The effect of internal mould water spray cooling on rotationally moulded polyethylene parts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The conventional method of cooling during the rotational moulding process is through the use of forced air. During the cooling phase of a typical rotomoulding cycle, large volumes of high velocity room temperature air are forced across the outside of the rotating rotomoulding tool to encourage cooling of the metal mould and molten polymer. Since no cooling is applied to the inside of the mould, the inner surface of the polymer (polyethylene) cools more slowly and will have a tendency to be more crystalline and the polyethylene will have a higher density in this region. The side that cools more quickly (in contact with the inside mould wall) will be less crystalline, and will therefore have a lower density. The major consequence of this difference in crystallinity will be a buildup of internal stresses producing warpage and excessive shrinkage of the part with subsequent increased levels of scrap. Therefore excessive cooling on the outside of the mould should be avoided. One consequence of this effect is that the cooling time for a standard rotationally moulded part can be quite long and this has an effect on the overall economics of the process in terms of part manufacture. A number of devices are currently on the market to enhance the cooling of rotational moulding by introducing a water spray to the inside of the rotomoulding during cooling. This paper reports on one such device ’Rotocooler’ which during a series of initial industrial trials has been shown to reduce the cycletime by approximately 12 to 16%, with minimal effect on the mechanical properties, leading to a part which has less warpage and shrinkage than a conventionally cooled part.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication21st ESAFORM Conference 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Event21st International ESAFORM Conference on Material Forming, ESAFORM 2018 - Palermo, Italy
Duration: 23 Apr 201825 Apr 2018

Conference

Conference21st International ESAFORM Conference on Material Forming, ESAFORM 2018
CountryItaly
CityPalermo
Period23/04/201825/04/2018

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