer is injected into a mould tool
that defines the shape of the molded part
part..

PLASTICATING

Plasticating refers to
conversion of plastic
granuals to flow
flow--able
melt.. It happens inside
melt
the
screw
barrel
assembly
of
the
injection unit in the
Injection
Moulding
Machine..
Machine

PLASTICATING-- How?
PLASTICATING

The plastic granules move inside the screw channel when screw is rotated.

The screw has three sections. FEED ZONE, COMPRESSION ZONE and
METERING ZONE.

In the compression zone the material is gradually compressed. It therefore


rubs against the barrel wall. This sets up shearing forces on the material.

Plastic material under shear changes its viscosity. This is SHEAR


THINING characteristic of plastics.

Melt is then homogenised in metering zone. At the tip of the screw, nonnonreturn valve is fitted. It allows the melt to flow ahead through this valve
while screw is rotated.

Non return valve does not allow the melt to slip back through it to the
screw channel.

Feed Zone
The Feed zone flights are long and designed to
move the material along the barrel as quickly
as possible. As they move along, the granules
are heated by friction (from the movement of
the screw inside the barrel and from the
movement of the granules themselves) and by
the inside of the barrel against which the
granules are forced by movement of the flight

Compression Zone
In the Compression zone the flights become
shorter and the plastic granules are further
heated and compressed, removing any air
pockets. The plastic is melted by now and
becomes thoroughly mixed or homogenized by
the continuing movement of the screw.

Metering zone
The Metering zone contains the shortest
flights, which are designed to pump the plastic
or melt, through the injection/extrusion die
die..

Screw

The characteristics of the screw are crucial indetermining the


type and size of product that can be produced on an Injection
Moulding Machine.

One of the most important factors is the ratio between the


length and the diameter, or the L/D ratio.

22:1 or higher (meaning that the screw is 22 times the length


22:
of the diameter) improves the mix of the melt and the quality
of the product.
Generally speaking for high quality products such as
engineering components, a L/D ratio of 22
22::1 or higher is
needed. 20
20::1 is suitable for medium quality products like
garden furniture and 18
18::1 would typically be used for low
quality items such as disposable packaging or cheap childrens
toys.

Terms in Injection moulding

Short Weight: The Shot Weight of a machine is


defined as the weight of plastic produced at the
nozzle in a normal cycle (without a mould) in PS
(specific gravity 1.05
05).
).
INJECTION PRESSURE
This is the pressure in the barrel at the point of
injection, expressed in kg/cm2
kg/cm2 or kbar
kbar.. A higher
L/D ratio produces greater Injection Pressure
Pressure..
The greater the Injection Pressure the better the the
better the quality of product produced.

Terms in Injection moulding

INJECTION STROKE
The distance that the screw travels during an
injection stroke, up to 4 * diameter.
INJECTION VOLUME
Theoretically, the injection volume is the
length of the injection stroke multiplied by the
cross sectional area of the screw.
only around 90
90%
% of that Injection Volume gets
injected.

INJECTION SPEED
INJECTION RATE :This is the volume of
melt produced by the screw, expressed in cm3
cm3
per second.
SCREW ROTARY SPEED

CLAMP FORCE
The melt is injected into the mould under very
great pressure, which the mould halves, and any
other components or cores, must be able to resist
in order to maintain their shape and to avoid any
seepage. The larger a component is, the greater
the pressure and so, the greater the Clamp Force
required.

MOULD OPENING STROKE


This is the distance that the moving mould half
moves from mould closed to mould open.
MOULD HEIGHT
This should be called Mould Thickness,

Moulding
Moulding refers to shaping of plastic
melt inside the mould.

INJECTION MOULDING MACHINE FOR PREFORMS 1987 HUSKY XL


225 P

THREE BALANCING TRICKS

I can summarize the successful and


consistent moulding to three balancing
tricks;
Flow balancing part geometry dependent.
Heat balancing in one cycle timetime- dependent
on design of cooling in the mould and
cooling water supply system.
Uniform freezing of melt in the mould.
Dependent on cooling design and supply
system.
Any unbalancing on the above three
balances will result in moulded
moulded--in stress.
This is the biggest culprit for over 50
50%
% part
failure

Applications of Injection moulded


parts

Power-tool housing
Telephone handsets
Television Cabinets
Electrical Switches
DVDs
Automotive bumpers
Automotive dash boards
Battery Casings
Syringes
Drug Inhalation Units
Disposable razors
Washing-up bowls
Wheelie binsCrates/
Recycling boxes
Bottle Lids/closures

Types of Injection Moulding

Multi-shot (or 2K moulding) (where different


Multimaterials are injected into the same mould),
Insert moulding (where metal components
are incorporated).
Structural
St
ructural foam moulding (where the
material is foamed to reduce density)
Gas assisted moulding (where gas is in
corporated to reduce wall thickness).

