ENG08019 2016 Polymer Processing and Mould Analysis

General Details

Full Title
Polymer Processing and Mould Analysis
Transcript Title
Polymer Proc and Mould Analysis
N/A %
Subject Area
ENG - Engineering
MENG - Mech. and Electronic Eng.
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Ray Cotter
Programme Membership
SG_EPREC_K08 201600 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Precision Engineering & Design SG_EPOLY_K08 201800 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Engineering in Polymer Processing

This module will provide the student with a comprehensive knowledge of the principles of operation, construction and layout of equipment used in the melt processing of polymeric materials.

The student will study the relationship between materials, products and process variables and will become proficient in the use of injection moulding and extrusion moulding machines as well as other material processing technologies.

The student will also study the mechanical considerations associated with the design and usage of plastic moulds. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Demonstrate an understanding of the theory, concepts and methods and gain practical experience in relation to the injection moulding process.


Demonstrate an understanding of the theory, concepts and methods of the polymer extrusion process.


Demonstrate an understanding of the theory, concepts and methods of operation in relation to the vacuum forming process.


Demonstrate an understanding of the theory, concepts and methods of operation in relation to the rotational moulding process.


Demonstrate an understanding of the theory, concepts and methods of operation in relation to the blow moulding process.


Demonstrate a detailed of knowledge and understanding of mould flow analysis.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Lectures, Tutorials, Handouts and Exercises

Visit to a moulding shop/toolroom to examine moulding machines and moulds.

Application packages, videos and multimedia presentations.

Injection moulding laboratory.

Module Assessment Strategies

End of Year Exam

Project Work

Repeat Assessments

End of Year Exam

Project Work

Indicative Syllabus

Injection Moulding: Construction of machines and types available, hydraulic, electric and hybrid systems. Multi shot systems and micro machines. Types of mould locking systems and tie bar less machines. Screw designs. Nozzle shut-off designs. Moulding cycle Overview of injection moulding non standard materials such as elastomers and thermosets. The effects of moulding conditions and process variables on products, e.g. shrinkage and orientation. Systematic approach to correction of moulding faults. Heating and cooling requirements. EUROMAP specifications and standards; Machine Safety: Requirements and types of safety mechanisms.

Extrusion: Basic screw types for single screw extruders, vented extruders. Overview of the main extrusion processes of; tube, wire coating, sheet and film. Design of mixing heads for single screw extrusion. Coextrusion process. Comparison with twin screw extrusion. Introduction to screw and die characteristics. Fault diagnosis of common processing problems. Basic screw and die design considerations.

Vacuum Forming; Positive, negative, drape, air slip, snap back, and plug assist. Mould design, draft angles and venting for vacuum forming etc. Choice of mould making materials. Manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic machines

Rotational Moulding: Principles, equipment and processing. Material selection. Practical Content Determination of the optimum moulding area diagram for a range of engineering materials Optimise vacuum forming parameters Effect of extrusion variable on the dimensions of an extruded profile. Use of parison programming on the material distribution of a blow moulded bottle.

Blow Moulding: Principles of injection and extrusion blow moulding. Parison formation, Blowing systems, the effects of material properties on the product, the effect of processing parameters on the product.

Injection mould design: Basic mould construction

Feed systems: Sprue, Runner and gate systems, including valve-gating. Runner profiles and freeze characteristics, Gate types, size and choice of gating position. Surface vs submarine gates. Runner balancing. Hot runner / insulated runner systems.
Cooling channel design, size and layout. Heat transfer requirements.
Venting: Role of venting, choice of vent location, problems with poor venting.

Mould Analysis:

Pressure Drops in Mould: Calculation of pressure drops across primary, secondary, and tertiary runner; Runner design, including runner balance; Pressure build-up in cavity; Design of runners for two and three plate moulds. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both hot runner and insulated runner moulds.

Rheology of Polymers: Newtonian and Non-Newtonian liquids pseudoplastic behaviour; Pressure-Volume-Temperature (PVT) curves ; effects of shear and shear rates on polymers; Use of viscosity and shear rates curves; Factors affecting viscosity; Applications of Rheological Data; Application of rheological properties to moulding conditions.

Plastic flow analysis package: Moulding filling application e.g. MoldFlow. Factors affecting filling, cooling characteristics, warp analysis, effects of gate position, viscosity affects. 

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
40 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
60 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Injection Moulding Practical Assignment 20 % Week 10 1
2 Mould Flow Analysis Continuous Assessment Project 20 % Week 12 6

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Exam Final Exam Assessment 60 % End of Semester 1,2,3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Presentation of Module Material 3 Weekly 3.00
Laboratory Practical Engineering Laboratory Laboratory 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 5.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Injection Moulding Machines, Johannaber, Hanser, 2007

Injection Molding Handkbook: The Complete Molding Operation, Rosato, Chapman & Hall, 1995

Injection Moulding Handbook, Rosato, Springer Science & Business Media 2012

Plastics Extrusion Technology, Hensen, Hanser, 1997

Polymer Extrusion, Rauwendaal, Hanser, 2014

Extrusion Processing Data, Alberto Naranjo C., Maria del Pilar Noriega E., Juan Diego Sierra M., Juan Rodrigo Sanz., Hanser, 2001

Materials and Processes in Manufacturing, E. Paul Degarmo, Wiley, 2011

Blow Molding Handbook : Technology,Performance,Markets,Economics. The Complete Blow Molding Operation, Rosato, Rosato & DiMattia, Hanser, 2003

Injection Mold Design Engineering, David O'Kasmer, Hanser, 2016

Injection Mould Design, RWG Pye, Longman Scientific

Other Resources

Plastic and rubber weekly journal

Newscientist journal

Polymer journal, Kunstoffe, Modern Plastics,