Replicability of Ultrasonic Molding for Processing Thin-Wall Polystyrene Plates with a Microchannel

Ultrasonic molding is a new technology for processing small and micro polymeric components with reasonable cost and energy savings when small and medium batch sizes are required. However, when microcomponents are manufactured, the replicability of different micro features has to be guaranteed. The aim is to investigate the capability of ultrasonic molding technology for processing thin-wall plates of polystyrene with a microchannel, analyzing the filling behavior, the optical transparency, and the dimensional accuracy of the thin plate. The replicability of the manufactured microchannel is studied according to dimension and shape. The results reveal that plunger velocity influences transparency and filling cavity, whereas the vibration amplitude has less effect in both cases. The thickness deviation achieved on the final part is below 7% and the replication of the microchannel is better in depth than width, obtaining an average deviation of 4% and 11%, respectively. This replication also depends on the orientation of the microchannels and the distance from the injection gate. The replicability and repeatability for processing thin-wall plates with microchannel in polystyrene polymer are proved in this paper ​
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