Process monitoring of micro injection moulding (μ-IM) is of crucial importance in understanding the effects of different parameter settings on the process, especially on its performance and consistency in regards to parts’ quality. Quality factors related to mould cavity air evacuation can provide valuable information about the process dynamics and also about the filling of a cavity by a polymer melt. In this paper, a novel experimental set-up is proposed to monitor maximum air flow and air flow work as an integral of the air flow over time by employing a MEMS gas sensor mounted inside the mould. The influence of four μIM parameters, melt temperature, mould temperature, injection speed, and resistance to air evacuation, on two air flow-related output parameters is investigated by carrying out a design of experiment study. The results provide empirical evidence about the effects of process parameters on cavity air evacuation.
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Multi-material Micro Manufacture, 2011, p. 310-314