The technology can be used in a number of different ways, depending on what the moulder wants to achieve;
Reduced energy consumption and reduced cycle time are often key requirements from our customers. In this case, Soniplas can be used to reduce melt temperatures, by compensating for the increased viscosity that would normally be associated with a melt temperature reduction of, say, 30oC or more. Reduced melt temperatures means less heat to remove after injection, which reduces the cooling time.
For existing, difficult to mould parts with a high scrap rate, the system may be used just to improve part quality and reduce scrap. The flow enhancement reduces the injection pressure required, making the part easier to mould around complex tooling features. In addition, with injection pressure defining the clamp force requirement for a given mould, Soniplas can be used to reduce the clamp force requirement for a given tool.
The technology enhances the flow path to wall thickness ratio for a given polymer. For those designing new parts and tooling, the technology provides an additional design freedom, enabling a down gauging of wall thickness, helping to satisfy those driven by the lightweighting or material saving agenda.
The system operates in a failsafe manner, as tooling can be run both with or without Soniplas switched on.
Many man-years of development have gone into establishing operating parameters for various different polymers and formulations, without degrading the material. The low energy vibration of the polymer melt enables us to unlock the thixotropic (shear thinning) properties of polymer materials and our intellectual property portfolio for the technology enables us to share this know-how with our customers, to get the very best out of the technology.
The polymer melt is vibrated using transducers mounted within the melt stream, between the nozzle and the tool cavity. With ultrasonic energy being transferred into the melt with transducer amplitudes of just a few microns, the acoustic modelling of each transducer is a critical part of each system build. Each sonotrode and booster system is acoustically modelled to ensure resonance at the correct operating conditions, enabling the system to ‘ring’, just like a tuning fork. Systems are configured to give optimum performance for a range of different settings.