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Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association

T-Sim and B-Sim: Simulation Software for Thermoforming and Blow Moulding

David Russell explaining the rpincipes of T-Sim

At the March meeting David Russell, General Manger of David Russell Associates Ltd, demonstrated how simulation for thermoforming and blow moulding has caught up with injection moulding simulation.  

sheet distortion after themoforming
T-Sim, developed by Dr Karel Kouba of Accuform, helps companies engaged in vacuum forming, pressure forming and blow moulding to save on material, reduce process energy and shorten lead times by optimising component design, tool design and process conditions, all before the tool is cut, thereby eliminating the traditional trial and error approach. The new Plug Shape Optimisation capability is very much welcomed by moulders.

wall thickness distribution for different plug designs
T-Sim's 'What-if' facility can be used to quickly optimise designs and moulding conditions. The instantaneous outputs from the simulation are wall thickness, temperature, and stress distribution. Potential faults such as webbing are easily identified and the software can be used in reverse to give accurate image distortion details for printing the flat sheet.

Top: without parison profiling; bottom: with parison programming
Using the same principles, B-Sim can predict the wall thickness distribution of a blow moulding produced by extrusion or stretch blow moulding. Then the wall thickness of a parison can be optimised to give improved wall thickness distribution in the finished moulding.

extrusion blow moulding optimisation
David presented numerous case studies from packaging to fuel tanks to illustrate the potential of both T-Sim and B-Sim, showing how they can cut design and manufacturing costs, avoid costly tool modifications, identify design problems at an early stage, optimise processing conditions and optimise plug shape and penetration depth.

Report by Charlie Geddes, SPRA Hon Secretary   March 2010

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  • Materials Thermoplastics, Thermosets, Elastomers, Additives.
  • Processes Moulding, Extrusion, Thermoforming, Ancillaries.
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