Want to know more about designing with plastics? Bayer MaterialScience engineers can help. They recently distilled their collective knowledge about plastic part and mold design into a free guide available both on the Web and on paper.
At 175 pages, the guide covers nearly everything you need to know about designing and manufacturing a plastic part. To make materials selection easier, it starts off with guidelines for determining a plastic part's performance requirements. Topics here include mechanical loading, temperature effects, chemical exposure, electrical properties, dimensional tolerances, agency ratings, and more.
After sections on manufacturing methods and cost reduction, the guide goes on to cover part design fundamentals—topics such as wall thickness requirements, ribs, draft angles, corners, radii, undercuts, molded-in threads, and holes. Next come sections covering structural design, design for assembly, machining, finishing, painting, and plating. The guide continues with a chapter on mold design.
Two of these sections really stand out. "The sections on structural design and mold design contain information that you rarely, if ever, run across elsewhere," says Mark Yeager, the guide's primary author and a principal design engineer at Bayer MaterialScience. The structural design section, for instance, offers guidance on designing around creep. And the mold design segment provides detailed instructions on the sizing and location of gates and runners. It also explains the potential part defects that result from gate and runner mistakes. "We put a lot of meat in the mold design section," Yeager notes.
Good Read: Bayer MaterialScience has
published a new design guide with hard-to-find information on plastic part
and mold design.
Finally, the guide concludes with a handy part-design checklist. Just one
page long, it can help you quickly review the key design tasks required for a
successful plastic part. Yeager notes that this checklist was originally
developed for Bayer's own design engineers to use as they evaluated customer
designs. "The last thing we want to do is forget something," he says.
Much of the content in the guide isn't brand new, but it has been hard to come by in the past. Until recently, Bayer used the information internally and distributed it to select customers. And the guide didn't appear on any public website. Now, any engineer who wants it can get it. Just go to www.designguide.bayerplastics.com. After a quick registration process—one without any password to remember—you can view or download the entire guide in PDF format. A hard copy will also be mailed to you automatically.