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Shrinkage of Plastic Products: Challenges and Solutions in Engineering Plastics Design

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In engineering plastic design, shrinkage of plastic products is a common problem, which has an important impact on the dimensional accuracy, appearance and performance of the product. Shrinkage refers to the phenomenon of size reduction of plastic products during processing or cooling, which can lead to product size deviations, uneven surfaces and other problems. This article will explore the causes and effects of shrinkage of plastic products and propose corresponding solutions.

First, let’s understand the causes of shrinkage. Engineering plastics expand when heated and shrink when cooled during processing. This is because plastics have a high coefficient of thermal expansion, and temperature changes during processing cause dimensional changes. In addition, the shrinkage of plastics is also affected by processing conditions, plastic types, mold design and other factors. Therefore, these factors need to be fully considered during the design process to reduce the impact of shrinkage.

The impact of shrinkage on engineering plastic products is multifaceted. First of all, shrinkage will cause the dimensional accuracy of the product to decrease, affecting assembly and use performance. Secondly, shrinkage will cause shrinkage marks, warping and other appearance problems on the surface of the product, affecting the aesthetics and texture of the product. In addition, shrinkage may also cause internal stress concentration and reduce the mechanical properties and durability of the product.

In order to solve the shrinkage problem of engineering plastic products, we can take the following methods:

Optimize mold design: Mold design is an important means to control shrinkage. By optimizing the design of the mold, such as increasing the number of gates, adjusting the mold temperature, etc., the impact of shrinkage can be reduced. At the same time, the exhaust design of the mold is also very important, which can eliminate the gas generated during the processing and avoid internal stress concentration.
Choose the right plastic material: Different plastic materials have different shrinkage properties. Choosing the right material can effectively reduce the impact of shrinkage. For example, crystalline plastics typically shrink more than amorphous plastics, so selection needs to be based on specific application needs.

Adjust the processing technology: The processing technology has a great influence on shrinkage. By adjusting process parameters such as processing temperature, injection pressure, and cooling time, the impact of shrinkage can be reduced. For example, appropriately increasing the injection temperature can reduce the amount of shrinkage during cooling.
Adopt post-processing process: For some engineering plastic products with large shrinkage, post-processing process can be used to reduce dimensional deviation. For example, processes such as heat treatment, boiling, and baking can expand plastic products, thereby reducing the impact of shrinkage.

Auxiliary structural design: In some cases, dimensional deviations caused by shrinkage can be compensated for through auxiliary structural design. For example, adding reinforcement ribs, optimizing buckle structure design, etc. can improve the rigidity and stability of the product.

To sum up, shrinkage in engineering plastic design is an issue that needs attention. By optimizing mold design, selecting appropriate plastic materials, adjusting processing techniques, adopting post-processing techniques, and auxiliary structural design, shrinkage problems can be effectively solved and the quality and performance of engineering plastic products can be improved. In practical applications, we need to choose the appropriate solution according to the specific situation to minimize the impact of shrinkage. At the same time, we should also pay attention to industry development trends and technological innovation, and constantly explore new solutions and materials to meet changing market needs.

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