To read this content please select one of the options below:

Hybrid moulds: effect of the moulding blocks on the morphology and dimensional properties

Pedro Gonçalves Martinho (Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, School of Technology and Management, Leiria, Portugal)
Paulo Jorge Bártolo (CDRSP, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Leiria, Portugal)
António Sérgio Pouzada (Institute for Polymers and Composites, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 16 January 2009




This paper aims to explore the influence of the materials used in moulding blocks of hybrid moulds on the injection moulding setup and the properties of the mouldings.


An instrumented (pressure and temperature) hybrid mould with exchangeable moulding blocks, produced by rapid prototyping and tooling techniques (RPT), was used to produce polypropylene tubular mouldings. The configuration of the mould was varied with combinations of moulding block materials, namely, an epoxy resin composite processed by vacuum casting and steel. The processing conditions were adjusted to obtained steady processing conditions. The mouldings were assessed in terms of the microstructure and the shrinkage.


Due to the properties of the moulding block obtained by RPT being different from tool steel, the injection moulding processing conditions and the plastics parts properties are different when hybrid moulds are used. The cycle time depends on the moulding block properties and must be adjusted to the desired running temperature. The morphology of the mouldings is strongly affected by the thermal properties of the moulding block materials. When different materials are used in the core and the cavity asymmetric structures develop in the part. The shrinkage of the mouldings, when resin cores are used is also affected by the deformation of the core caused by the injection pressure.


This paper makes a contribution to understanding the morphology of semi‐crystalline mouldings obtained using hybrid moulds and enhances the importance of the core deformation on the shrinkage of the mouldings.



Gonçalves Martinho, P., Jorge Bártolo, P. and Sérgio Pouzada, A. (2009), "Hybrid moulds: effect of the moulding blocks on the morphology and dimensional properties", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 71-82.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles