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Plastics Business Group

ATI 584e

Application Technology
Information

General

Reproducing textures from the cavity surface


to the surface of the thermoplastic moulding
Dieter Schauf

Introduction

moulded part are satisfactory in other


ways. Such surfaces do, however,
require bigger drafts than polished
cavity surfaces, depending on the
roughness height and position of the
textured areas. If the draft is not big
enough, or the mould not sufficiently
rigid, the surface texture of the part
may become distorted when the
mould is opened. The accuracy with
which a textured surface is reproduced by the thermoplastic melt
depends on the thermoplastic material itself, its viscosity, setting speed
and processing conditions such as
injection rate, injection pressure and
mould temperature.

There is an ever increasing demand


for thermoplastic mouldings with textured surfaces which resemble natural materials such as wood, leather,
fabrics, crystals etc., thereby giving a
certain impression of better quality.
The surface of an injection moulded
part is invariably an exact mirror image of the cavity surface. To achieve
high gloss moulded parts requires
a great deal of extra work since the
cavity surface must also be polished.
One disadvantage of highly polished
surfaces is that they show up every
blemish, sink marks and flow lines.
Textured surfaces, on the other hand,
largely hide such defects, provided of This technical report deals with the
course that both the mould and the transfer of textures from the cavity

surface of an injection mould to the


surface of the moulded part. There
can be few subjects which lend themselves so well to being explained by
means of photographs as this one
and the more photos the better. The
author hopes that, by discussing the
sorts of problem which can arise, and
suggesting ways and means of overcoming them, it will help manufacturers to avoid similar pitfalls.
Methods used to finish
cavity surfaces
Polishing
The rough surfaces of a mould cavity
must be smoothed by polishing, to
facilitate easy release of the part. For
this one normally uses emery paper
and diamond polishing paste. Polishing should be in the direction of ejecti o n , b o th th e co re a n d t he c av it y
being treated. If an opaque moulding
is to be given a high gloss surface, the
mould may be polished with P 280
to 400 grit paper or a diamond polishing paste with a particle size of
30 m.
High gloss surfaces are preferred for
objects which must be easy to clean
for hygienic reasons, such as kitchen
appliances, telephone receivers and
the like (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Food processor with Novodur (ABS) housing.


This has a high gloss surface for hygienic reasons.

This information and our technical advice whether verbal,


in writing or by way of trials are given in good faith but
without warranty, and this also applies where proprietary
rights of third parties are involved. Our advice does not
release you from the obligation to check its validity and to
test our products as to their suitability for the intended

processes and uses. The application, use and processing


of our products and the products manufactured by you on
the basis of our technical advice are beyond our control
and, therefore, entirely your own responsibility. Our products
are sold in accordance with our General Conditions of Sale
and Delivery.

If a brushed finish is required, this can


be achieved with P 240 to 320 grit.
Fig. 2 shows a shaver head with a
brush-finish PC-GF surface.
If an even higher gloss finish is required, fine grinding with P 500 grit abrasive must be followed by polishing
with diamond polishing paste. This is
necessary in the case of transparent
mouldings, and involves extra time
and expense so that the total tooling
costs can rise considerably.
If a high class finish is required, e.g.
in transparent record player covers or
for lenses, the steel used to make the
mould, its heat treatment and the
polishing technique employed must
meet all special requirements.
The steel used should be as homogeneous as possible. Slag occlusions
should be removed as far as possible,
e.g. by vacuum degassing or, better
still, by electrolytic refining. This treatment also achieves a small particle Fig. 2: Brushed finish on the head of an electric shaver
size within the metal so that polishing
is made easier.
Ease of polishing can be affected by
the wrong heat treatment, e.g. excessive carbonisation or oxidation etc. of
the surface.
The most important factor, however, is
the actual polishing process. This
requires scrupulous cleanliness as
polishing proceeds to an increasingly
finer finish. The cavity surface must be
absolutely clean and a new polishing
tool must be used. Such tools can be
made of any hard material such as
wood, copper or brass. The use of soft
polishing materials such as felt can
easily produce overpolishing and
ultimately a so-called orange peel
effect.

