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Cavalier builds molds for widely diverse applications, including products for the automotive, commercial, recreational, heavy truck and agricultural industries. Whether your needs are injection, structural foam, gas assist, multi-shot, thermoset, prototype or compression molds.
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Aluminum has been used as a mold material for prototype and production applications. Aluminum molds have increasingly been used in mass production of automotive parts as well as large, plastic home appliance components such as washing machine tubs. Some unique benefits include high thermal conductivity and superior machinability. Aluminum mold alloys have about four times higher thermal conductivity than mold steels dramatically reducing cooling time in injection molding and minimizing local hot spots that result in part distortion and degraded exterior surfaces. It also helps deliver simpler coolant channel design. Aluminum molds also can be machined faster and polished rapidly.
Gas Counter Pressure
Counter pressure can be best described as an extension of modification of the stand injection molding process, the difference is how the melt front of the incoming resin is controlled. Counter pressure provides a controlled resistance to the flow front, forcing some of the melt to enter the thinner or harder to fill areas during the initial injection. It can also aid in keeping unwanted volatiles from breaking through the flow front. The gas used to develop the counter pressure pushes on the melt front during injection. Surface imperfections such as splay, glass fibers, colour streaks and surface blisters can often be eliminated.
Injection compression molding is a method of creating uniform properties, typically with long fiber reinforced plastics. This is done by changing the volume of the cavity during the molding process, essentially closing the mold completely only after the plastic material is already in the mold. With the mold slightly open the shot is injection into the open cavity which allows material travel over most of the part rather than flowing through wall stock. The mold is then closed “compressing” the shot to form the final part shape. Shrinkage and deformation effects are reduced, uniform pack and melt compression allows for greater rib/wall ratios with fewer sink marks and greater molding precision.
Multi-shot (or two-shot) molding is the process of physically bonding two different materials into one component within one manufacturing process. A proven technology that is used across many industries, multi-shot molding allows multiple materials to be injected into separate locations on the same mold. Different surfaces, even incompatible materials, can be securely bonded into a single component that is stronger and more durable than its two-piece counterpart.
Structural foam molding is a low pressure injection molding process where gas is introduced into melted polymer for the purpose of reducing density and weight of the finished product while increasing the strength. The structural foam molding process utilizes a resin that has been injected with gas then into the mold, where the gas expands and fills the mold with foam. As the foam flows through the mold, the surface cells collapse. Solid skins are formed against the walls of the mold, while the core of the part remains structurally foamed. Because the outer skin is solid and the center of the wall is foam, the part weight is reduced up to 20%. Structural foam yields parts that are larger and sturdier than injection molding. The process pressures are much lower than in injection molding, thereby producing parts that are structurally sound, nearly stress-free and have minimal warpage. Parts made are thicker and sturdier than with other processes, have faster cycles due to better heat transfer of aluminum, allow for multiple molds to be run at the same time using different colours/materials, parts are recyclable and significant reduction in cost and increases in productivity.
Stack Molds are a series of mold faces that are “stacked” together to create multiple levels for molding. Each level or face is a parting line and produces molded product. The benefit of stack molding is to increase the output during operation. Special press considerations are required to run stack molds, and in many cases, parts with a large projected area can be converted or built in a stack mold configuration, doubling the output of a given tool.