Methods to Improve the Surface Quality of Microcellular Injection Molded Parts - A Review

Paper #:
  • 2016-36-0224

Published:
  • 2016-10-25
DOI:
  • 10.4271/2016-36-0224
Citation:
Lima, C., Andrade, F., Kawakami, C., Gonçalves, C. et al., "Methods to Improve the Surface Quality of Microcellular Injection Molded Parts - A Review," SAE Technical Paper 2016-36-0224, 2016.
Abstract:
The microcellular foam injection molding process is being widely applied by the thermoplastics industry. This process consists in a melted polymer injection mixed with a processing solvent, that is an inert gas in the supercritical state, usually CO2 or N2 producing a microcellular foam. This technique offers many advantages such as weight reduction, dimensional uniformization and less warpage. Besides that, it offers a satisfactory property like acoustic and thermal insulation. On the other hand, the parts from this process have an inferior mechanical property like ductility and toughness if compared with solid injection molded parts. Nevertheless, the main issue for this process is the poor appearance quality. This paper presents a review of some existing methods for surface quality improvement as Co-injection process, where a skin is injected over the microcellular part, and Heat & Cool that consists in a control of mold temperature. All the processes addressed were effective in the surface quality improvement. However, the produced parts through this method have a higher added value due some modifications done in the equipment.
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