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Exploring the Culprit of Edge Curling in Extrusion Blow Molding Parisons

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-08-07      Origin: Site


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Extrusion blow molding is a widely used manufacturing process for producing hollow plastic objects, including bottles, containers, and other similar products. During this process, a parison, a tube-like preform, is created through a combination of extrusion and blowing techniques. However, a common issue faced during extrusion blow molding is edge curling, where the edges of the parison tend to curl inward or outward, leading to quality and efficiency concerns. 

In this article, we delve into the possible causes behind this phenomenon and explore potential solutions.

Understanding Edge Curling

Edge curling refers to the deformation of the parison's edges, causing them to curl inward or outward, rather than maintaining a straight or flat shape. This problem can lead to various production challenges, such as inconsistency in wall thickness, impaired container integrity, compromised product aesthetics, and difficulties during subsequent manufacturing steps like trimming or sealing.

Causes of Edge Curling

1. Material Selection: 

The choice of plastic material plays a significant role in edge curling. Some polymers, especially those with high shrinkage properties, are more prone to edge curling. Material characteristics, such as melt flow index, melt strength, and crystallinity, can influence the parison's behavior and, subsequently, cause edge curling.

2. Parison Design: 

The design of the parison, including the dimensions and thickness distribution, can contribute to edge curling. Inadequate thickness distribution or improper wall thickness ratios along the parison can create stress concentration points, resulting in edge curling during the cooling phase.

3. Temperature and Cooling: 

Temperature control throughout the extrusion blow molding process is critical. Improper cooling can lead to non-uniform cooling rates, causing thermal stress differentials. These temperature imbalances can induce edge curling as the parison solidifies.

4. Extrusion Parameters: 

The extrusion process itself can have a direct impact on edge curling. Inconsistent melt temperature, extruder pressure, die gap, or extrusion speed can result in uneven flow distribution within the parison, leading to edge curling defects.

5. Mold Design and Condition: 

The design and condition of the blow mold also contribute to edge curling. Issues such as inadequate mold venting, non-uniform mold temperature, or improper mold surface treatment can disrupt the even distribution of material and induce edge curling during the blowing phase.

erxtrusion blow molding parisons

Mitigation Strategies

1. Material Selection: 

Choose materials with lower shrinkage rates or utilize additives to minimize shrinkage during cooling. Conduct thorough material testing to identify the optimal polymer for the desired product.

2. Parison Design Optimization: 

Consider uniform wall thickness distribution to minimize stress concentrations. Ensure proper thickness ratios along the parison to enhance cooling uniformity and reduce edge curling.

3. Temperature and Cooling Control: 

Optimize the temperature settings during the blow molding process to maintain consistent cooling rates. Implement proper cooling techniques, such as air or water cooling, to minimize thermal differentials and support even solidification.

4. Extrusion Process Optimization: 

Regularly monitor and adjust extrusion parameters to maintain consistent melt temperature, pressure, speed, and die gap. Conduct periodic equipment maintenance and ensure the extruder is operating at optimal conditions.

5. Mold Design and Maintenance: 

Ensure proper mold venting to allow proper air escape during the process. Maintain uniform mold temperatures and investigate the use of surface treatments for improved material distribution. Invest in regular mold maintenance and cleaning to eliminate issues that could lead to edge curling.

Edge curling in extrusion blow molding parisons can pose challenges to the production of high-quality plastic products. As highlighted in this article, various factors can contribute to this phenomenon, including material selection, parison design, temperature control, extrusion parameters, and mold condition. 

By identifying these causes and implementing appropriate mitigation strategies, manufacturers can reduce edge curling and enhance the efficiency and productivity of their extrusion blow molding processes.

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