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Clamping Force Calculation

1) How to calculate Clamping Force -

You really need to supply more info as each Polymer has a different recommended tonnage
per square inch value. This is given by the material manufacturer. Sources below.

We use a huge amount of Polypropylene copolymer. So here is the method of calculation

specifically for it. It will flash out with a gap of .0008"-.0012" between the faces of the

Calculation square area" x a tonnage factor given by material mfg

Calculate, closely, the projected surface area of the product to be molded.

That is the projected surface of the part sitting perpendicular to the parting-line of the mold.

Subtract any areas where there are throughholes.

Add in for the runner and gate projected area.

Multiply by 2.25 for any PP or PE and you will have the tonnage needed.

Example: part length x width = 2" x 26"= 52"square - (window areas: 0.2" x 10"= 2" sq +
(runner and gate 1/4" x 8"= 2"sq) = 52"sq - 2"sq + 2"sq= 52"sq x 2.25 tons per sq inch=
117 tons.

So now you have the tonnage.

Consideration 1.

Your next consideration is. Can you fit that size of mold between the tie bars of a standard
125 Ton machine. If you can, well and good. Physical Mold size.

Consideration 2.

Then the next consideration is whether the Machine that you must use has a barrel that will
plasticize the amount of material that you need to fill the part.

This is tricky. If you are pushed to using a large machine to get the Platen size you need,
you may end up with a much larger barrel than necessary. Barrel Size (Vol)

Consideration 3.

Whence you have to consider the residence time in the barrel before the material is used as
you may cook the ---- out of the material. Based on the weight of the part.

Here is another sample at the other end of the spectrum. The specific calc for Thermoplastic
Elastomer (Rubbery material). You need a minimum of 4 tons per square inch and 5 tons
per square inch is recommended. Rubber will flash out of a gap of 0.0005" between the
faces of the mold.

Engineering materials typically need less tonnage per square inch eg. Ultem or Glass filled
nylons etc. It will flash out with a gap of .0015-.002" between the faces.

LCP or Liquid chrystalline Polymers need hot molds, slightly higher tonnage as the cavity is
filled with boost and there is no hold time needed as it sets up so fast. This material likes to
travel in straight lines and short flowlengths.

Use www.matweb.com or www.ticona.com for material info and find the recommended
molding clamping tonnage recommended.

2) How to calculate tonnage & injection pressure –

Method – 1

Calculating tonnage in plastic molds can be complicated. It typically requires between 280
and 700 kg/cm squared (projected surface area) to mold a plastic part. A thick walled part
with short flow length in an easy flow material (polypropylene, nylon, polyethylene, acetal,
etc.) will require much less injection pressure and clamp tonnage than a thin walled part
with long flow length in a low flow material (polycarbonate, PPS, highly glass filled
materials, etc.). The mold need to have proper venting, runner, gates, and surface
temperature control to mold with minimum pressure. This is not too difficult to calculate
with simple parts, but can be extremely difficult when working with complex parts with
different wall thicknesses and flow lengths from the gates. Mold filling programs like
Moldflow are quite good at estimating injection pressure and clamp pressure with complex
parts. There are companies that specialize in using mold simulation software that can help
identify problems with plastic part designs before they are built into a mold that will not run

Method – 2

Step 1: Calculate the projected area of the item you are moulding (including runner/sprue
and so on) (By this I mean the area that will be covered in a flat plane representing the
parting line.)

Step 2: Find the "peak pressure" that will be used in moulding the part. This may be within
the injection part of the cycle, but may also be what some technicians call "pack" pressure
(after cavity is filled, but before gate/sprue freezes off. This helps reduce sink marks at
thick wall section interfaces.).

Step 3: (The easy bit) multiply area by pressure to get the ABSOLUTE minimum force that
will hold the die closed during moulding. (Assuming everything is in balance/symetrical
across the die face.)
Step 4: Add "safety factor" that will be determined by your moulding specialist to make sure
die does not flash at parting lines.

Step 5: Then choose available machine with at least the necessary clamp force.