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Computer-Aided Design for Dimensional Stability of Injection Molded Fiber-Reinforced Polymers

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Chemical Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Christopher J. Hershey Michigan State University

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Christopher Hershey is a third year Chemical Engineering doctoral student and a Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Michigan State University. He received dual BS degrees in Chemical Engineering and Computational Chemistry at Michigan State University. During his undergraduate studies, he worked as a Resident Assistant for four years as well as an Undergraduate Research Assistant focusing on computational fluid dynamics simulations of reactive polyurethane foam flow. His current research interests include the nonlinear rheology and constitutive modeling of polymer nanocomposites.

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K. (Jay) Jayaraman Michigan State University

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Dr. K. (Jay) Jayaraman is Professor and Withrow Distinguished Scholar in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Michigan State University. He earned a PhD degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University. His research interests are in rheological characterization, melt processing and solid-state processing of polymer composites and nanocomposites, foams and thermoplastic elastomers. He has collaborated continually with companies such as ExxonMobil Chemical Co., Dow Chemical Co., Basell, Siemens, BASF, Petoskey Plastics, Nanocor and Eovations LLC on applying rheological tests to understand flow behavior of polymeric materials: flow marks in injection molding, processing and rheology of polymer-clay nanocomposites, foamed polymers, and solid state die-drawing of expanded and oriented polymer composites. He has supervised 23 PhD students and 18 MS students at Michigan State University. He has co-authored over seventy publications, five patents and one filed patent and delivered keynote lectures at meetings of the International Polymer Processing Society.

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New exercises were developed for a senior level composites processing class with the help of Moldex3D software “e-design” modules to illustrate computer aided process design for injection molding of short fiber reinforced polypropylene parts. This class combines laboratory measurements and lectures on problem solving related to extrusion, compression molding and injection molding of both thermoplastic and thermosetting compounds. The emphasis in these problems was on dimensional stability and fiber orientation with different part geometries – a center gated disc and an edge gated rectangular plaque. Sixty students enrolled in the class were grouped into teams of three for this problem set.

The geometry and mesh were generated and made available to the student teams. Two tutorials were also run to demonstrate the use of the software with readily available meshes to the students. By changing different parameters such as fill time, pack time, polymer type and fiber content, students could visualize these changes in the molded part dimensions and shape. Part quality was then estimated using parameters such as overall shrinkage and warpage. Students were also able to directly compare the simulated disc to an actual injection molded disc from a similar mold. The advantage of the simulation exercise was in helping students to visualize flow fields during injection as well as understanding the effects of various parameters on the final part dimensions. This visualization was a strength of Moldex3D as students were able to generate detailed contour plots and graphs along with videos to fully understand the processing stage for polymer composites. Using these visualization tools, each student team was able to evaluate and summarize how incorporating glass fibers into a polymer matrix affected the shrinkage and warpage of the molded part. Student responses were gathered to a survey questionnaire on their learning experience with the computer-aided design exercises.

Hershey, C. J., & Jayaraman, K. J. (2016, June), Computer-Aided Design for Dimensional Stability of Injection Molded Fiber-Reinforced Polymers Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26556

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