As you’re preparing your product designs for injection molding, you may hear your manufacturing team talking about the moldability of the design. But what is moldability? And why is it so important?
Merriam-Webster has a simple answer. Moldability, according to Webster, is simply “the property of being moldable”. Ok, then.
The longer version of that answer is that moldability is the term used to describe how well plastic will be able to fill your injection mold. Obviously, ensuring your plastic material will be able to properly fill the mold as it was designed is a key component of creating a successful part. And there are a lot of factors that go into just how well that plastic will flow.
Material selection is a big one, and it requires careful consideration. You will need to ensure you select material that provides the correct properties for your application (these include things like heat and chemical resistance, strength, cosmetic appeal, and more) that also have melt and flow characteristics that can meet the challenges of your mold’s complexity. Of course, material price is also a consideration.
Working with a skilled engineering team can make the material selection process much simpler, and those engineers can also assist you with your mold’s design complexity. The complexity of your design is the second most important factor of moldability. You may have the greatest product in the world, but if your design geometry is too complex, that can impact how well resin will flow through your mold. Working with a knowledgeable design partner, you will be able to look for ways to simplify your design and engineer out tricky design elements that could negatively affect the moldability of your part.
Mold Flow Analysis
Mold flow analysis offers can help you determine and deal with potential design challenges before you invest valuable time and money in building your injection mold. This means you can avoid costly tooling rework down the line if your design’s moldability is insufficient. Mold flow analysis will take into consideration gate locations, resin melt temperature, pressure profile flow, sink cooling, gas trap, weld lines, or other factors that could adversely affect the quality and cost of your parts.