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- PublicationEffect of gate design and cavity thickness on filling, morphology and mechanical properties of microinjection moldingsMiniaturized parts weighing up to tens of milligrams represent a large category of microinjection moulded products. Both miniaturization and extreme processing under microinjection moulding cause material to experience high shear rates and high cooling rates, and to have different morphology and final properties from conventional injection moulding. It also makes mould design quite challenging. This study investigates micro gate design (opening and thickness) and cavity thickness (100–500 μm) on filling, morphology and mechanical properties of Poly(ether-block-amide) miniaturized dumbbell parts. It is found that a reduction of gate size has two conflicting effects: increased shear heating increases flow length; increased cooling rate reduces flow length. Filling increases significantly with an increase of cavity thickness. In addition, skin ratio reduces from ∼70% to ∼10%, when part thickness increases from 100 μm to 500 μm. Such oriented skin layer determines molecular orientation and broadly influences Young’s modulus, elongation and yield stress. Natural aging at room temperature induces an increase of modulus and yield stress, and a decrease of strain at break. Mechanical properties of microinjection mouldings are significantly different from conventional injection mouldings and measurement at the microscale is required for successful miniaturized product design.
436Scopus© Citations 25
- PublicationThe use of variotherm systems for microinjection moldingMicroinjection molding (μIM) is a fast-developing technology which is used to produce polymeric microcomponents or components with micro/nanoscale features, such as are used in many fields including microfluidic diagnostics, microneedle drug delivery devices, microgears, and microswitches. The capabilities and performance of the microinjection molding process can be improved by incorporating a variotherm system. This leads to improved component quality, especially for high aspect ratio features. It can also help to increase the polymer flow path, improve feature replication, reduce residual stresses and molecular orientations, and also can eliminate weld lines. This article reviews the use of different variotherm systems in μIM, and describes how simulation of its use can provide insight when designing a mold cavity or a component with challenging microfeatures. The article highlights important problems, challenges and areas for further research. An increased understanding of these issues will provide opportunities to enhance further developments in the μIM process.
Scopus© Citations 40 1682