Fig. 3: Spark eroded textures according to VDI 3400


Optically perfect, plain or curved sur(produced by Microtechnik, D-65835 Liederbach/Taunus)
faces, e.g. for making lenses, can only
be achieved by using special machines.
Electric discharge machine
(spark erosion)
In the case of mould inserts of 50 mm
diameter, the surface roughness of the If the mould cavity is to be eroded by Many firms have internal standards
moulded part which can be achieved EDM (electric discharge machine) it w h i ch sh o u l d b e su b mi tte d t o t he
i s < 0 . 0 2 m a n d t h e f l a t n e s s makes economic sense to produce customer, if possible in the form of pla<0.03 m. The surface finish of the the textured surface at the same time. ques moulded in the actual thermocavity surface can be determined by Velvet-like to coarse-textured sur- plastic material to be used. Fig. 4
the interference method, whilst the faces can be produced in this way, shows an ABS housing with a spark
gloss of plastics surfaces is deter- d e p e n d i n g o n t h e i n t e n s i t y o f t h e eroded surface. It is best not to choom i n e d w i t h t h e h e l p o f r e f l e c t o r electrical discharge. Fig. 3 shows se too fine surface textures because
measurements in accordance with typical examples in accordance with these are somewhat difficult to produce by EDM and also, finely texDIN 67530.
VDI 3400.

tured plastic parts tend to show up


scratches rather more than roughly
textured ones. Surfaces according to
stages 30 to 36, VDI 3400 with Ra of
3 to 6 m have proved satisfactory
(see also Fig. 12). Fig. 5 shows the
magnified surface of a power tool
housing made of glass fibre filled
nylon 6, the mould cavity of which had
been spark eroded to stage 36. Surfaces produced by spark erosion
have a relatively rounded-off texture,
which results in end products with
good scratch resistance if these are
based on low-viscosity polymer melts.
Fig. 4 shows an ABS housing with
a scratch resistant, stage 36 spark
eroded finish. This has also made
the matt spot near the gate invisible.

Fig. 4: ABS housing with a spark eroded surface

In power tools, especially, housings


w i t h s p a r k e r o d e d s u r f a c e s o ff e r
advantages in that they are even, hide
blemishes and are scratch resistant
(Fig. 5).
If the spark eroded cavity surface is
damaged, however, it is difficult to
repair because the electrode must be
placed in position with extreme precision (tumble erosion is sometimes
possible).

Fig. 5: Photographs showing the surface of the housing of an abrasive belt


polisher, made of nylon 6 containing 30 % glass fibre. The surface
texture has been achieved by spark erosion (stage 36, Ra 6.3 m)

Photoetching
Photoetching consists of dissolving
part of a surface e.g. the cavity surface, with acid. Part of the metal surface which is not to be etched has to
be covered with acid resistant material, so that the acid will only dissolve
the exposed portions. The texture
design is applied photographically and
the technique has become firmly established in the plastics processing industry indeed, photoengraving is today the most important method of producing textured cavity surfaces.
Fig. 6 shows the various stages of
producing a photoengraved textured
surface. Nowadays, multiple etching
is mainly used in order to produce a
uniformly textured surface. The
degree of gloss can subsequently be
adjusted by blasting the surface with
glass beads, for example. Worn surfaces can be restored to very near
their original condition by this method.
Fig. 7 shows some typical textures
produced by photoetching, these
being a selection of several hundred
that are now available.

1. Degreasing
chemical + manually
2. Coating
sensitive to light
coat

Fig. 1
3. Explosure
4. Development

light

film
coat

Fig. 2
5. Correcting
6. Protecting

acid
mould protection
coating

7. Etching

remaining acid
resistant coat

8. Cleaning
9. Result 1st etching
half matt finish

Fig. 3
dissolved surface 0 x
etching depth
etching bottom

sharp edge
obtained surface

texture roughness

Fig. 4
10. Protecting
11. 2nd Etching
12. Result
rounded matt finish

dissolved surface 0 x
surface loss
etching depth

mould protection
coating
uniform

round edges
Nearly all the materials used to make
texture roughness
moulds can be textured photochemidissolved surface 2 x
Fig. 5
cally, i.e. by photoetching. It must,
however, be remembered that steels
which contain chromium are invariably more difficult to etch than those Fig. 6: Diagram showing the various stages of producing photoetched
textures (after Wagner)
that do not. In general, steels containing up to 5 % chromium can still be
photoetched satisfactorily and steels
with up to 15 % chromium can also be
etched successfully, although this is
more difficult.

