Calaon, Matteo1; Tosello, Guido1; Hansen, Hans Nørgaard1; Nørregaard, J.4
1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark2 Manufacturing Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark3 NIL Technology ApS4 NIL Technology ApS
The growing demand to manufacture, with high accuracy, structures enabling transportation, treatments and measurements of minuscule biomedical samples on polymer substrates is pushing the process capability of technologies such as injection molding to their limits. To characterize and asses the replication quality of molded micro-features on cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) a tool insert collecting critical channel cross sections was manufactured. The master was made by UV lithography and subsequent nickel electroplating. Effect of packing phase parameters (packing time, packing pressure) and mold temperature were investigated. Moreover, consequences of different positions, directions and nominal channels width were considered. Edge replication quality was quantitatively characterized, analyzing calibrated scanning electron microscope (SEM) images with a digital imaging processing software. Results showed better replication fidelity mainly influenced by the higher mold temperature and also by higher packing pressure, whereas poor edges quality was observed for the smallest replicated test structures.