Insert Moulding
Insert moulding
ABS, PA, PC, GPPS,PP

Structural Foam
Moulding

Structural Foam is a term commonly used to


describe thermoplastic injection moulding
components made by the injection moulding
process which have a cellular core.

Gas Assisted Moulding

The main two types of Gas Assisted Moulding are


Either inject the gas into the component cavity
(internal gas injection),
Or to use the gas on the outside surface, but still
within the mould cavity, to consolidate the
component (external gas injection).
Internal Gas Injection - Most widely used process
External Gas Injection - used for enhanced surface
definition

Gas Assisted Moulding

Automotive Bumper
Dash Panel

External Gas Assisted


Moulding Applications:

Flat panels for office equipment.


Computer enclosures.
Furniture, i.e. tabletops.
Automotive panels.
Domestic appliances

EXTRUSION

The extrusion process

Introduction
Extrusion: (Greek) push out
Pump supplies a continuous stream of material to a
shaping tool or to some other subsequent shaping
process.
Materials
plastics
metals (Al window frames
spaghetti and other noodles
toothpaste
Extrusion useful for shaping parts with extruder dies
Extrusion is basis for injection molding and blow
molding

The extrusion process


Plastic granulate is supplied via the feed hopper to the
extruder

Homogenous melted material from thermoplastic


granulate under high pressure in an extruder (screw
press) or coco-extruder

Shaping of the molten mass to a continuous web by


means of flat sheet dies

Calibration of the emerging material to the desired


thickness using a 3-roller flattening calender

TensionTension-free cooling of the web to ambient temperature

Cutting to required width and length and subsequent


stacking on pallets

Extrusion
Extruder Equipment
Exit zonezone- die
die imparts shape on the material, e.g., rod, tube, sheet, channel
exit material is called extrudate
extrudate swells at end of die due to normal forces from the
polymer flow, called die swell

Cooling zone
water bath or air cooled to lower the temperature below Tg

Auxiliary equipment
puller
rollers for proper thickness
Wind
Wind--up or cut off

Single screw extruder

Extruder Types

Single screw

Most common
A screw rotates in a cylinder and creates a pumping
action.

Twin Screw
Twin screws have more positive pumping action
than single screws and can be used for higher
output.
Co
Co--Rotating Twin Screw: popular for compounding
Counter
Counter-- rotating Twin Screw Extruders

Extrusion
Principle
Continuously shaping a fluid polymer through an orifice of a suitable
tool (die), and subsequently solidifying into a product.

Equipment
Single screw extruder consists of
Screw, barrel, feed hopper, and die

Common extruders are rated by barrel bore diameter (0.75 to 6)


Plastics extruders can be 24 diameter and 48 ft in length
Electric heaters for barrels and Air (or water bath) coolers for
extrudate
Screw is matched to material produced
Simple screw has flights and decreasing gaps along channel
Screw Aspect (L/D) ratio = screw length to screw diameter (range
20-30)
Venting zone for gases that evolve during processing
Twin screw- used for shear sensitive materials (e.g., PVC)

Plastic Extrusion
Sheet Extrusion
Profile Extrusion
Pipe extrusion
CoCo-extrusion
Blown Film Extrusion
Cast Film Extrusion

Foam Extrusion
Pultrusion
Calendering

1 Drive unit

2 Barrel inlet

3 Temperatue
control

4 Feed hopper
and
dosing
unit

5 Vacuum
venting

6 Barrel

7 Screws

Single screw extruder

1 Drive unit

Powerful, lowlow-noise gearbox, with hardened and ground


gear wheels in a cast housing with oil immersion lubrication. Direct drive
by means of clutch, with either AC or DC technology.

EXTRUDER
Extruder

Extruder basebase- used to isolate extruder and to reduce vibrations


Drive motormotor- turns the screw and provides power for operation.
Extruder power capacitycapacity- key characteristic on extruder
Power increases as
polymer output increases
barrel diameter increases
screw length increases
requirements for high output at high polymer temperature
Thrust bearing is mounted on the screw near where the screw
attaches to the linkage. It prevents the screw from moving
backwards and absorbs the thrust of the screw as it turn against
the resistance of the resin.

L\D ratioratio5-34
Maximum 20 for elastomers
More than 20 for thermoplastics.

Hopper

Barrel

Screw
Extruder screw
Function
conveying resin through extruder
imparting mechanical energy to melt the polymer
mixing ingredients together
building pressure to push resin through die
Type
Single screw
Twin
Twin--screw
Length/diameter (L/D) ratio: Length of flighted portion of the

screw to the inside diameter of the barrel. L/D is a measure


of the capability of the screw to mix and melt materials. High
L/D ratios indicate good mixing and melting capabilities, e.g.
32::1
32

Sheet Extrusion
Sheet extrusion is a technique for making
flat plastic sheets from a variety of resins

Sheet Extrusion
Applications
Within the building and construction industries, sheet
extrusion is used for a variety of applications. One of the
main uses of extruded PS sheet is for thermal insulation
materials for walls, roofs, and under floors.
In the automotive industry, sheet is currently used to
produce interior trim, panels, and dashboards.
Foamed polyolefin sheet, both crosscross-linked and nonnoncross--linked, is also used in automotive applications.
cross
There are a number of other applications where
thermoformed sheet plays a significant role. These
include the manufacturing of luggage, refrigerator liners,
and shower units.