The sulphur content of steels must not


exceed 0.03 % since otherwise the
uneven dispersion of the sulphur can
lead to a patchy appearance of the
etched surface. The more homogeneous the material of which the mould
cavity is made, the more uniform will
be the textured finish. Mould cavity
inserts can be etched either before or
after hardening. Saltbath nitriding can
only, however, be carried out after
photoetching. For the toolmaker it is
important to use the same steel for all
the inserts intended for one particular
mould cavity. The steel should also be
from one batch and, ideally, have all
been rolled in the same direction. All
parts of the mould should have been
subjected to exactly the same heat
treatment prior to photoetching. One
should, however, keep in mind when Fig. 7: Typical photoetched textures
etching soft steels that because of

the materials coarse particle structure the valleys of the etched surface
will show considerable roughness and
plastics surfaces produced from such
steels are very likely to become scratched. Fig. 8 shows the classic photoetching stages in the form of photographs of silicone rubber impressions
taken from the cavity. Here one can
see that, in the case of one photoetching operation the covered exposed
areas retain their polished finish. If an
overall matt finish is required, the
metal must be etched at least twice.
Multi-stage etching (see also Fig. 26)
results in a particularly good matt

finish in the case of higher viscosity


melts. The mould cavity can be
smoothed or roughened at a later
stage by sandblasting it with glass
beads or silicon carbide, the final
result depending on the hardness of
t he cavi ty su rfa ce a n d th a t o f th e
sandblasting agent.

Special techniques

Other techniques can be employed to


impart textures to cavity surfaces besides those described above. These
are sandblasting, matt chromium plating, the production of textured nickel
shells made by electrodeposition and
casting of zinc or beryllium-copper
Apart from steel it is also, of course, mould inserts with textured surfaces.
possible to impart texture by this technique to non-ferrous metals such as Sandblasting with hard materials such
copper, aluminium and zinc. Photo- as silicon carbide, or soft ones like
etched surfaces can also be hard glass beads, is suitable only for cavichromium plated.
ty surfaces that are mostly flat.
Matt chromium plating of polished
cavity surfaces produces a matt, wear
resistant surface texture. Plastics
parts made in such moulds have a fine
structured surface which can be easily cleaned.

photoetched

2 x photoetched

2 x photoetched and
1x photoetched and
sandblasted (glass beads) sandblasted (glass beads)

Fig. 8: Typical photoetching stages with post-treatment.


Annealed steel 2311 (silicone rubber impressions)

Textured cavities made by electrodepositon have the advantage that the


structure is more rounded and products can be produced which in contrast to photoetching are almost
identical to that of the thermoformed
foil. This is important where, for example, injection moulded parts are
integrated with PU foam backed
sheets (e.g. ashtray lids in a dashboard). Otherwise the method has
been largely superseded by photoetching (Fig. 9).
The casting of mould cavity inserts in
zinc (Zamak Z 430) and, particularly
in beryllium-copper alloy, has lately
gained importance. For example
casting of thermoformed textured
sheets with a subsequent secondary
casting utilising zinc or beryllium-copper alloy can be used to produce
mould cavity surfaces which are identical with the original pattern. Parts
made from these have a rounded,
even and scratch resistant surface
which also successfully conceals sink
marks.

Fig. 9: ABS housing, made from a mould produced by electrodeposited


nickel
5

Fig. 10 shows a cast zinc mould for a


car pillar trim, made by this method.

The transfer of cavity surface


textures to thermoplastics
The reproduction of textures on cavity surfaces depends on the type of
thermoplastic used, the melt viscosity
and processing conditions.
Similar textures produced by spark
erosion and by photoengraving look
different. Spark eroded surfaces have
a rounded appearance, whereas surface textures produced by photoetching often have a sharp-edged texture, depending on the structure of the
tool steel. This difference becomes
apparent when the textures are transferred to plastics surfaces, especially
in the case of low-viscosity thermoplastic melts.
Fig. 11 shows the differences in texture for nylon 6, the spark eroded
specimen being the top half of the
picture, the photoetched one underFig. 10: Cast zinc mould for a car pillar trim produced from thermoformed foil.
neath this. If one compares spark
eroded and photoetched cavity surfaces as reproduced by high viscosity
polymers such as ABS (Novodur )
and PC (Makrolon ) as well as by the
low-viscosity nylon (Durethan ) and
PBT (Pocan ), one can see (Fig. 12)
that the spark eroded surfaces result
in a rounded, i.e. scratch resistant,
surface in both instances.

