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An IR molding system for direct shaping of thermoplastics



A new molding technique is proposed to directly mold small parts from thermoplastic pellets. A small molding machine was designed and fabricated: the mold consisted of a transparent glass and a metallic frame; an infrared (IR) lamp provided the heat for the pellet melting. Molding tests were carried out by using three commercial thermoplastics and two metallic molds. Molding time and IR lamp power were changed to extract a moldability window for each combination of material and metallic mold. In the best process conditions, a high quality of the samples was obtained in terms of mold filling and surface aesthetics. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2010. © 2010 Society of Plastics Engineers