Research project "VentOpt"

"VentOpt" – Application oriented mold venting using complex microstructures

Project duration: 1. November 2013 – 31. March 2016

Plastic injection molding is one of the most economical manufacturing technologies for large scale production of plastic parts. During the closed and high-pressure injection process, molds are filled with hot plastic melt. The enclosed air must be evacuated in shortest time, since it will compress and heat up too much otherwise. As a consequence, fillings of plastic parts may not be completed and surface defects or even combustion caused by the “Diesel Effect” may occur. Therefore, a sufficient venting of the mold has to be guaranteed, whereby its application oriented implementation on the mold is still challenging.

The objectives of the project are the realization of the mold venting by functional microstructures placed in the parting plane of the mold and the further development of an existing simulation software, which then allows an application oriented design of the venting structures. The functionality of the venting and the influence of typical process parameters, like shape and dimension of the micro structures, will therefore be analyzed.

Our Approach

To ensure that only air and not the molten plastic leaks out, the complex and filigree venting structures have to be machined precisely into the parting plane of the mold.
The Fraunhofer IPT here uses the laser surface structuring technology. To assist the tool and mold maker with the layout of the venting already in the mold design phase, an innovative simulation software for the venting will be developed. Basing on the simulation results, suitable venting structures are proposed, and their position and number in the model are indicated. For the validation of the simulation results, a special injection tool is manufactured within the project. It is equipped with several temperature and pressure sensors.

The KMU-innovative project “VentOpt” (contract no. 02PK2371) is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Projekt coordination

Dr. Paul F. Filz
Simcon kunststofftechnische Software GmbH         
Schumanstr. 18 a
52146 Würselen
Phone +49 2405 645710

Project management

Project management agency (PTKA-PFT)
Dr.-Ing. Michael Große
Phone +49 721 608 25192

Contact Fraunhofer IPT

Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie IPT
Dipl.-Ing. Kai Winands
Steinbachstr. 17
52074 Aachen
Phone +49 241 8904 421