Profile/Pipe Extrusion
This process is used to manufacture plastic products with a
continuous crosscross-section such as; drinking straws, plastic Pipes and
profiles.

Blown Film Extrusion (Film Blowing)

Blown film extrusion is the process by which most commodity and


specialized plastic films are made for the packaging industry. The
film blowing process basically to form a thin tubular product that can
be used directly, or slit to form a flat film.

Blown film process

Plastic melt is extruded


through an annular slit die.
Air is introduced via a hole in
the centre of the die to blow up
the tube like a balloon.
Mounted on top of the die, a
high--speed air ring blows onto
high
the hot film to cool it.
The tube of film then continues
upwards, continually cooling,
until it passes through nip rolls
where the tube is flattened to
create what is known as a '
lay--flat' tube of film.
lay
Air inside the bubble is also
exchanged. This is known as
IBS (Internal Bubble Cooling).

Cast Film Extrusion


In a cast film extrusion process, a thin film
is extruded through a slit onto a chilled,
highly polished turning roll, where it is
quenched from one side

Blow Moulding

Blow moulding is used to create hollow enclosed


components and there are two basic types of
technology
extrusion blow moulding and injection blow
moulding and stretch blow moulding.
In extrusion blow moulding a parison or tube is
produced by extrusion. A mould is then closed
around the parison and the product is blown into
the shape of the mould with compressed air.

Extrusion Blow moulding Process

The blow moulding machine is based on a standard extruder


barrel and screw assembly to plasticise the polymer. The
molten polymer is led through a right angle and through a die
to emerge as a hollow (usually circular) pipe section called a
parison.

When the parison has reached a sufficient length a hollow


mould is closed around it. The mould mates closely at its
bottom edge thus forming a seal. The parison is cut at the top
by a knife prior to the mould being moved sideways to a
second position where air is blown into the parison to inflate it
to the shape of the mould.

After a cooling period the mould is opened and the final article
is ejected.To speed production several identical moulds may
be fed in cycle by the same extruder unit.

The process is similar to injection moulding and extrusion.


1. The plastic is fed in granular form into a 'hopper' that stores it.
2. A large thread is turned by a motor which feeds the granules
through a heated section.
3. In this heated section the granules melt and become a liquid and
the liquid is fed into a accumulator.
From accumulator melt is pushed to form parison throuh the
die in to the mould.
4. Air is forced into the mould which forces the plastic to the sides,
giving the shape of the bottle.
5. The mould is then cooled and is removed.

Injection blow moulding

In injection blow moulding two moulds are used. A


mandrel or blowing stick is placed in the first mould,
and the thermoplastics material is then injected into
the mould flowing around the mandrel to create a
tube. This is then transferred to the second mould
where air is introduced to expand it to the shape of
the mould.
A variation on this method is stretch blow moulding
whereby the material is biaxially oriented to produce
stronger products. This method is particularly used
for the manufacture of PET bottles.

Applications

Bottles and containers


Automotive fuel tanks
Venting ducts
Watering cans
Boat fenders etc

Rotational Moulding
Rotational moulding is a process
used for producing hollow plastic
products.
Rotational moulding differs from
other processing methods in that the
heating, melting, shaping, and
cooling stages all occur after the
polymer is placed in the mould,
therefore no external pressure is
applied during forming.

Rotational Moulding
This provides the following
advantages:
Economically produced large
products
Minimum design constraints
StressStress-free products
No polymer weld lines
Comparatively low mould costs

The Process 4 Stages

Charging Mould
A prepre-determined amount of polymer powder is placed in
the mould. With the powder loaded, the mould is closed, locked and
loaded into the oven. The powder can be prepre-compounded to the desired
colour..
colour
Heating & Fusion
Once inside the oven, the mould is rotated around two axis, tumbling the
powder the process is not a centrifugal one. The speed of rotation is
relatively slow, less than 20 rev/min. The ovens are heated by convection,
conduction and, in some cases, radiation. As the mould becomes hotter
the powder begins to melt and stick to the inner walls of the mould. As the
powder melts, it gradually builds up an even coating over the entire
surface.
Cooling
When the melt has been consolidated to the desired level, the mould is
cooled either by air, water or a combination of both. The polymer solidifies
to the desired shape.
Unloading/Demoulding
Unloading/
Demoulding
When the polymer has cooled sufficiently to retain its shape and be easily
handled, the mould is opened and the product removed. At this point
powder can once again be placed in the mould and the cycle repeated.