Tag Archive for: What Is Plastic Flow

Mold flow analysis report

What Is Plastic Flow

Plastic flow, in the context of materials science and mechanics, refers to the permanent deformation or reshaping of a material without it undergoing fracture or breaking. This phenomenon occurs in materials that are capable of undergoing plastic deformation, a process where the material can change its shape and retain that new shape even after the applied stress is removed.

The plastic flow of a material is characterized by the movement of dislocations within its crystal structure. Dislocations are defects or irregularities in the arrangement of atoms within a crystal lattice. When an external force is applied to a material, it causes these dislocations to move, allowing the material to undergo plastic deformation.

Unlike elastic deformation, where a material returns to its original shape after the applied stress is removed, plastic deformation results in a permanent change in shape. Plastic flow is a crucial aspect in various manufacturing processes, such as metal forming, where materials like metals and plastics are shaped into desired forms through processes like forging, rolling, extrusion, or molding.

Understanding the plastic flow behavior of materials is essential for designing and engineering products that can withstand various forces and loads without experiencing failure or fracture. Engineers and scientists study the plasticity of materials to ensure the reliable and safe performance of structures and components in different applications.

What Is this process For?

Plastic flow processes are employed for shaping and forming materials into desired shapes without causing fracture or failure. These processes are crucial in manufacturing and various industries for creating a wide range of products. Here are some common purposes for plastic flow processes:

  1. Material Shaping:
    • Metals: Plastic flow processes like forging, rolling, extrusion, and drawing are commonly used to shape metals into various forms such as sheets, bars, tubes, and intricate components.
    • Polymers/Plastics: Injection molding, extrusion, and blow molding are plastic flow processes extensively used to shape polymers and plastics into diverse products, including containers, packaging, and consumer goods.
  2. Product Manufacturing:
    • Plastic flow processes are fundamental in the manufacturing of a wide range of products, including automotive components, aerospace parts, household items, and industrial machinery.
  3. Deformation Control:
    • Understanding plastic flow is essential for controlling and predicting the deformation of materials during manufacturing processes. This knowledge helps engineers design components with desired shapes and properties.
  4. Recycling:
    • Plastic flow processes play a role in recycling by allowing the reshaping and reforming of certain materials without degradation of their properties.
  5. Structural Integrity:
    • Plastic flow processes are crucial for ensuring the structural integrity of materials and components. By understanding how materials deform plastically, engineers can design structures that can withstand various loads and stresses.
  6. Cost-Effective Production:
    • Plastic flow processes are often more cost-effective than other methods for shaping materials, making them widely used in large-scale production.
  7. Customization:
    • Plastic flow processes allow for a high degree of customization in product design. Manufacturers can create components with specific shapes and sizes to meet the requirements of different applications.
  8. Efficiency in Mass Production:
    • Plastic flow processes are well-suited for mass production, enabling the efficient and rapid manufacturing of large quantities of products with consistent quality.

In summary, plastic flow processes are essential for shaping materials in manufacturing, enabling the production of a diverse range of products with various shapes, sizes, and properties. They are integral to industries ranging from aerospace and automotive to consumer goods and construction.

Optimizing gates and ram speed profile

Purpose of this example

This example illustrates various aspects of the power of CAE software for the plastics industry, and how such software can be strategically applied. It shows how to put into practice many of the concepts that are discussed in detail in the Design and Processing > Physics topics. These topics include injection pressure, filling pattern, melt-front area and melt-front velocity, runner design and balancing, and gate design.

Description of this example

The example steps through the design considerations for precision molded plastics in a concurrent engineering environment. It illustrates the role of computer simulation at each iterative step in the process. The software package used for this example is C-MOLD Process Solution. Phase I uses C-MOLD Filling EZ to analyze the initial design and determine the gate location and ram speed profile; Phase II uses C-MOLD Filling and Post-Filling for a more detailed analysis of the material selection, part and tool design, and process conditions.

Phase I: Fast and easy simulation with C-MOLD Filling EZ

In this first phase of the design process, we run an initial simulation using C-MOLD Filling EZ, which performs a three-dimensional mold-filling simulation of Newtonian fluids under isothermal conditions. Filling EZ is designed for preliminary analysis of part, gate, and process designs. We then go through several design iterations, each time modifying the design variables (such as location and number of gates), rerunning the analysis, and observing the results. At the end of Phase I, we will have determined the best location for the gate and an optimal ran-speed profile.


Plastic flow

DFM Design for Manufacturing

An initial product design.


To determine the proper gate location and optimal ram-speed profile.

Design criteria

– Produce a uniform filling pattern with a minimum flow length and a minimum injection pressure requirement.

– Maintain a constant melt-front velocity to minimize property variation.

– Design for manufacturing and assembly, concurrent engineering, and early vendor involvement.

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