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Mold Flow Analysis: What Is It And Complete Details?

In a manufacturing process, errors may happen. However, these are unacceptable, and therefore, to ensure precision in the smallest of details, you need to prepare. This preparation can be supported by using technology such as mold flow analysis. It is the answer to all your woes.

This article will dive into the mold flow analysis procedure in detail. We will also talk about its benefits, challenges, and the process involved. 

What is Mold Flow Analysis?

What is Mold Flow Analysis

Mold flow analysis (MFA) involves computer software that helps in knowing how the mold will flow and eventually fit into the mold. This, in fact, is a method that helps all injection mold engineers ensure that the products are manufactured without any errors. 

However, if an error is spotted, they can rectify it by doing what is necessary, such as repositioning the gates or planning the right place for knit lines to appear. Not only this, the analysis helps in selecting the material, as every mold fills in differently with every resin. 

Other things that come forth with mold flow analysis include how resin flow will vary at different temperatures and pressures. For example, when the resin material cools down, it hardens up, and this increases the gate pressure. In other words, when the pressure is high, it is difficult to fill the mold. 

To fix this, you should look for more things, such as weak connections between the plastic, extra bits of plastic called flash, areas where the plastic sinks in too much, and places where the plastic doesn’t reach properly. MFA tells the engineers about all these problems so that they can fix them beforehand. 

A few parameters that can be understood with mold flow analysis include:

  • Mold sizing
  • Warpage expectation
  • Flow-induced shear stress
  • Processing conditions and more

How to Do Mold Flow Analysis

How to Do Mold Flow Analysis

The pre-preparation

Know the process

Before you begin the analysis, it is extremely important to understand the process you will be using it for. For instance, if you are conducting it for injection molding, then you must know about the cooling time, temperature settings, and more. Not knowing the process will be bad as you won’t be able to interpret the results of the analysis.

Choose a software

Now, pick a computer program. A few software options are SOLIDWORKS Plastics, Autodesk Moldflow, NX UNIGRAPHICS, and Moldex3D. These provide robust simulation apart from a comprehensive suite of examination tools. 

Import the design file

After making the selection, it’s time to import the design file into the program. Look carefully for errors and other such flaws in it. 

The Main Process

Mesh the design

To proceed, break the design into small blocks. This is called meshing the design. The mesh showcases the complicated design of the mold.

Run the analysis

Decide the parameters for analysis. Primarily, these should include the type of material based on properties, injection condition, coloring time, gate position, and also the holding pressure. Start the examination and keep checking for the progress. It might take some time, stay patient. The more complex the design, the more time it will take for the analysis. 

Read the results

Once the analysis is completed, a color-coded report will be generated. Here’s what it contains:

Mold Flow Analysis

Know more about Mold Flow Report

How To Improve Mold Design Based on the Mold Flow?

The data shared by the software would minimize the defects while executing the actual process. Here are some tips on how you can improve the mold design based on the readings from the software:

  1. As some air is trapped in the mold, use a wider venting system or gate to vent it out.  
  2. Position cooling sections closer to the sections with high heat concentration or thick areas of the heatshield mold to ensure proper heat dissipation. 
  3. Opt for conformal cooling to ensure uniform cooling on the surface of the heatshield. This will reduce the sink marks on the surface. 
  4. Apply more pressure to the area where shrinkage is maximum. Alternatively, using a thick coating would be a viable option. However, it’s important to take care of cooling mechanisms on this part, too.  

How Can Mold Flow Data Be Utilized in Mold Making? 

As the next course of action, this data can be utilized for the following purposes which are as follows:

Minimizing Defects

As the engineers involved in injection molding know about the design’s complexity and possible outcomes, it would be easier to address the potential defects in the mold. In addition to this, the quality of the mold will be increased by a considerable factor. 

Improve Production Efficiency 

By minimizing the probability of errors during the design and manufacturing process, production efficiency and productivity can be boosted. 

Conclusion 

It can be concluded that Mold Flow Analysis can provide very useful insights into mold making. It can ensure that a perfect mold that can make rightly molded parts can be made. Which would eventually reduce rework, increase productivity, and minimize material wastage to a great extent. 

With precision-oriented automation tools, it is possible to manufacture a heat-resistant, rightly sized heat shield that could meet its purpose. 

Looking for reliable partners who could produce quality molds at affordable rates?

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