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In today’s 3D world, products are required to do more for longer and it is the responsibility of the design engineer to evaluate their design decisions. Fortunately, we live in the age of computers and have a vast arsenal of simulation tools available to the modern engineer.

Questions easily answered…

  • How tall must I make this rib?
  • How strong is this part under certain loading conditions?
  • Where are the stresses located?
  • How much wall thickness will I need to insure this part is stable?

Shadow has been offering finite element analysis (FEA) since our founding in the mid 1990’s.

Simply stated, finite element analysis is the analytic method of dividing a part’s geometry into thousands of smaller regions known as elements. Then, a variety of properties are assigned to each element in order to give the sub-divided part strength, thickness, material properties and so on, so that the finite element model (FEM) represents your part. The FEM is then subjected to a multitude of unique analysis solvers that will simulate how your part will perform in operation.

Modules Available…

  • Therma
  • Mechanical
  • Vibrational
  • Modal
  • Buckling
  • Gravitational
  • Linear
  • Non-Linear
  • Static (stationary)
  • Dynamic (motion)
  • Impact

In a Mold Packing analysis, we identify and evaluate conditions found in the second stage of fill that can contribute to excessive warpage and tolerance inconsistencies. Examples of these conditions may include:

  • Excessive volumetric shrinkage problems
  • Potential sink marks
  • Premature gate freeze off
  • Poorly located gas traps

The results we typically evaluate are…

  • Melt front pattern
  • Fiber orientation
  • Shear rate
  • Shear stress
  • Knit lines
  • Gas entrapment
  • Pressure distribution and temperature differential

By optimizing the manufacturing performance at this stage, Shadow will maximize your product’s quality and strength due to molding. These results are then coupled together with the Mold Packing analysis to produce valuable insight into your mold’s performance.

Injection molding analysis is a very important analysis to perform before mold construction. Knowing your results before first shots can differentiate a successful product from an unsuccessful one.

In a Mold Filling analysis, Shadow generates the proposed part geometry in either 2.5-D shell or 3-D solid tetrahedral elements. We model the complete runner system including the type (hot/cold), size and location. Then, as needed, we will modify the design to develop a more advantageous layout to optimize the manufacturing performance during the first stage of fill.

Many questions can be answered by running this analysis:

  • Can this mold be filled?
  • How should the cooling be designed in the mold?
  • Will this part warp out of tolerance?
  • What is the correct material to use?
  • What are my clamp tonnages for this mold?
  • What is the estimated cycle time?

In a Mold Cooling analysis we prepare a complete finite element mold model by incorporating various types of cooling/heating circuits, as well as, mold inserts to evaluate all aspects of the cooling’s performance during each phase of the molding cycle.

With this analysis we are able to provide our clients with…

  • valuable insight into conditions that may contribute to extended cycle times
  • identify where unbalanced or non-turbulent coolant flows exist
  • hot spots within the mold and ultimately identify warpage tendencies

In Part Warpage simulations, Shadow utilizes all aspects of the Filling, Packing and Cooling phases to create a more comprehensive prediction of the net molded shape of your part. In addition, our warpage studies can be broken down into their major contributing factors such as differential shrinkage, differential cooling, molded-in residual stress, in-mold constraints, and molecular/filler orientation.

This service remains very popular among our customers who examine their part’s dimensions throughout the entire molding cycle.

Advanced Hot Runner Simulation is a valuable resource for clients interested in taking their molds to the next level. We simulate full heater manifolds, heating coils, hot runner nozzles and bushings. This helps identify imbalances due to inconsistent heating coil temperature control. Shadow employs Moldex3D technology to give the most accurate analytical information and predict behavior of different components.

For Conformal Cooling analysis, we utilize Moldex3d’s solid cooling channel simulation algorithms. The state of the art functionality of the Moldex software enables Shadow to predict cooling behavior in non-uniform cooling geometries. 

Our engineers can simulate the coolant pressure loss, streamline and flow filled circuits, as well as, laminar and turbulent flow models. 

In this method we simulate the multiple component molding process including insert molding, over molding, and multi-shot sequential molding. Shadow employs the true 3D technology and explicit analysis capabilities of Moldex 3D to provide the most accurate information available to predict behavior of components.

