Scientific Injection Molding (Decoupled Injection Molding) is a topic that has recently been the focal point of discussion amongst many OEMs, contract manufacturers, and device producers. We wanted to take this week to talk about Scientific Injection Molding, what it is, how it works, and the Scientific Injection Molding solutions Biomerics offers to the medical device and biotech industries.
So.. What exactly is Scientific Injection Molding?
According to Dan Brittingham, VP of Engineering for Biomerics LLC, “Scientific Injection Molding provides a phasegate approach to sequential process development.” In other words, Scientific Injection Molding is used to establish and develop robust molding processes that are resistant to common cause fluctuations in temperature and viscosity.
Scientific Injection Molding is typically used in the production of complex parts and components where small variations in molding variables can severely impact the process or finished product. Therefore, the goal of Scientific Injection Molding is twofold:
- Develop a process that produces repeatable results with minimal variation.
- Optimize dimensional or mechanical characteristics of a molded part.
When developing a molding process using Scientific Injection Molding, key inputs such as time (fill, pack/hold, etc.), temperature (melt, barrel, etc.), and pressure (hydraulic, injection melt, cavity, etc.) are meticulously monitored, adjusted, and controlled, to ensure that process robustness is achieved and a good part is consistently produced.
How does Scientific Injection Molding work (Traditional Molding vs. Scientific Injection Molding)?
With traditional molding a part or component is produced at one constant pressure across the fill and pack/hold stages. Due to the non-Newtonian flow of thermoplastics, this method of molding is often inconsistent, allowing for large variations between shots.
In Scientific Injection Molding, the fill and pack/hold stages are separated (i.e. the molding process is “Decoupled”). This minimizes variation between shots and improves consistency by utilizing the non-Newtonian fluid behavior of the thermoplastic material. Scientific Injection Molding can be broken down into three distinct phases:
- Fill: During the Fill phase, the cavity of the molding tool is filled between 95-99% of the total available volume. This partial filling of the tool establishes the foundation for consistency between shots.
- Pack/Hold: During the Pack/Hold phase the remaining volume is filled and the plastic is compressed to fully “pack” the cavity.
- Cooling/Recovery: During the final phase, Cooling/Recovery, the part is allowed to cool and become dimensionally stable. It is during this time that the next shot is metered.
What Scientific Injection Molding solutions does Biomerics offer?
At Biomerics, we specialize in Scientific Injection Molding for the medical device and biotech industries. Our team of design, quality, manufacturing, and process engineers partner with customers to develop and optimize processes using a Scientific Injection Molding approach. We work relentlessly to ensure that deliverables are executed at each stage of the Product Development and Product Transfer processes. Our extensive experience and capabilities enable us to manufacture products and devices with the most demanding, unique requirements.
To learn more, send us an email (email@example.com), give us a call (801-355-2705), or visit the Scientific Injection Molding section of our website.