Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Birefringence in Injection-Compression Molding of Amorphous Polymers: Simulation and Experiment

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2008


The influence of the processing variables on the residual birefringence was analyzed for polystyrene and polycarbonate disks obtained by injection-compression molding under various processing conditions. The processing variables studied were melt and mold temperatures, compression stroke, and switchover time. The modeling of flow-induced residual stresses and birefringence of amorphous polymers in injection-compression molded center-gated disks was carried out using a numerical scheme based on a hybrid finite element/finite difference/control volume method. A nonlinear viscoelastic constitutive equation and stress-optical rule were used to model frozen-in flow stresses in moldings. The filling, compression, packing, and cooling stages were considered. Thermally-induced residual birefringence was calculated using the linear viscoelastic and photoviscoelastic constitutive equations combined with the first-order rate equation for volume relaxation and the master curves for the Young's relaxation modulus and strain-optical coefficient functions. The residual birefringence in injection-compression moldings was measured. The effects of various processing conditions on the measured and simulated birefringence distribution Δn and average transverse birefringence were elucidated. Comparison of the birefringence in disks manufactured by the injection molding and injection-compression molding was made. The predicted and measured birefringence is found to be in fair agreement. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2013. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers



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