Why Shoulder Bolts Are Too Important to Ignore (Part 1)

These humble but essential fasteners used in injection molds are known by various names and used for a number of purposes.

Looking to Run PCR on a Single Screw? Here’s What to Keep in Mind

Just drop it in and mix it up? Sorry, there’s a lot more to it than that. Here is some of what you need to consider.  

Time to Swap Out Those General-Purpose Injection Nozzle Tips

Still the standard in the industry, GP nozzle tips can cause a myriad of problems for molders. There are alternatives out there that should be examined.

How to Configure Your Twin-Screw Extruder -- Part 2

Follow these tips to configure your twin-screw elements to promote feeding and solids conveying.

Tracing the History of Polymeric Materials, Part 28: Making LCP's Melt Processable

Liquid-crystal polymers based on a single monomer produces a polymer with a very high melting point.This presents two problems. Here’s how they were solved.

The Effects of Time on Polymers

Last month we briefly discussed the influence of temperature on the mechanical properties of polymers and reviewed some of the structural considerations that govern these effects.
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The Effects of Stress on Polymers

Previously we have discussed the effects of temperature and time on the long-term behavior of polymers. Now let's take a look at stress.
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How Backpressure Optimization Affects Melt Preparation

Backpressure is often the least understood of the settings in an injection molding process, even though it can play a significant role in the final quality of the part. Let’s start with understanding what backpressure is and then learn how to optimize it for a given mold.

Tracing the History of Polymeric Materials, Part 27: Liquid-Crystal Polymers

Liquid-crystal polymers debuted in the mid-1980s, but the history of the chemistry associated with this class of materials actually starts a century earlier.  

How Screw Design Can Boost Output of Single-Screw Extruders

Optimizing screw design for a lower discharge temperature has been shown to significantly increase output rate.

21 Tips to Slash Energy Costs in Molding

This checklist can provide injection molders a good starting point on the path to reduced energy consumption and can generate some money savings on that journey.  

The Impact of Hydraulics on Tool Design, Practical Uses -- Part 2 of 2

Here are more tips on using hydraulically actuated devices on your tools.

How to Configure Your Twin-Screw Barrel Layout

In twin-screw compounding, most engineers recognize the benefits of being able to configure screw elements. Here’s what you need to know about sequencing barrel sections.  

Tracing the History of Polymeric Materials, Part 26: High-Performance Thermoplastics

The majority of the polymers that today we rely on for outstanding performance — such as polysulfone, polyethersulfone, polyphenylsulfone and PPS — were introduced in the period between 1965 and 1985. Here’s how they entered your toolbox of engineering of materials.    

The Impact of Hydraulics on Tool Design -- Part 1 of 2

Get a better understanding of their use, proper sizing, and how the tool design and setup in the machine can impact failures in manufacturing.

Troubleshooting Vent Flow Problems in Single-Screw Extruders

Vent flow can be a costly problem and a housekeeping nuisance. Here is some advice on how to eliminate it.  

Improving Twin-Screw Compounding of Reinforced Polyolefins

Compounders face a number of processing challenges when incorporating a high loading of low-bulk-density mineral filler into polyolefins. Here are some possible solutions.

How Important is Minimizing Residence Time in Injection Molding?

Does a focus on the concept of “minimum residence time” distract attention from areas of injection molding that have more of a direct impact on melt quality?

How to Select the Right Tool Steel for Mold Cavities

With cavity steel or alloy selection there are many variables that can dictate the best option.

Tracing the History of Polymeric Materials, Part 25: Silicones

The long road to the development of silicone resulted in a chemistry that is remarkably versatile.  

The Right Way to Design Vents in Single-Screw Extruders

Designing vents for single-screw extruders requires understanding of polymer flow in the screw channels. Some designs are more effective than others. Here are some guidelines.

The Importance of Melt & Mold Temperature

Molders should realize how significantly process conditions can influence the final properties of the part.