Mold Engineering for PlasticsBuild upon the plastic materials course and augment the processing and part design courses in AIM Institute’s Mold Design and Engineering for Plastics course.

This course builds on the plastic material course and augments the processing and part design courses comprising the AIM Institute certificate program. The primary objective of this course is to address the issues that are most often poorly understood and overlooked in the mold engineering process. This requires looking beyond just the classical mechanical design of a mold and focus more on the details that influence the formation of the plastic product, its quality, performance and productivity. The course objectives include establishing an understanding of current state-of-the art design practices, including injection molding simulation, and then build a higher-level scientific understanding of the rheological and process-induced properties of polymer materials and how to apply this knowledge in the design and troubleshooting of injection molds. Students will learn how processing and tooling design influences the morphology of the plastic material and how this relates to achieving product objectives including the influence on the size, shape, weight and mechanical properties of molded plastic parts. Upon completing this course students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the relationship of process, material properties and tooling design and to develop and apply practical means to integrate this knowledge to maximize the opportunity to be successful in plastic mold engineering.


Topics Covered

Upon completion of this course it is expected that the student should have reasonable competency in each of the following:

  1. Be able to identify different mold types and their components and be able to recognize the advantage and disadvantage of various melt delivery systems used within these molds.
  2. Understand the challenge of ejection during injection molding.
  3. Understand and design for proper venting.
  4. Understand and design for optimum mold cooling including consideration of network design, channel sizes, water supply and mold steels/alloys.
  5. Understand the complex flow conditions experienced during injection molding including influences of shear, temperature, pressure, channel (runner, gate & cavity) size and shape. rheological characteristics of plastic melt.
  6. Understand characteristics of polymer melts during processing and the relationship to part formation.
  7. Understand the development and distribution of melt pressure during injection molding and their relationship to part formation and the development of forces within a mold.
  8. Understand the development and distribution of shear stresses during processing and their influence on the polymer and product.
  9. Understand the effect of process on the morphology of amorphous and semi-crystalline materials and the relationship to part properties including size, shape and mechanical properties.
  10. Understand shrinkage characteristics of plastic materials and their relationship to process, mold design, part formation and performance.
  11. Understand how to isolate the cause of warpage and residual stresses in a plastic part and identify means of reducing these problems.
  12. Understand the design, operation and maintenance issues related to hot runner molds.
  13. Be able to design the melt delivery system of an injection mold to maximize success. This includes design decisions related to runner size, layout, gating design and positioning.
  14. Be able to apply a logical strategy, including selecting gate location(s), to maximize opportunities for successfully producing injection molded plastic parts.


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