Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Theoretical and Experimental Studies of Anosotropic Shrinkage in Injection Molding Process

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2005


A novel approach to predict anisotropic shrinkage of slow crystallizing polymers in injection moldings was proposed, using the flow-induced crystallization, frozen-in molecular orientation, elastic recovery, and PVT equation of state. In the present study, three different polyesters, polyethylene terephthalate, polybutylene terephthalate, and polyethylene-2,6-naphthalate (PEN), are used. The anisotropic thermal expansion and compressibility affected by the frozen-in orientation function and the elastic recovery that was not frozen during moldings were introduced to obtain the in-plane anisotropic shrinkages. The frozen-in orientation function was calculated from the amorphous contribution based on the frozen-in and intrinsic amorphous birefringence and crystalline contribution based on the crystalline orientation function determined from the elastic recovery and intrinsic crystalline birefringence. To model the elastic recovery and frozen-in stresses related to birefringence during molding process, a nonlinear viscoelastic constitutive equation was used with the temperature-dependent viscosity and relaxation time. Occurrence of the flow-induced crystallization was introduced through the elevation of melting temperature affected by entropy production during flow of the viscoelastic melt. Kinetics of the crystallization was modeled using Nakamura and Hoffman-Lauritzen equations with the rate constant affected by the elevated melting temperature. Numerous injection molding runs were carried out by varying the packing time, packing pressure, flow rate, melt and mold temperature, and anisotropic shrinkage of moldings were measured. The experimental results were compared with the simulated data and found in a fair agreement.