Analysis and sensitivity analysis for polymer injection and compression molding

Douglas E. Smith, Daniel A. Tortorelli, Charles L. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polymer process modeling, design sensitivity analysis, and numerical optimization are combined to design processes for the manufacture of plastic components via the injection and compression molding processes. The Newton-Raphson iteration is used to solve the nonlinear equations for the polymer melt pressure field which are formed via the isothermal Hele-Shaw flow analysis and Galerkin finite element method. To compute the fill time and filling pattern, a moving boundary analysis is developed based on the volume-of-fluid (VOF) technique. Design sensitivities for the transient coupled pressure and volume fraction analyses are evaluated using the direct differentiation method. The molding analysis and sensitivity analysis are combined with numerical optimization to design, not just analyze, the injection and compression molding processes. Examples illustrate the polymer processing design methodology where the injection molding process is designed to minimize mold fill time and satisfy constraints on injection flow rate and mold clamp force.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-344
Number of pages20
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 21 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computer Science Applications


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