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New State of the Art for Micromolding Applications and Nano-Composites

SIGMA Plastic Services, Inc., presents the latest expansions in the functionality of its 3D injection simulation software SIGMASOFT®. A focus of the latest developments is the simulation of micro-molded applications and the integration of nano-composites.

Nano-composites influence the rheology of plastic melts significantly. By improving the melt fluidity, processing at lower temperatures is possible, saving energy and cycle time. Furthermore, the part properties can be tailored by using nanoparticles as reinforcement. However, these advantages can only be reached if the nanoparticles achieve the desired distribution in the cavity and if no particle-segregation occurs as a consequence of flow effects.

The nanoparticle distribution should be considered early, during part and mold design, and measures should be taken to avoid undesirable results. Therefore, a new model was integrated into the injection molding simulation software SIGMASOFT®, which now makes it possible to simulate and analyze the local particle distribution and thus define clear guidelines for the design of part, mold and runner system.

An interesting field of application for nano-scale particles is the property modification in micromolding applications. Due to the significant variation in proportions between the size of the part and the size of the mold, micro-injection molding exhibits particular thermo-rheological effects, which are ignored in the conventional modeling available for the injection molding simulation of macro-applications. Particularly, the thermal interaction between mold and melt on the nano-scale must be considered and defined exactly from the physical point of view. The solver technology of SIGMASOFT® was extended and validated to consider these nano-scale-induced effects.
The results were obtained as part of the German BMBF research project “Process Development for the injection Molding of Nano-composites for the serial production of micro- and macro-applications”. Also the companies Doose Werkzeugbau (Hennstedt-Ulzburg), Krämer Engineering (Rendsburg), WISKA Hoppmann & Mulsow GmbH (Kaltenkirchen), JENOPTIK Polymer Systems GmbH (Triptis) and the Fraunhofer-Institut für Fertigungstechnik und Angewandte Materialforschung IFAM, (Bremen) collaborated on this research project.

SIGMA® ( is 100% owned by MAGMA® (, the world market leader in casting process simulation technology based in Aachen, Germany. Our SIGMASOFT® process simulation solution optimizes the manufacturing process for injection molded plastic components. SIGMASOFT® combines the 3D geometry of the parts and runners with the complete mold assembly and temperature control system and incorporates the actual production process to develop a turnkey injection mold with an optimized process.

At SIGMA® and MAGMA®, our goal is to help our customers achieve required part quality during the first trial. The two product lines – injection molded polymers and metal castings – share the same 3D simulation technologies focused on the simultaneous optimization of design and process. SIGMASOFT® thus includes a variety of process-specific models and 3D simulation methods developed, validated and constantly improved for over 25 years. A process-driven simulation tool, SIGMASOFT®, with its comprehensive simulation approach, provides a tremendous benefit to production facilities. Imagine your business when every mold you build produces required quality the first time, every time. That is our goal. This technology cannot be compared to any other conventional “Design” simulation approach employed in plastics injection molding.

New product success requires a different communication between designs, materials, and processes that design simulation is not meant for. SIGMASOFT® provides this communication. SIGMA® support engineers, with 450 years of combined technical education and practical experience, can support your engineering goals with applications specific solutions. SIGMA® offers direct sales, engineering, training, implementation, and support, by plastics engineers worldwide.

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Sat. July 20th, 2024

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