spark eroded

50 m

photoetched

50 m

Fig. 11: Comparison of a nylon 6 surface moulded in a cavity with a spark


eroded (top) and photoetched (bottom) surface

Novodur

Durethan

100 m

100 m

Makrolon

Pocan

100 m

50 m

Fig. 12: Spark eroded mould cavity, reproduced by ABS (Novodur ),


PC (Makrolon ), nylon 6 (Durethan ) and PBT (Pocan )

Durethan

200 m

Novodur

Photoetched surfaces such as shown


in Fig. 13 are reproduced sufficiently
accurately by higher viscosity melts
such as ABS and PC (Novodur and
Makrolon), although rounded, whilst
low viscosity melts such as those of
PP, PE, nylon and PBT reproduce the
texture with extreme precision, so that
deep matt part surfaces are produced
which, however, are fairly susceptible
to scratches. Fig. 14 clearly shows
how much better surface texture is
reproduced by nylon (Durethan) than
by ABS (Novodur).
The accuracy with which surface detail is reproduced depends not only on
the melt viscosity of the thermoplastic but also on processing conditions, particularly the mould temperature, injection speed and the
effective cavity pressure during the
first few seconds after the mould filling phase.

200 m

Fig. 13: Photoetched surfaces of Durethan and Novodur

Novodur

100 m

Makrolon

Durethan

100 m

Pocan

100 m

50 m

Fig. 14: Photoetched surfaces of Durethan and Novodur


7

mould
temperature
20 C

60 C

Fig. 15: Effect of mould temperature


on gloss (ABS)

Fig. 15 shows the effect of mould temshiny


matt
perature on the gloss of an ABS mirror housing. The higher the temperaFig. 16: Battery cover made of ABS left: shiny, right: matt. The difference
ture of the cavity, the more accurately
is due to differences in injection pressure and mould temperature.
will the texture be reproduced, the
reflected light is scattered more evenly and the surface has a higher matt
appearance.
The cavity pressure and temperature
have a decisive effect on the accuracy
of surface details reproduction.
Figs. 16 and 17 show a housing for a
battery cover, with evidence of varying surface gloss. Shiny spots are produced at low mould temperatures and
insufficient pressure, which prevents
the surface being accurately reproduced. The higher the mould temperashiny
matt
ture, injection speed and injection
pressure, the better will be the matt
surface. The gate thus also affects Fig. 17: Magnified section of the cover shown in Fig. 16
the surface finish.
From what we have discussed above
it follows that differences in surface
gloss may be expected on a moulded
part, depending on how close to, or
how far from the gate a particular area
is. Fig. 18 shows an ABS vacuum
cleaner housing with two switch units
mounted on the housing. The cavity
surfaces for the switch units and
housing have been photoetched in the
same way and a silicone cast taken
from these two areas shows almost no
difference in surface finish. Nevertheless, the surface of the switch unit
has a much more pronounced texture

500 m

gate

matt

shiny

Fig. 18: Vacuum cleaner housing with varying surface gloss


8

than that of the housing. The cause of


this increased gloss is the fact that this
part of the housing is further away
from the gate, so that the melt passes
over this area with less pressure. Interestingly, the part once again has a
matt finish at the end of the flow path.
This is due to pressure building up
again within the cavity at this point,
resulting in improved reproduction of
the cavity surface texture. The problem was solved by using a spark
eroded cavity whose rounded texture
has the effect of making pressure
differences less obvious.

identical photoetching
steel 1.2713
steel 1.2311
(55 Ni Cr Mo 4)
(40 Cr Mn Mo 7)
matter surface
where walls
are thinner

mould I

mould II

S = 4 mm

S = 2 mm

200 m

Figs. 19 and 20: Differences in texture in regions of sudden wall thickness


differences, with two different moulds (ABS)

