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Technology review | 2013

Celanese toughens its POM range

Polymer manufacturer Celanese announced the expansion of its S series of impact modified acetals to include two new toughened grades. Hostaform XT 20 and XT

90 are designed to compete in application areas previously reserved for highly modified impact modified acetal copolymers and homopolymers, thermoplastic polyure- thanes and impact modified polyamide resins. They are produced using Celanese’s proprietary hybrid technol- ogy, which is said to achieve enhanced performance at lower impact modifier addition levels. According to Mervyn Cox,

global Hostaform POM product marketing manager at Celanese, the new grades will find application in gear and housing applications. ❙

Stratasys prints injection moulds in 3D ABS resin

Additive manufacturing technology company Stratasys showed how product develop- ment times can be speeded up by using 3D printed plastic mould cavities to produce prototype injection mouldings in production intent polymers. “The process is the bridge

between having a prototype and having a part in the way it should be produced,” said Stratasys solutions sales manager Nadav Sella. “It gives companies the opportunity to save time and money, but time is the most important.” PolyJet moulds are printed

in a Digital ABS grade of material direct from a CAD file using Stratasys Objet Connex 3D printing machines. The moulds are not intended to replace machined metal, but to provide a fast solution for production for 10 or more parts – in some cases up to 100. Sella said the technology is

highly valuable to product developers and OEMs wanting

some €40,000 for a produc- tion tool. This short Seuffer video shows more: When mounted into a steel

to prove suitability for production of different polymers. “You cannot 3D print POM or PP today and you cannot simulate a living hinge,” he said. German appliance and

automotive parts maker Robert Seuffer has been among the first to use the technology and says it is able to design components and 3D print cavities for production of initial test parts within 24 hours. A typical cavity costs less than €1,000, compared to

frame, the Digital ABS mould material can withstand melt temperatures up to 300˚C (cooling circuits can be integrated) and has produced components in PE, PP, PS, PA, POM,and PC/ABS. “We have even done glass filled PA but that is harder to inject so you must expect to get fewer parts,” said Sella. Stratasys displayed a number of parts produced using PolyJet moulds on its stand at K, including some from Seuffer and a test component with snap fits developed by Ireland-based Nypro Healthcare to determine the suitability of the process. It produced 25 parts in ABS and reported stable injection pressures and melt cushion, indicating good consistency. ❙

Sigmasoft extends ‘virtual moulding’ options

German software specialist Sigmasoft presented its Virtual Molding Technology solution on its stand in Dusseldorf, which it claims allows processors to simulate the entire moulding process. “Virtual Molding is not only

a completely new technology. It is a whole new method,” said Sigmasoft executive director Dr Marco Thornagel. “The injection moulder gets from us

a tool to communicate his know-how through the complete development process. He gains certainty in planning, improves his confidence to engage on deadlines, and strengthens his position as a value-added supplier.” The concept behind the

system is simple. Material information and CAD mould data is entered into the

software, then production is simulated allowing the user to optimise the process window up-front, evaluate mould concepts, and take decisions about appropriate mould materials and alloys. “Processing problems can be identified and resolved before they even appear,” said Thornagel. “After our first installations in the industry we have realised that the

communication within the companies now flows in a different way. The processing engineer can now show the mouldmaker where the exact cause for a tempering problem originates and which solutions are appropriate from a production point of view.” Virtual Molding simulations

can include almost all mould mechanics. ❙

January/February 2014 | INJECTION WORLD 53

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