Optimization of the injection molding process in OpenFOAM® - Jozsef Nagy

In the injection molding industry the reduction of the development time of tools and machines as well as the optimization of the process has been one of the most important issues in the last decades. OpenFOAM® offers an excellent foundation for the development of a tool for the description of the injection molding process. Recently, the code has been validated with experiments and proven to deliver results of the quality of commercial products or better. The code has been optimized in regards to runtime. Also the description of the subsequent packing and cooling phase has been implemented. Due to the complexity and interdependency of quantities of fluid dynamic and thermal processes during the discontinuous process a wide variety of phenomena have to be modeled correctly. During the filling phase high local velocity values lead to high shear rates within the polymers reducing the local viscosity by magnitudes. This has a significant impact onto the pressure distribution and with that the processing conditions. In the subsequent packing phase the fluid dynamic phenomena become less dominant and thermal processes increase in importance, where during the last cooling phase of the production process these quantities play the dominant role for the process. With the implemented model a good agreement is found between experimental and simulation results. This shows, that with the help of the implemented tool within the OpenFOAM® framework possible processing conditions can be eliminated, where safety limits are exceeded. On the other hand it is possible to optimize conditions during the process in order to improve the geometry, the process and the product quality. With this, the implemented tool can be an intrinsic part of the development of the injection molding process and machines.

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