Molding lightweight parts

Less weight - every ounce counts

Cost savings, increased efficiency, conservation of resources and CO2 emissions: lightweight construction as a "problem solver" is a key topic for the future in numerous sectors. The aim is to reduce part weights, while maintaining or improving mechanical properties. Innovative injection molding processes are required for this purpose.

Acting jointly with a network of expert partners and cooperating closely with universities, ARBURG is constantly developing new solutions for the injection molding of lightweight parts. The range extends from function-specific product design and the modification of processes and plastics, through to multi-material design. The result are processes and additional equipment ready for high-volume production combined with a high level of consulting expertise.

ProFoam foaming process

ARBURG offers ProFoam for the physical foaming of thermoplastics. The plastic granulate is mixed with a gaseous blowing agent in a granulate lock upstream of the injection unit. This means that glass-fiber reinforced plastics can be processed without additional shearing. Ideal prerequisites for lightweight construction.
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Highlights

  • Lightweight construction for weight reduction: forming the finest cell structures in the component, saving material
  • Homogeneous foam structure: lighter molded parts with fewer sink holes, less shrinkage and distortion
  • Foaming of glass-fiber reinforced plastics: normal screw geometry without a mixer
  • Efficient foaming technology: simple process control with gaseous blowing agent, machines can be used without restrictions for conventional injection molding

Downloads
Customer magazine today 65, p. 12-13 "Pöppelmann: Frank Schockemöhle reports on the advantages of the ProFoam process" (PDF - 3,7 MB)
Customer magazine today 59, p. 14-15 „Strong Leightweights“ (PDF - 3,9 MB)
Brochure: Injection moulding of lightweight parts (PDF - 1,6 MB)

FDC process

In Fiber Direct Compounding (FDC), glass fibres measuring up to 50 mm long are fed directly into the liquid melt by means of a side feeder on the injection unit. This minimizes damage to the fibers during material processing. The fiber length, fiber content and material combination can also be individually adjusted.
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Highlights

  • High-strength lightweight construction: increasing the load-bearing capacity of the lightweight parts, reducing wall thicknesses
  • High degree of flexibility: simple process control, machines can be used without restrictions for conventional injection molding
  • Individual process settings: targeted influencing of part properties
  • Cost benefits: initial materials (plastic and glass fiber rovings) are less expensive than long fiber granulates

Downloads
Customer magazine today 63, p. 18-19 "ROS: Fibre direct compounding reduces costs and part weight" (PDF - 3,6 MB)
Customer magazine today 56, p. 26-27, “Red Hot” (PDF - 3,9 MB)
Customer magazine today 50, p. 6-7 „long fibres – high-strength part“ (PDF - 4,8 MB)
Brochure: Injection moulding of lightweight parts (PDF - 1,6 MB)

Overmolding thermoplastic composites

A combination of injection molding and thermoforming of thermoplastic composites can further enhance the strength of fiber-reinforced molded parts. This includes the integration of additional reinforcements through ribs, or functional elements, such as mountings.
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Highlights

  • Lightweight construction with multi-material design: highly resilient injection molded parts, high potential for the substitution of metallic materials
  • Fully automatic manufacturing process: injection molding turns thermoplastic composite sections into ready-to-install structural components
  • Ideal for high-volume applications: cycle times similar to injection molding

Downloads
Customer magazine today 60, p. 24-25 “The future is light” (PDF - 3,9 MB)
Customer magazine today 53, p. 13 “Every gram counts” (PDF - 3,6 MB)
Brochure: Injection moulding of lightweight parts (PDF - 1,6 MB)

PCIM process

In Particle-foam Composite Injection Molding (PCIM), a foamed molded part is permanently bonded with plastic. The multi-material design combines the benefits of both materials for functional lightweight parts. The result is strong, lightweight parts or energy-absorbent products with mounting elements.
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Highlights

  • Lightweight construction with functional integration: injection molding transforms lightweight, energy-absorbent and insulating particle foams into assembly-friendly parts
  • Resilient parts: permanent, positive bond between particle foam (EPP, EPS) and thermoplastic (ABS, PP, TPE)
  • Cost-effective high-volume production: ready-to-use parts without downstream assembly

Downloads
Customer magazine today 56, p. 6-7, “There’s more to plastic” (PDF - 3,9 MB)
Customer magazine today 51, p. 12-13 "Jointly reaching news heights" (PDF - 3,7 MB)
Brochure: Injection moulding of lightweight parts (PDF - 1,6 MB)