Moulding surface defects and


their prevention
The main types of surface defects are:
1. Variation in gloss, due to abrupt
changes in wall thickness,
2. variations in gloss, due to heavy
section or ribs,
3. degassing problems, which prevent accurate reproduction of the
surface,
4. variations in gloss caused by
inadequate etching
(single, double or triple etching),
5. variations in gloss in front of or
behind apertures and at the end
of flow paths,
6. prominent and badly positioned
weld lines,
7. poor scratch resistance.
In addition, there are defects which
are produced during ejection (see
section on ejecting). Surface defects
caused by a poorly designed or positioned gate, e.g. matt spots, jetting
etc., or by overheating of the polymer
during processing (coloured streaks
and streaking caused by shear, moisture etc.) are beyond the scope of this
paper and are therefore excluded from
the discussion.
Let us now consider some of the surface defects mentioned above.

A common problem is gloss differences in textured surfaces, caused by


sudden changes in wall thickness and
by the use of different steels. Fig. 19
shows two identical mouldings made
in different moulds, some parts of
which have thinner walls. Different
tempered steels were used to make
the mould inserts, both however being
photoetched in the same manner.
Where the walls have their normal
thickness of 4 mm, both moulds produce the same surface texture. A matter finish was obtained where the walls
were thinner, when using the mould
with the more sharply etched surface
(Fig. 20 bottom). This fault was rectified by smoothing over the matt area
with a glass brush.
Variations in gloss also occur where Fig. 21: Poor part design, resulting in gloss differences
the walls are thicker. Fig. 21 shows an
A B S c o v e r, w h e r e f l o w a i d s w e r e
machined into the mould, originating
from the gate, in order to minimise
sinking far away from the gate. The result is that the runners on the back are
clearly visible.

Figs. 22 and 23: Trapped air in a bumper made of modified PBT.


This causes a shiny strip at the centre (bottom picture).

10

If air is trapped between two flow


fronts, the melt will be unable to accurately reproduce surface textures in
the weld line region. This problem is
illustrated in Figs. 22 and 23. In
Fig. 23 a shiny strip is clearly visible
in the centre.
cavity surface

cavity surface

Improved etching methods


Excessive gloss, coupled with gloss
variations, is sometimes caused by
incorrect etching. Fig. 24 shows a
single-etched surface, Fig. 25 one that
has been double-etched and Fig. 26 a
triple-etched surface. Multiple etching,
which gives a superimposed, terracelike effect, produces a higher matt surface. This type of photoetching has
been developed in the last few years.

Fig. 24: Glove compartment lid,


photoetched once and
sandblasted (ABS)

Fig. 25: Glove compartment lid,


photoetched twice and
sandblasted (ABS)

Fig. 26: Triple-etching results in matt, diffused surfaces

Tear drops and other rough blemishes


can also sometimes be eliminated by
means of coarse textures. Fig. 27
shows a brush with handle, where the
tear drop has become invisible (smaller picture).

Fig. 27: Elimination of rough surface by coarse spark


eroded surface texture (ABS)

11

Figs. 28 and 29: Radiator grille made of ABS, showing pronounced weld line. The picture on the right shows the
matt weld line in close-up.
Textured surfaces usually manage to
conceal flow or weld lines to a large
extent. If, however, the textured surface is very sharp-edged, so that the
texture is not very accurately reproduced, pressure will tend to build up
along the weld line, resulting in this
being more accurately reproduced, so
that the weld line will appear to have
a higher matt surface in the finished
part. This problem is demonstrated in
Figs. 28 and 29. This effect can be
reduced by means of a rounded texture.

Examples of correctly designed


textures
In an ABS pocket calculator housing
with numerous holes for the keys, it
was possible to completely conceal
the weld lines by means of a spark
eroded texture (stage 36), (Fig. 30).

Fig. 33

Fig. 31

Fig. 32

Fig. 30: Calculator housing without


a visible weld line
12

Figs. 31 to 33: Profiled textures conceal linear ribs


(31 and 32 ABS, 33 PP).

Fig. 34: Scratches produced on a


nylon surface by finger nails
Profiled textures to simulate laminates
in combination with design are sometimes able to hide sink marks and
similar defects, as shown in Figs. 31
to 33.
The scratch sensitivity of a surface
depends on the kind of thermoplastic
used and the texture of the cavity surface. As we have pointed out before,
the roughness in the valleys of the
etched design plays an important part.
If, for example, the mould material has
a generally coarse structure, roughness at the bottom of these valleys will
be inevitable. The lower the melt viscosity of the plastic the more critical
will this roughness be. Fig. 34 clearly
shows scratches resulting from damage to the textured surface.

