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Open AccessArticle

A Combined In-Mold Decoration and Microcellular Injection Molding Method for Preparing Foamed Products with Improved Surface Appearance

by Wei Guo 1,2,3, Qing Yang 1,2,3, Huajie Mao 2,3,4,*, Zhenghua Meng 1,2,3,*, Lin Hua 1,2,3 and Bo He 2,3,4
1
School of Automotive Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
2
Hubei Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Automotive Components, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
3
Hubei Collaborative Innovation Center for Automotive Components Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
4
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050778
Received: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 1 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon-Based Polymer Nanocomposites for High-Performance Applications)
A combined in-mold decoration and microcellular injection molding (IMD/MIM) method by integrating in-mold decoration injection molding (IMD) with microcellular injection molding (MIM) was proposed in this paper. To verify the effectiveness of the IMD/MIM method, comparisons of in-mold decoration injection molding (IMD), conventional injection molding (CIM), IMD/MIM and microcellular injection molding (MIM) simulations and experiments were performed. The results show that compared with MIM, the film flattens the bubbles that have not been cooled and turned to the surface, thus improving the surface quality of the parts. The existence of the film results in an asymmetrical temperature distribution along the thickness of the sample, and the higher temperature on the film side leads the cell to move toward it, thus obtaining a cell-offset part. However, the mechanical properties of the IMD/MIM splines are degraded due to the presence of cells, while specific mechanical properties similar to their solid counterparts are maintained. Besides, the existence of the film reduces the heat transfer coefficient of the film side so that the sides of the part are cooled asymmetrically, causing warpage. View Full-Text
Keywords: in-mold decoration injection molding; microcellular injection molding; surface quality; mechanical properties; warpage in-mold decoration injection molding; microcellular injection molding; surface quality; mechanical properties; warpage
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guo, W.; Yang, Q.; Mao, H.; Meng, Z.; Hua, L.; He, B. A Combined In-Mold Decoration and Microcellular Injection Molding Method for Preparing Foamed Products with Improved Surface Appearance. Polymers 2019, 11, 778.

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