Material shrinks and causes a contact pressure and frictional forces between

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1 Drafts Tampere University of Technology Sanna Nykänen Draft angles are almost always necessary for any vertical wall of an injection moulded product. Draft angles will ease the part s ejection from a mould. If the parts are produced using a normal cavity and core configuration, usually the cavity is motionless and the core is attached to the moving plate. Usually the part will stay with the core when opening the mould. This is a consequence from two things: Material shrinks and causes a contact pressure and frictional forces between the core and the part The part will be pushed away from the cavity wall because of wall thickness material shrinkage. Draft angles are usually added to the cavity side of the mould because this way they assist the part s release from the cavity when the mould opens. Cavity draft angles have many advantages. They reduce the effects of undercuts, eliminate sliding friction and facilitate air movement which compensates the vacuum effect when opening the mould. Draft angles typically range from a fraction to several degrees. Draft angles are depended on depth of draw, material rigidity and shrinkage, surface lubricity, and mould surface roughness. Cavity draft angle Figure 1. Cavity draft angles ease the part s ejection from the mould.based on Malloy: Plastic part design for injection molding, page 89. It is also possible to manufacture parts with no draft angle at all, but some kind of special mould action is needed to pull the cavity away from the part when the mould opens. For example a split cavity is one possibility. When the mould has been opened and the part ejected from the cavity, it must be then ejected from the core. It is very characteristic for plastic materials to grip tightly onto the core. Therefore forces needed to eject the part can be very significant. The highest ejection forces are the initial breakaway forces which are influenced by material shrinkage and modulus, coefficient of friction, surface roughness, contact area and draft angle. Draft angles from 0.25 to 2 are commonly used for cores. Reason for using the draft angles in cores is the same as it is with cavity drafts. If the draft angles are larger, they will improve the part s ejection even more but they also have a remarkable effect on the product s shape. Core draft angles reduce the initial ejection forces and this way simplifies ejection system design. Zero draft Core drafts Drafts 1

2 Figure 2. Core drafts are needed for part s ejection from the core after the mould has opened.based on Malloy: Plastic part design for injection molding, page 89. Draft angles result part s loosening from the core surface after the initial breakaway and the ejection forces will drop off quickly after breakaway. This suddenly loss of contact area makes air easier to flow core s surrounding area to compensate vacuum effects and can lead to part s damage. Air valves and venting pins are used for very large and deep draw parts to break the vacuum and blow the part away from the core after initial break away. Very often the core draft angles are same as cavity draft angles. It is recommended to use parallel draft because it results in part s uniform wall thickness. Example 1. Figure 3. External draft.based on Rosato: Injection molding handbook, page 602. Above picture is a good example of an application of a draft angle. When a small draft angle is used, the outside surface (mould surface producing part) will require a high directional finish because of making part s removal from the mould easier. Example 2. Figure 4. Internal draft. Based on Rosato: Injection molding handbook, page 602. Above picture has a separating inside wall that should be perpendicular to the base. In this case the draft would be on the low side. This way additional material usage is low, the voids close to the base are avoided and cycle time s increase won t be happening. Also in this case the vertical moulding surfaces will need a much better surface finish. Drafts 2

3 Example 3. Figure 5. Using of multiple drafts for easing part removal.based on Rosato: Injection molding handbook, page 603. Example 4. Figure 6. Using parallel drafts with heavy walls.. Based on Rosato: Injection molding handbook, page 603. When applying a draft, one difficulty is the creation of heavy walls. Problem can be solved by using parallel drafts on walls. Draft angles for different plastics. These values however vary depending on many previously mentioned reasons. Draft angles for different plastics Plastic type Draft angle Polycarbonate (PC) 1 2 Polystyrene (PS) > 0.5 Polyarylsulfone (PSU) 1 2 Polyarylethersulfone (PES) 1 2 Liquid crystal polymers (LCP) >0.5 Polybutyleneterephthalate (PBT) Polyethyleneterephthalate (PET) Acrylonitrile/Polybutadiene/Styrene (ABS) >0.5 Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) >1 2 Polyethylene (PE) > Polypropylene (PP) >0.7 Drafts 3

4 Draft angles have a quite big influence on the plastic product s shape. Every feature, like bosses, ribs and holes must be drafted. For example ribs should have a draft angle on both sides of the cavity. The positive point about these drafts is that they ease the ejection. However the rib will become harder to fill and it will have less a stiffening effect. Therefore used draft angle should be a compromise between improved ejection without causing a remarkable loss of stiffness. Draft angles and product features If the injection moulded part is produced using textured surface, it needs additional draft to ease the ejection. Cavities, that have a random texture, need about 1 to 1.5 draft angle per side for every 0.025mm of texture depth. Some directional pattern, like wood grain running perpendicular to the direction of the draw, may usually need greater draft angles. Surface textures are usually applied to the cavity side of the tool, outside surface of the moulding. Inside textures which form on a textured core are very difficult to eject because material shrinks tightly around the core. Even greater draft angles are needed if these kind of textured cores are used. Undercut is a draft to the wrong direction e.g. to the direction, which prevents the casting ejection. Undercut can also be a hole or recession, which is at least partially parallel to the mould parting surface. Undercuts should be avoided on injection moulded parts. Using undercuts on injection moulded part is quite difficult. Parts where material s flexibility makes part ejection possible are exceptions. Undercuts raise the cost of the mould, approximately from 15 to 30%. There are some basic rules when designing undercuts. The protruding depth of the undercut should be 2/3 of the wall thickness or less. Also the mould s edge, which is against the part when the part is ejected from the mould, should be radiused. It prevents shearing action. The part ejected should be hot enough to allow easy stretching and return to its original shape after it is removed from the mould. Undercuts Basic design rules Basically it is not possible to pull parts with external undercuts from the cavity when the mould opens. In that case it is necessary to use side actions or split cavities. Part s ejection from the core is possible with some degree of internal undercut. At this phase of the process, the cavity has been withdrawn and the part can deform outwards while the internal undercut rides over the core. The suitable amount of undercut is depended on undercut design, material properties on ejection temperature and tolerances required for dimension. Materials like thermoplastic elastomers can be injection moulded with very large undercuts. On the other hand rigid, glassy polymers can have a very small amount of undercut. In some cases internal undercuts are cut into the core to ensure that the part will stay on the core when opening the mould. Parts that have internal undercuts can be manufactured to tighter tolerances. The size and the shape of the undercut are not limited by the ductility of the plastic material when special tool actions are used to release the undercut. These kinds of actions are unscrewing mechanisms, removable inserts, lifters and collapsible cores. Drafts 4

5 Part won t be withdrawn by using naturally ejection from the mould. Therefore it is necessary to make mould parts, which make undercut areas, moving sideward. This has some effects on parts appearance: The boundaries between mould parts become visible on the plastic part. There will be flashes between the mould parts. The heat regulation of the mould becomes difficult because separate cooling circuits are necessary for moving parts. Necessarily it is not always even possible. References Järvelä et al., Ruiskuvalu, Plastdata, Tampere,2000. Rosato et al., Injection Molding Handbook, 3 rd ed., Kluwer, Malloy, Plastic Part Design for Injection Molding, Hanser Publishers, Drafts 5

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