A closer look at scientific molding theory

A primer on the science of process development, recording, standardization and repeatability
By: 
September 28, 2016

Plastic injection processing has experienced massive change in the last 20 years. The days of molding by time and pressure have given way to molding by position, peak pressure and process repeatability. Don Paulson, RJG and John Bozzelli were major pioneers in the development of decoupled and scientific molding, as the procedures were developed and given structure. Plastic injection as an art gave way to plastics processing as a science of repeatability and standardization.

Garrett MacKenzie
Garrett MacKenzie

In recent years, the term "scientific molding" has become a buzzword of sorts. There are many organizations claiming to be scientific molders and trainers. It is important to note here there are many variances from one training program to another. Great care should be taken when choosing a training source for scientific molding theory and applications. 

First, we need to understand what scientific molding is as an application. It is the science of process development, recording, standardization and repeatability. These variables are strictly dependent upon machine and mold validation and design. Poorly functioning machines, or molds that fail from a design perspective, may inhibit or remove a manufacturer’s ability to develop a process that is repeatable. For instance, the chances of controlling a process are poor if the cavitation has not gone through the process of balancing the runner to ensure equal flow into each cavity. Equally, control is hard to achieve if a barrel is worn to the point that it is impossible to maintain a consistent cushion. Moldflow is an excellent source of testing mold design prior to its inception and construction. From a machine validation standpoint, John Bozzelli and RJG have tools and training available for machine and process testing.

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