• Comparison of crystallization characteristics and mechanical properties of polypropylene processed by ultrasound and conventional micro injection molding

      Masato, Davide; Babenko, Maksims; Shriky, Banah; Gough, Timothy D.; Lucchetta, G.; Whiteside, Benjamin R. (2018-10)
      Ultrasound injection molding has emerged as an alternative production route for the manufacturing of micro-scale polymeric components, where it offers significant benefits over the conventional micro-injection molding process. In this work, the effects of ultrasound melting on the mechanical and morphological properties of micro-polypropylene parts were characterized. The ultrasound injection molding process was experimentally compared to the conventional micro-injection molding process using a novel mold, which allows mounting on both machines and visualization of the melt flow for both molding processes. Direct measurements of the flow front speed and temperature distributions were performed using both conventional and thermal high-speed imaging techniques. The manufacturing of micro-tensile specimens allowed the comparison of the mechanical properties of the parts obtained with the different processes. The results indicated that the ultrasound injection molding process could be an efficient alternative to the conventional process.