We utilize Moldex 3D’s three dimensional filling and viscoelastic analysis. Moldex’s software enables us to predict the birefringence caused by complicated process induced anisotropy. In addition we also integrate the photo-elasticity to provide the retardation, fringed order and fringed pattern after a light passes through the part.

Using the advanced technology of Accuform’s B-SIM software, Shadow analysts are able to identify areas where there are acceptable results, as well as, areas of concern in your design.

Analysis Results Include:

  • Net Thickness
  • Temperature
  • Von Mises Stresses
  • Von Mises Stresses
  • Critical Venting Areas
  • Critical Venting Areas
  • Planar Extensions
  • L1/L2 ratio

Using the advanced technology of Accuform’s T-SIM software, Shadow analysts are able to identify areas where there are acceptable results, as well as, areas of concern in your design.

Analysis Results Include:

  • Net Thickness
  • Temperature
  • Von Mises Stresses
  • Critical Venting Areas
  • Extensions in X
  • Extensions in Y
  • L1/L2 ratio

Starting with the male (core) and female (cavity) halves of the die, our analysts generate the shell mesh and sheet elements. Then using the innovative process and material tools of T-SIM, we develop a processing window ideally suited for the continuous manufacture of the final product.

Extrusion analysis is beneficial because knowing your results before samples eliminate costly delays to a product.

Questions commonly asked:

Using the advanced processing control of VEL (Virtual Extrusion Laboratory), we are able to identify acceptable areas and problem areas. The results can be viewed on a complete profile basis or on an individual region basis.

  • Can I properly form this part?
  • Is this die balanced?
  • What is the proper material to use?
  • Is there any cross-flow within the die head?
  • How should I cool this profile/sheet?
  • What is the best configuration of chill rollers?
  • What is the best configuration of chill rollers?
  • What areas within the die need optimization?
  • What production rate can we expect?

 Modules Available

  • 2D FEM
  • 3D FEM
  • Extruder
  • Spiral Die
  • Multi-Layer
  • Profile Die
  • Profile Cooling
  • Flat Die
  • Chill Roll
  • Flat Line
  • Flat Spiral Die

During my time as a contact engineer at AMECO-USA I was able to work directly with Rob. The knowledge base he has gathered over the years is quite extensive and was key to the project we were tasked with at the time. Speaking with Rob on many different business and engineering topics explained how his company became successful. I look forward to working with him again and would recommend him for most any engineering project.

Steven HernandezContract Engineer, AMECO

Our Design Engineering group has worked with Rob for the last 2 ½ years. He has helped us improve some existing molds and worked closely with us on new product designs on manufacturability, resin selection, mold flow analysis, mold design resulting in quality parts. Rob is very responsive and provides significant value. Rob participated with us and our molder in three-way Design Reviews. I highly recommend.

Rob. Preston PierceVP Design Engineering, Alcohol Monitoring Systems

I have been working with Shadow for nearly 5 years and each time it has been informative for both me and my customers. Their professionalism and state-of-the-art services have helped us remain competitive in today’s tight economy. At Sare Plastics we always strive for excellence and that is why we continue to work with Rob and his team for our engineering needs.

Bart StuchellPresident, Sare Plastics

Rob has been working with Moldex3D for 8 years and before hand he was already a veteran in this field. His background and domain knowledge in polymer processing development has been impressive to everyone in our company. Working with Rob is indeed reliable and delighted, which helps the projects finished with satisfaction. I herein recommend Rob as your valuable engineering partner to work with.

Kenny LuCEO, Moldex3D Northern America

Robert has worked and managed the technical projects for a number of major programs for my previous company; providing Plastics filling & FEA simulations. His technical expertise is excellent and quite extensive, providing his clients with design ideas that were out-of-the-box and very affective. He is easy person to work and achieves the goals set out by the client.

Jim KempthornApplication Engineer, Ferro Corporation

Over the years, GECOM Corp. has collaborated with Shadow Polymers on many occasions. When called upon, Shadow has always provided an analytical expertise which has allowed GECOM to successfully improve at both the component and tooling design levels. In the fast paced and demanding world of automotive manufacturing, Shadow has proven to be an invaluable ally.

GECOM Corp. Injection Molding Engineering Department, Greenburg, IN