Cavity Balance
Pressure Drop
Process Window
Gate Seal
Cooling Study

 Theory of Gate Seal

The holding pressure must pack into the cavity, the plastic equivalent to this volumetric shrinkage that occurs during the cooling down of the plastic as it hits the cold walls of the mold. The plastic enters the cavity through the gate. As long as the gate is not frozen, the plastic can enter the cavity or leave the cavity. The holding pressure must therefore be applied till the gate is frozen. This is where the time factor gets into the picture. If enough time is not given, two of the following can happen. First, enough plastic will not get into the cavity and second, the plastic inside the cavity which is under high pressure will come out of the cavity. It is therefore imperative that the time for which the holding pressure is applied is enough to freeze the gate of the part.

A very simple study is performed to determine this time. Samples molded with different holding times are weighed and the time after which the weight remains constant is set as the holding time. As the holding time is increased more and more plastic enters the cavity increasing the weight. But as soon as the gate is frozen, the plastic cannot get into the cavity and the part weight remains constant. This is called the gate freeze time or the gate seal time. See the picture on the next page.

You will notice that the part weight remains constant after 9 seconds. The holding time is set to one second higher than the gate seal time to ensure that the gate is frozen during every shot. In the case of the graph below the time was set to 10 seconds. This will ensure consistency and any small variations will be compensated for.



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