A quick and easy to use tool, the Flow Calculator performs a flow analysis of the selected material in a given geometry. This has been one of the more highly used engineering tools for its ease of use and insightful information regarding the procesability of the part. This tool is designed to help you gain insight into the manufacturability of your part by determining the maximum injection pressure required to fill a given flow length. It also enables you to perform fill time and wall thickness scans and to visualize the effects of these parameters. This tool, along with 15 other Engineering Tools, is now available on www.sabic-ip.com.
So how does the tool work? The Flow Calculator is designed to let you select certain parameters that best suits the application in terms of the material, part thickness, flow length, and runner set-up. You can select the type of geometry by clicking the appropriate radio button: disk, half-disc or an edge gated strip. The type of geometry you’d select would be based on the geometry that best resembled the application geometry. For instance, if you were going to analyze a bezel for a monitor housing, you could break down the geometry into a strip where the length would be the complete flow length of the bezel, and the width would be the combined distance of the bezel width if you were to unfold the design into a flat strip. Using the full disk geometry, where the radius of the disk would simulate the part’s flow length, you could simulate a centrally gated part. An edge-gated part could be simulated using the half-disk geometry. The purpose of this tool is not to give absolute values of what to expect in the actual molding process, but rather an idea of how well one specified material would perform in that geometry compared to another material. As always, SABIC Innovative Plastics recommends end use testing and greater in depth analysis of the application to make sure it meets application performance requirements prior to commercialization. A more in-depth mold filling analysis should also be considered if a new mold is going to be built for the part.
There are other factors that will have an effect on the flow calculation. The type of runner system – hot or cold, and the runner length and diameter will affect the filling analysis. The temperature values will also have an impact on the flow analysis – the melt temperature of the material and the mold temperature. The default values that automatically populate the input fields in the calculator are the median value between the maximum and minimum temperatures in our suggested settings found on our datasheet. An increase in either the melt or mold temperature, will typically reduce the pressure to fill the part. And inversely, a decrease in either will have the opposite effect, where the pressure to fill the part will increase.
You can access the flow calculator directly from the Engineering Tools home page or through the links on Build My Application under Analysis Tools segment. Registration is required to access the flow calculator as well the other engineering tools and design data. Additional grades of resin will continually be added to the engineering tool database for analysis in the Flow Calculator.
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