Ultrasonic micro molding now a reality

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: January 23rd, 2014

If you're wondering what's new in plastics processing, you need look no further than Barcelona, Spain-based technology innovator, Ultrasion SL. After a successful K Show in 2013, where the company showcased its innovative micro molding technology - the Sonorus 1G ultrasound molding machine - the company getting attention from micro molding companies.

Traditional micro-injection molding technologies simply migrated from machines developed on the macro level, said Enric Sirera, sales manager for Ultrasion. "Ultrasion's technology is unique in that it uses ultrasound technology as the primary source of energy to melt the plastic," he said in a news release.

The process is simple. Only the shot size necessary for each shot is fed using standard pellets at room temperature. Melt occurs in milliseconds through the use of ultrasonic sound waves, which increases fluidity. Molding takes place using low pressures while at the same time being highly replicable, and there is minimal waste as the parts are ejected.

The Sonorus 1G is suited to the production of long, thin, and flat precision parts, as it is able to induce extremely low viscosity in the melted plastic. Parts that are 15 mm long with 0.075 mm thick walls can be produced easily. Additionally, there are no heaters and no material residence time which means there is no material degradation. Also the machine never needs purging, which leads to substantial raw material savings, especially when using high-cost medical grade polymers.

The Sonorus 1G has a small footprint of 800 mm long, 850 mm wide, and 1800 mm high. It uses a 3kW electrical power supply and applies a 30kN (3 ton) clamping force, accommodating shot volumes up to 1cm3.  The Sonorus 1G is suitable for molding micro parts for the automotive industry such as micro switches, connectors, sensors, valves and security systems.

Micro-mechanics is also an attractive market for Sonorus, said the company, for precision micro parts such as gears, latches, motors, and actuators for the watch industry. Also, it is an attractive option for the medical industry where micro parts are in big demand, as well as the consumer electronics industry for components for mobile handsets and video games and other small electronic products.

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