Micro injection molding enables the manufacture of micro-scale features with good accuracy at high production rates. However, the replication of complex micro and nano features is still challenging hindering the development of new functional surface topographies. The marked thermal gradient between injected polymer and mold surface and the reduced dimensions promote a rapid drop of melt temperature that causes the incomplete filling of the micro features. This study aims to investigate the combined effects of vacuum venting and mold wettability on the replication of micro-structured surfaces. A low-viscosity polystyrene and a cyclic olefin copolymer were selected and their wetting properties were evaluated. The results showed that a polymer with high wetting properties and an elevated viscosity dependence on temperature improves the replication of the micro features. Moreover, high interfacial effects can be exploited to significantly enhance the filling ratio when applying vacuum venting.

Effect of vacuum venting and mold wettability on the replication of micro-structured surfaces

SORGATO, MARCO;MASATO, DAVIDE;LUCCHETTA, GIOVANNI
2017

Abstract

Micro injection molding enables the manufacture of micro-scale features with good accuracy at high production rates. However, the replication of complex micro and nano features is still challenging hindering the development of new functional surface topographies. The marked thermal gradient between injected polymer and mold surface and the reduced dimensions promote a rapid drop of melt temperature that causes the incomplete filling of the micro features. This study aims to investigate the combined effects of vacuum venting and mold wettability on the replication of micro-structured surfaces. A low-viscosity polystyrene and a cyclic olefin copolymer were selected and their wetting properties were evaluated. The results showed that a polymer with high wetting properties and an elevated viscosity dependence on temperature improves the replication of the micro features. Moreover, high interfacial effects can be exploited to significantly enhance the filling ratio when applying vacuum venting.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3240024
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