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Mold Wall Thickness
Jan 29, 2018


       Non-uniform wall sections can contribute to warpage and stresses in molded parts. Sections which are too thin have a higher chance of breakage in handling, may restrict the flow of material and may trap air causing a defective part. Too heavy a wall thickness, on the other hand, will slow the curing cycle and add to material cost and increase cycle time.


Generally, thinner walls are more feasible with small parts rather than with large ones. The limiting factor in wall thinness is the tendency for the plastic material in thin walls to cool and solidify before the mold is filled. The shorter the material flow, the thinner the wall can be. Walls also should be as uniform in thickness as possible to avoid warpage from uneven shrinkage. When changes in wall thickness are unavoidable, the transition should be gradual and not abrupt.


Some plastics are more sensitive to wall thickness than others, where acetal and ABS plastics max out at around 0.12 in. thick (3 mm), acrylic can go to 0.5 in. (12 mm), polyurethane to 0.75 in. (18 mm), and certain fiber-reinforced plastics to 1 in. (25 mm) or more. Even so, designers should recognize that very thick cross sections can increase the likelihood of cosmetic defects like sink.

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