Structural Foam Molding gives manufacturers great flexibility and options. Multi-nozzle injection is key.
The benefits of structural foam molding begin with the process itself. Here are the basics:
THE PRESS – Much like typical injection molding, SFM machines use a reciprocating screw and barrel to inject heated plastic into a tool. This however is where the similarities end. The most obvious difference is the size of the machines themselves. SFM machines are massive and so are the parts and opportunities they provide. Unlike injection molding, SFM uses low pressure, gas-assist and other unique methods to mold components up to 200 lbs. in weight.
Instead of a single nozzle, a SFM press has a manifold and multiple nozzles.
COMPLETE CONTROL – Shot size, sequence, open & close time, gas-assist and more are digitally controlled at each individual nozzle. This saves material and time and produces a higher quality product.
SFM presses range from 500 to 1,500 ton or larger in size. The platen on a 1,500 ton press is 107”x161” and has 266 holes where the multiple nozzles can be precisely located for the specific production.
Every product is different and versatility is one the strengths of the SFM process. Very large sized parts can be molded. Or alternatively, multiple nozzles make it possible to simultaneously run multiple tools with multiple cavities on the same press used to produce the large components.