Mold Maintenance & Repair

OCT 2015

Mold Maintenance & Repair

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October 2015 11 are unhealthy for humans and require special precautions to control the dangerous vapors and hazardous waste materials they generate, adding time and cost. Place the mold on a support rack at the bottom of the tank. Any mold placed into an ultrasonic unit for cleaning must be on a rack or tray, or in a basket. This allows the cavitation bubbles to penetrate all areas of the injection mold to ensure thorough cleaning. Use the right temperature. Injection molds are cleaned most thoroughly when the ultra- sonic detergent solution is maintained between 110°F and 165°F. Without maintaining a con- sistent temperature, heating and run time will vary with each batch, which can result in longer overall run times, or, if the temperature runs too hot, in breakdown of the cleaning detergent. Running the cleaner for extended periods at higher temperatures may effectively clean parts, but it will require extra electricity and waste time. As temperature increases, the number of cavitation bubbles initially increases before falling off. At the liquid's boiling point, cavitation produced by ultrasonic sound waves introduced into the liquid stops completely. DON'T Completely disassemble molds before placing them in the tank. It's not necessary to com- pletely take apart or pre-clean molds before they go into the ultrasonic cleaning tank. The detergent and high-frequency ultrasonic waves penetrate all surfaces, even hidden passage- ways, narrow openings, crevices, cracks and blind-drilled holes, without manual scrubbing or harsh chemicals/solvents. Reducing the fre- quency a mold needs to be disassembled also saves considerable time and is better for the equipment in the long run. Place molds directly on the bottom of the cleaning unit. Setting parts directly on the tank bottom increases the incident of cavitation erosion or pitting of the tank. This eventual- ly causes the ultrasonic cleaner to leak and reduces its overall life expectancy. Always use a basket or rack to suspend parts in the unit. Overbuy your cleaning unit. The key to choosing the right ultrasonic cleaning system is determining what needs to be cleaned and how often it needs to be cleaned. Tabletop, benchtop and full-size industrial systems range in capacity from three-quarters of a gallon to more than 100 gallons. Additionally, they are available in single- and multi-stage varieties. For very large molds or continuous use and high throughput, full-size units are better choic- es. For smaller molds or occasional cleaning needs, a benchtop unit may be suffcient. Following these simple steps will help ensure precision cleaning from an ultrasonic unit. Maintaining clean molds keeps them in good working order so they require less start-up time, produce less waste and demand less trouble- shooting. All of this results in maximum run time for increased production and effciency. This ultrasonic cleaning system features a 110-gallon capacity and 8,000-watt peak ultrasonic cleaning for large-volume, large-power precision cleaning requirements, such as for plastic injection molds. Images courtesy of Omegasonics. For More Information: Omegasonics / 800-669-8227 / CONTRIBUTOR: Frank Pedeflous is the president of Omegasonics, a California-based manufacturer of ultrasonic cleaning systems.

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