Improved part properties via virtual DoE
The German company Sigma Engineering GmbH from Aachen is presenting its Sigmasoft Virtual Molding software and the enclosed Autonomous Optimization technology at various exhibitions in spring 2019. The software helps to find the ideal configuration of part, mould and process in one calculation. The Autonomous Optimization and the included possibility to conduct virtual Design of Experiments (DoE) help the users to improve existing injection moulding tools and processes as well as to virtually test different configurations and innovative approaches.
According to the company, Sigmasoft serves as a virtual injection moulding machine and allows the user to test different set-ups and new concepts without risk on the computer. With the newly included possibility to conduct a virtual DoE, different geometry and process parameter variations can be compared and evaluated in one single calculation. In this way, the user can easily answer various questions on the part and process upfront during the design stage without conducting tests on an injection moulding machine, said Sigma Engineering.
A common type of virtual DoE, regardless of the polymer used, is the determination of the ideal injection point for the part. For fibre-reinforced thermoplastic materials, the injection point has a main influence on the resulting fibre-orientation inside the part. Depending on the flow path of the melt, the fibres show a varying orientation inside the part. This leads to different mechanical properties. By determining the best injection point, the user can considerably improve the fibre-orientation and thus the mechanical properties of the part.
For rubber and liquid silicone rubber (LSR) materials, the required injection pressure is mainly depending on the gating system. To optimise the pressure loss and the whole gating system, a virtual DoE, which evaluates different positions and number of gates, is a straightforward approach. At the same time, the risk of potential air entrapments is estimated. Based on this first evaluation the ideal configuration of the cold runner and the optimum filling time can be determined. In the further course of the project, the design of the whole mould and its concept for the heating cartridges is supported by the software.
With the possibility to conduct a virtual DoE, Sigmasoft Virtual Molding supports the user during the design of parts, moulds and processes. The software provides an easy to use tool to answer questions arising on topics like ideal injection point, temperature layout of the mould or optimum cycle time. Thus, it enables the user to make decisions on a sound basis and helps to significantly reduce trials on the machine and iterations for the mould.
Sigma Engineering will exhibit at the following trade shows: