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The Consequences of Fiber Shedding: Impact on Injection Mold Performance and the Solution with Foamtec’s Microfiber MiraWIPE®

by | Jan 2, 2024

Injection molds play a crucial role in the manufacturing industry, enabling mass production of various products. Regular cleaning and preventive maintenance (PM) are essential to ensure optimal mold performance and longevity. However, using towels and wipes that shed fibers during the cleaning process can have significant consequences. In this blog, we will explore the impact of fibers on mold performance at processing temperatures, discuss the risks associated with using reusable cloth on sharp mold geometries, and introduce Foamtec’s microfiber MiraWIPE® as a suitable disposable alternative for tool rooms.

1. Impact on Mold Performance:
Fibers shed by towels and wipes can have several detrimental effects on mold performance when the mold reaches processing temperatures:

a. Contamination: Loose fibers can mix with the molten material during the injection molding process, leading to product defects and compromising quality. Contamination can result in increased rejection rates, production delays, and additional costs for rework or scrap.

b. Surface Imperfections: Shed fibers on the mold’s surface can cause visible blemishes and texture variations on the molded parts. These imperfections can affect the aesthetics and performance of the final product, potentially leading to customer dissatisfaction and reduced market competitiveness.

c. Mold Damage: Accumulated fibers in the mold’s intricate channels and cavities can obstruct the flow of molten material, resulting in uneven filling, incomplete parts, or physical damage to the mold itself. Mold repairs or replacements are costly and can cause significant production downtime.

2. Risks with Reusable Cloth and Sharp Mold Geometries:
Using reusable cloth for mold cleaning introduces additional risks, particularly on molds with sharp geometries:

a. Fabric Degradation: The sharp edges and intricate details of injection molds can cause rapid degradation of fabrics. The repeated contact between the cloth and the mold’s sharp features leads to fraying, tearing, or embedding of cloth fibers into the mold surface. This degradation increases the risk of contamination and affects the mold’s performance.

b. Contamination Transfer: When fabric fibers degrade on sharp mold geometries, there is a higher risk of contamination transfer to the molded parts. Loose fibers can dislodge during the injection molding process, causing defects and compromising the quality and functionality of the final product.

Introducing Foamtec’s Microfiber MiraWIPE® for Disposable Use in Tool Rooms:
To address these challenges, Foamtec offers a solution with their microfiber MiraWipe, specifically designed for injection mold cleaning and PM in tool rooms. This product is now available in a version suitable in both price and performance for disposable use.

a. Fiber Shedding Prevention: Foamtec’s Microfiber MiraWIPE® is engineered to minimize fiber shedding during cleaning and PM processes. Its unique construction ensures that loose fibers are effectively trapped within the wipe, reducing the risk of contamination and surface imperfections on molded parts.

b. Compatibility with Sharp Mold Geometries: The microfiber material used in MiraWIPE® is designed to withstand the sharp edges and intricate details of injection molds. It resists fraying, tearing, and embedding, ensuring that cloth degradation is minimized, and the risk of contamination transfer is significantly reduced.

c. Cost-Effective Disposable Solution: Foamtec’s Microfiber MiraWIPE® now offers a version suitable for disposable use, making it an economical choice for tool rooms. Manufacturers can benefit from the performance advantages of microfiber while eliminating the risks associated with reusable cloth.

The consequences of using towels and wipes that shed fibers during cleaning and PM processes on injection molds can be severe, ranging from contamination and surface imperfections to mold damage and risks associated with reusable cloth. Foamtec’s microfiber MiraWIPE® provides a suitable and cost-effective solution for disposable use in tool rooms. By utilizing this innovative wipe, manufacturers can ensure optimal mold performance, maintain product quality, and reduce the risks associated with fiber shedding and cloth degradation on sharp mold geometries.

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