Beaumont is pleased to announce that the patent for Therma-flo™ was issued on August 4, 2015 by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
The patent was minimally challenged due to the truly novel and revolutionary approach to characterizing how a plastic molds. All 84 claims within the patent were approved. Therma-flo™ is now the first technology with a method and systems patent for characterizing the injection moldability of plastic materials.
Over a nearly six year development process, Therma-flo™ has evolved beyond a characterization method to a new approach to studying the injection molding process. The new method and system technology, combined with specially developed mold mapping and process investigative software, extends the application to process and product development as well as polymer development and even injection molding simulation development.
Therma-flo™ was initially developed to measure and uniquely quantify how a polymer flows through a mold under a wide range of cavity and/or runner thicknesses/diameters. Therma-flo™ is part of a fully integrated and semi-automated test cell at Beaumont that includes the Therma-flo™ moldometer tooling, a high-performance injection molding machine with specially developed controls and a high speed data-collection system. To accompany Therma-flo™, Beaumont’s recently released software enables the mapping of the injection molding characteristics of a polymer. The software was developed to manage the extensive data set generated for a given polymer and extend its practical application to product, tooling, polymer and software development. A Sodick Plastech two-stage injection molding machine is used to provide excellent melt preparation and extreme precision during injection.
Common cavity flow-channel thicknesses range from 0.020 to 0.160 in (0.5mm – 4mm). However, additional cartridges are available to characterize moldability through mold channels as thin as 0.008 inch (0.20mm). Additional specialized cartridges can be used for evaluating micro molding, LCP’s and automotive applications. During testing, the plastic melt undergoes up to 700 tests. The specially developed cell allows this to be done at a minimum cost. The tests include injecting the melt through a wide range of channels, injection rates and temperature. The flow velocity and melt pressures are captured directly through the highly instrumented tool using an integrated high-speed data-collection system developed by our controls team.
“This new technology will help advance the injection molding industry by providing information that has never been available” said John Beaumont, president of Beaumont Technologies. “Part of what has made this technology so exciting is the breadth of information it puts at ones finger tips. This has allowed us and our clients to significantly accelerate the understanding of plastic flow in a mold and uniquely investigate the injection molding process. The newest software not only allows one to evaluate how a material molds, but can be used to help identify optimum molding processes. Those involved with the development of new polymers, or people with injection molding simulation programs, can get further use of the technology by reading classical rheological data for extended visualization and evaluation against actual molded data.”
For more information about Therma-Flo, please visit www.beaumontinc.com/therma-flo