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An Overview Of Structural Foam Molding

By Cathy Mercer

The process of structural foam molding happens to be a mold one that involves low pressure injection in way that quite large structure parts can be produced. A molten material made of plastic is injected to make it a mold when it is mixed with either blowing agents or higher pressure gas. Once this is done, bubbles are produced in the plastic, leading it to foam. The foams that results has the properties of that plastic, only that it will weigh less since its density is reduced.

This foams mold process is several similarities to injection mold process since it is also a thermoplastics processing method using low pressure. In the process, HDPE, meaning high density polyethylene, is the most commonly used resin. The end products are typically rigid parts with relatively hard structures. However, confusion should not be made between structural foams and expanded polystyrene, known as EPS. Expanded polystyrene can be linked with the white disposable foams blocks that are used to package and protect appliances and electronics.

The main element when it comes to structure foam molds is low pressure. Unlike convectional injections molds that force the material to a cavity of the mold with the use of high pressure, the process capitalizes on the configuration of a certain part. Typically, thick wall sections are formed so that they can act as runners.

The action of foaming enables the molten blend of resin to flow much further, and is supplied by either introducing an inert compressed gas to the mold or a chemical reaction taking place in the resin blend. Additionally, is uses a pressure that is much lower than would be possible in the case of a typical injection mold process.

Structure foams molds typically are produced within aluminum, whereby the plastic foaming causes the end plastic part to have a swirling finish. The foaming agents do not necessarily expand when they are pressurized within the injection screw. Foaming takes place once the plastic gets into the mold cavity. When the foaming plastics are filling the cavity of mold foams, the part wall undergoes solidification against a cold wall.

A thin plastic layer solidifies with no foaming along the wall of the molds. Such thins later creates a structure over the inter core that is foamed. The solid thin wall is supported with the help of interior foamed cellular structure. Parts that are produced in such a manner results in cellular structure that has similarity to wooden products.

As soon as molding has occurred, shrinking of the parts will be observed 1.5% to 4% of the original mold size. In the first 48 hours, 5% shrinkage will occur. Such shrinkage stays put but continues for the life of the part at minuscule levels. However, the part size is a constant flux as oils, ambient temperature changes and chemicals act on the plastic. An expansion gap of about half an inch is needed during vinyl siding of thermal expansion so as to accommodate movements as temperature fluctuations changes the sizes.

In the course of structural foam molding, when plastic parts are injected into molds, they are at a temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. They later cool rapidly up to 140 degrees. The cooling process is capable of deforming the parts to the shape of the mold as soon as they are released from the molds.

You can visit the website structuralfoammolding.net for more helpful information about An In Depth Of Structural Foam Molding

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Mercer, Cathy "An Overview Of Structural Foam Molding." An Overview Of Structural Foam Molding. 20 Apr. 2014. uberarticles.com. 2 Aug 2014 <http://uberarticles.com/home-and-family/an-overview-of-structural-foam-molding/>.

APA Style Citation:
Mercer, C (2014, April 20). An Overview Of Structural Foam Molding. Retrieved August 2, 2014, from http://uberarticles.com/home-and-family/an-overview-of-structural-foam-molding/

Chicago Style Citation:
Mercer, Cathy "An Overview Of Structural Foam Molding" uberarticles.com. http://uberarticles.com/home-and-family/an-overview-of-structural-foam-molding/


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