A Review on Microcellular Injection Moulding

Yifei Ding, Mohammed H Hassan, Otto Bakker, Srichand Hinduja, Paulo Bártolo

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Abstract

Microcellular injection moulding (MuCell®) is a polymer processing technology that uses a supercritical fluid inert gas, CO 2 or N 2, to produce light-weight products. Due to environmental pressures and the requirement of light-weight parts with good mechanical properties, this technology recently gained significant attention. However, poor surface appearance and limited mechanical properties still prevent the wide applications of this technique. This paper reviews the microcellular injection moulding process, main characteristics of the process, bubble nucleation and growth, and major recent developments in the field. Strategies to improve both the surface quality and mechanical properties are discussed in detail as well as the relationships between processing parameters, morphology, and surface and mechanical properties. Modelling approaches to simulate microcellular injection moulding and the mathematical models behind Moldex 3D and Moldflow, the two most commonly used software tools by industry and academia, are reviewed, and the main limitations are highlighted. Finally, future research perspectives to further develop this technology are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4209
JournalMaterials
Volume14
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Mechanical properties
  • Microcellular injection moulding
  • MuCell®
  • Polymer processing
  • Processing parameters
  • Surface quality

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