Co-injection molding, also known as sandwich molding, is a process in which two or more polymers are laminated together in a mold cavity. Integrated ultrasonic sensors embedded into a mold insert of a coinjection-molding machine have been used for realtime, nonintrusive, and nondestructive diagnosis of co-injection-molding processes. Diagnosis of core arrival, core flow speed, part solidification, part detachment from the mold, thickness of skin and core, and core length at the mold was demonstrated. It is found that core flow speed and peak cavity pressure monotonically increased and decreased with the core volume percentage, respectively. Thicknesses of the skin and core of the molded part were estimated using the presented ultrasonic technique during molding with an accuracy better than ±17%. In addition, the core length had correlation with core thickness, core flow speed, and peak cavity pressure. Among them, the core thickness measured by the ultrasonic technique had the better correlation. This technique enables process optimization, the maximum process efficiency, and inprocess quality assurance of the molded parts. POLYM.

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Journal Polymer Engineering and Science
Cheng, C.-C. (Chin-Chi), Ono, Y, & Jen, C.-K. (Cheng-Kuei). (2007). Real-time diagnosis of co-injection molding using ultrasound. Polymer Engineering and Science, 47(9), 1491–1500. doi:10.1002/pen.20852