Vibration Assisted Injection Molding: An Innovative Energy Efficient Processing Technique for Poly-Lactic Acid (PLA) with Enhanced Properties

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This work is focused on the development of time and energy efficient injection molding processing strategies to fabricate semi-crystalline plastic components with enhanced properties. A Vibration Assisted Injection Molding (VAIM) process was devised for this purpose. This research was focused on understanding the effect of processing parameters such as vibrational frequency and cooling time on the mechanical and structural properties of semi-crystalline grade poly-lactic acid (PLA). It was observed that VAIM can reduce the cycle time for fabrication of PLA by 40% as compared to conventional injeciton molding. Furthermore, the VAIM samples had enhanced ultimate tensile strength, 50% more on average, even with the reduced cycle time as compared to the traditional injection molded samples. The VAIM samples had higher crystallinity and larger ratio crystalline domains of α phase than traditional injection molded samples. It was concluded the enhanced crystallinity was the primary contributor for enhanced properties and efficient fabrication.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: TechConnect Briefs 2021
Published: October 18, 2021
Pages: 18 - 21
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: 3D Printing, Advanced Manufacturing
ISBN: 978-0-578-99550-2