Thermal insulation of injection molding tools: an advantage ?

Injection molding technology has grown exponentially over the past 50 years and still has fine days ahead, but must adapt to increasing energetic and ecological constraints.

In the current context of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and their adverse impact on the climate, the use of plastics is strongly criticised. Yet it seems impossible to do without because our daily life is too impregnated with them (packaging, household appliances, electronics, various equipments, etc.).

Injection molding technology enables high productivity combined with unequaled freedom of design. This technology has grown exponentially over the past 50 years and still has fine days ahead, but must adapt to increasing energetic and ecological constraints.

Much effort has already been expended in the design of machines and accessories. However, this technique requires energy twice over: once to heat and melt the material and second to cool it as quickly as possible. Ideally, it would be obvious to recover all the energy provided during heating at cooling.

For this purpose, it is necessary to minimise energy losses as much as possible. These are found at all levels of the manufacturing process: losses in the heating barrel, losses in the tooling, losses in the coolant lines, etc.

The paper 'Thermal Insulation of Injection Molding Tools: an Advantage ? ' focuses exclusively on the tooling part that is out of the scope of the machine suppliers and evaluates the potential interest in isolating the injection molds.