Moldflow Analysis Can Save Your Injection Mold Design
One of the keys to getting quality plastic injection molded parts is precision molds—which can produce the same parts over and over again. So how does it work? First, if you are not familiar with the components of an injection mold and how it works, read this article.
Taking your mold from good to great is as easy as passing a Mold Flow Analysis (MFA) test. The software will simulate your mold condition until you open your wallet to pay for the mold. The impact of MFA on mold quality, product performance and appearance makes it an integral part of plastic injection molding design projects. MFA software is expensive, but the return on investment is great.
What is mold flow analysis?
Mold Flow Analysis (MFA) software that simulates the flow of plastics, enabling you to improve the design of parts and molds to create impeccable quality products. Like other simulation software, with MFA you can virtualize how a material of your choice will fill a mold cavity and spot potential problems ahead of time. The benefits are obvious, right? The digital simulation process means you can make changes before cutting the tool. This saves a lot of money, not to mention time.
When should mold flow analysis be used?
If not clear, MFA is performed before tool production begins. (It won’t make much sense to use it later!) Using the selected gate locations and material properties, the software can predict how the part will be populated during the molding process. Different data points can be evaluated including pressure, fill time and melt temperature. This can be optimized before tool manufacturing begins.
Does every application need analytics?
Short answer: not necessarily. The following factors can help you decide whether you should decide on an MFA application:
The more complex the geometry of the product, the more complex you are and the more benefits you get from MFA. Why? When the design of the product is more complex, the predictability of the process becomes less. For example, it is easier to predict how a simple mold design will fill.
In any case, tight tolerances are anathema to plastic injection mold designers. Software that can analyze and demonstrate product conformance to specifications before cutting tools.
Obviously, a project must meet some financial requirements to warrant investing resources (time, software, and talent) for testing.
Engineers know the fill patterns for standard materials, but other materials, including especially fill materials, benefit from pre-analysis.
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