In the case of certain thermoplastics


the additives contained in them may
be deposited on the mould cavity surface, e.g. flame retardants, lubricants
etc. This increasingly leads to shiny
spots, especially in the areas near the
end of the flow path. The problem can
be alleviated by ensuring adequate
mould venting, higher mould temperatures and minimum shear of the melt
through the gate, i.e. gates should be
as large as possible.

Draft and wear


of textured surfaces

for those with a brushed finish in the


direction of ejection it is generally considered that the minimum draft for
unfilled thermoplastics should be
0.5 . For filled thermoplastics (fibre or
mineral fillers) the draft should be at
least 0.75 . The minimum draft x for
selected materials can be read off, as
a function of roughness height, in
Fig. 35. These figures apply to a spark
eroded texture or a rounded etched
surface for a wall thickness of 2 mm.
For glass fibre reinforced filled thermoplastics the draft should be one
step higher.

The draft that is necessary is a constantly recurring point for discussion.


For highly polished mould cavities or

Charm No.

Ra m

Rz m

PA

Draft angel x
PC

ABS

12

0.40

1.5

0.5

1.0

0.5

15

0.56

2.4

0.5

1.0

0.5

18

0.80

3.3

0.5

1.0

0.5

21

1.12

4.7

0.5

1.0

0.5

24

1.60

6.5

0.5

1.5

1.0

27

2.24

10.5

1.0

2.0

1.5

30

3.15

12.5

1.5

2.0

2.0

33

4.50

17.5

2.0

3.0

2.5

36

6.30

24.0

2.5

4.0

3.0

39

9.00

34.0

3.0

5.0

4.0

42

12.50

48.0

4.0

6.0

5.0

45

18.00

69.0

5.0

7.0

6.0

Fig. 35: Minimum draft x as a function of roughness height for a wall thickness of 2 mm for a spark eroded
texture. For glass fibre filled materials choose one step higher.
13

The condition is that the two mould


halves fit properly, i.e. that there is no
mould misalignment, and that the
mould should be rigid. If the texture is
too deep and the walls too thin, the
texture will be damaged when the
mould is opened, as is clear from
Fig. 36.
If the theoretically necessary draft is
impracticable for design reasons it is
possible, in special cases, to still apply
an external texture. In such cases the
core should be first withdrawn on
mould opening, whilst the part
remains in the cavity, so that the part
can shrink away from the textured
cavity surface as it cools and can then
be ejected. Fig. 37 shows this method
for an ABS moulding with a spark
eroded texture.
The draft for photoetched textured
surfaces should, if possible, not be Fig. 36: Mechanical damage to textured surface during ejection, due to
insufficient draft
below 3 . The necessary draft is specially dependent upon the type of texture, i.e. whether it is in line of draw or
in the form of isolated areas, as well
as on the type of thermoplastic used,
part wall thickness (the thinner this is,
the greater will the draft have to be)
and mould rigidity.
The following table 38 lists the
roughness height and draft for two
ABS mouldings.

Fig. 37: Ballpoint pen housing for which the core had a greater draft (0.5 )
than the outside.
Type of moulding

Max. roughness
height
RM/m

Average
roughness
height RT/m

Mean roughness
index
RA/m

Draft

Radiator grille 1

58

49

8.5

Gloss difference due to


insufficient roughness
height

Radiator grille II

71

59

11

Degree of mattness
acceptable

Dashboard I

174

152

35

5
better 7

Dashboard II

85

72

20

Table 38

14

Comments

Demoulding problems
in some cases at 5

moulding cycles

at the start

9000

Fig. 39: Photoetched nylon surface showing worn


texture. But still scratch resistant (Steel P 20)

Fig. 40: Change on part surface after 9,000 cycles.


Steel P 20.

Fig. 41: Corrosion in cavity through entrapped air


(Diesel effect)
Wear of textured surfaces
PC GF 10

PC GF 40

Polished cavity surfaces do not show


any abrasive wear with unfilled therFig. 42: Stereo-scan taken of component surfaces
moplastics, provided they are sufcontaining 10 % and 40 % GF reinforced PC
ficiently hard. Cavities with hardnesses of >55 HRC were found to be ca- In the case of glass fibre thermoplas- cavity (Diesel effect with decomposed
pable of producing more than 1 milli- tics wear of polished surfaces is to be products = corrosion).
on shots.
expected, caused by the melt as it hits
the cavity wall on entering through the When processing glass reinforced
Textured surfaces are by their very
gate, as well as by frictional force thermoplastics, consideration must
nature more prone to wear. Wear of
during ejection. The factor most cru- always be given to the possibility of
velvety, fine-textured surfaces by
cial in deciding how long a given tex- the glass appearing at the surface of
glass fibre filled thermoplastics and
tured finish will last is the surface the component, giving a greying
those with high pigment contents
hardness of the mould cavity. The best effect. The problem can be avoided,
becomes apparent fairly soon through
r e s u l t s w e r e o b t a i n e d w i t h s p a r k or minimised by use of higher tool
shiny patches on the moulded part.
eroded surfaces coated with chro- temperatures and higher injection
The cavity used to produce a shaver
mium carbide. No visible changes speeds. The problem becomes more
housing with a velvety, fine-textured
in the cavity surface were apparent apparent with increasing amounts of
finish and made of a highly pigmented
reinforcement or fillers.
even after one million shots.
grade of ABS had to be re-worked
after every 10,000 shots. The cavity
When processing glass fibre filled Fig. 42 shows the surface finish of a
surface hardness was measured and
thermoplastics it is important to posi- part containing 10 % glass fibres (PCfound to be 47 to 50 HRC. By int i o n t h e g a t e c o r r e c t l y t o p r e v e n t GF10). A further stereo-scan shows
creasing this to 55 HRC it proved posair being trapped inside the cavity, the surface structure of a 40 % glass
sible to prolong the life fivefold.
causing corrosive damage to the tex- reinforced thermoplastic (PC-GF40).
Fig. 39 shows a photoetched surface tured surface.
It is possible to produce high surface
after prolonged use. Signs of abrasive
wear are clearly visible near the edges The use of high alloy steels, with large gloss on finished components with
of the mould insert, which was made chrome content and higher carbon glass reinforced materials. This howamounts, which results in the carboni- ever is easier to achieve with lighter
of tempered steel.
sation of the insert surface finish can colours, similar in shade to the glass
If the mould insert surface is not hard minimise the problem. Fig. 41 shows fibres, than it is possible with the
enough, a noticeable change in the the type of corrosion, where here the darker colours of the thermoplastics.
texture can become apparent after air cannot escape on the tool parting
9,000 cycles, as is shown in Fig. 40. line, and so becomes trapped in the
15

Literature
Stoeckhert, K.:
Werkzeugbau fr die Kunststoffverarbeitung; Carl Hanser Verlag,
Mnchen-Wien 1979

VDI-Gesellschaft Kunststofftechnik:
Gestalten von Spritzguteilen aus
thermoplastischen Kunststoffen
Richtlinie VDI 2006, Juli 1979

Vorbach, G.:
Anforderungen an das Spritzguteil
aus der Sicht des Entwicklers und
Konstrukteurs, Reihe
Das Spritzguteil, VDI-Verlag
GmbH, Dsseldorf 1980

Menges, G., Mohren, P.:


Anleitung zum Bau von Spritzgiewerkzeugen
Carl Hanser Verlag,
Mnchen 1974 und 1983

Christoffers, K.-E.:
Formteilgestaltung, verarbeitungsgerecht, Reihe: Das Spritzguteil,
VDI-Verlag GmbH, Dsseldorf 1980

Published by: KU-Martketing, Technische Redaktion

Bhm, D.:
Oberflchenveredelung von Kunststoffteilen, Reihe Konstruieren mit
Kunststoffen, TAE,
Lehrgang Nr. 5807 1982

15.06.1988 KU 48.476 e

MOLD-TECH PRO PLASTIC,


Oberflchenstrukturen
Technische Informationen,
Standard International GmbH,
Krefeld
Schauf, D.:
Die Formnestoberflche Herstellung und Auswirkung auf das Formteil aus Das Spritzgiewerkzeug,
VDI-Verlag 1983