Oh what a feeling, polymer annealing
The molecular structure and performance characteristics of polymer materials are altered when they are exposed to the high pressure and temperature settings of the injection moulding process.
Consequently, many injection moulded polymer products fail in the field due to their reduced strength and ductility. Industry’s attempts at managing this problem has been to anneal the product in water after moulding, however, their approach has lacked any scientific basis.
The aim of this project is to undertake a scientific analysis of the material structure and performance characteristics of polymer products when subject to annealing. Assisted by Philmac, a global leader in the design and manufacture of valves and polyethylene pipe fittings, our experiments based on varying temperature, time and post injection cooling, have been able to quantify the effectiveness of the annealing process and assess the impact these factors have on the physical material characteristics of the annealed part.
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