The Measurement of Thermal Stress Distributions Along the Flow Path in Injection-Molded Flat Plates

C.H.V. Hastenberg, P.C. Wildervanck, A.J.H. Leenen, G.G.J. Schennink

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Internal stresses in injection-molded parts are the result of thermal, flow, and pressure histories. Internal stresses can be roughly divided into thermal and flow-induced stresses. In this paper, a modified layer-removal method is presented to determine thermal stress distributions in injection-molded flat plates. With this method, the curvature of a rectangular specimen is determined after the removal of a layer from one surface. This curvature is converted into a stress via a mathematical relation, originally derived by Treuting and Read. By determining the local curvatures after successive layer removals, stress distributions along the flow path were obtained within a single specimen. Validation of this modified layer-removal method is described. A good reproductibility was obtained. The method can be regarded as semi-quantitative. Flat plates were injection-molded from three amorphous polymers: polystyrene, polycarbonate, and a polyphenylene ether/high-impact polystyrene blend. In general, the flat-plate cross-section shows a three-region stress distribution with a tensile stress region both at the surface and in the core of the flat plate and an intermediate region with compressive stresses. The modified layer-removal method was used to determine influences of mold temperature, annealing treatment, and pressure history on the thermal stress distributions. Increasing mold temperature results in a decreasing overall stress level, while the compressive stress region shifts to the surface. An annealing treatment significantly reduces the overall stress level, without affecting the stress pattern. Stress distributions along the flow path were influenced by the varying pressure histories from the entrance to the end of the mold cavity. The various features of the stress profiles are explained by the influence of the pressure decay rate in the injection-molding process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-515
Number of pages10
JournalPolymer engineering and science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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