Simulated demolding process for the smooth production of elastomer components
Silicone can be squashed, stretched and deformed. Which is perfect for application in a whole range of different sectors but is precisely what causes a challenge in the production of silicone components though. However, it is possible using the finite elements methods to establish in a simulation before the production of real parts whether the demolding process for parts will run ideally and improve it.
Silicone is different, at the same time it is irrelevant whether we’re talking about a radial seal for a car or a teat for babies’ bottles, the demolding process is usually challenging. When we think about demolding concepts for elastomer components the options for silicone in particular do not end with a classic ejection concept. Pressing, pulling, rotating, deflating, inflating, gripping, pinching – the possibilities are varied. Selecting the right kind of demolding for the part is not a trivial task especially for complex components.
For this reason, the product development department at starlim//sterner has picked up on this issue and integrated the simulation of demolding processes and optimization into its current prefabricated part simulation system. In doing so, the starlim//sterner developers are taking care of optimizing the demolding aids or finding a demolding concept during the tool’s construction phase – in particular with critical or complex elastomer components.
You already know where it pinches beforehand
The advantage of simulation is quite clearly in being able to scrutinize the individual and detailed areas which you might possibly not be able to reach or see on the tool. The technician and/or design engineer has the possibility of looking at the demolding process slowly step by step and at the same time deciding whether any optimizations are required, and all of this before there is even any physical demolding.
The starlim//sterner developers have acquired expertise in parts simulation over many years. The validation phase of the results, which takes just under two years, shows the complexity of this issue though. Today we have reached the point where both radial and mat seals as well as dummy teats have been optimized to the extent that there is no longer any need to adapt the demolding aids for the initial sample placement.
However, one question remains: Which components are the next great challenges of the future? The next ideas are already being hatched here though, as nothing is impossible.