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Low pressure, multi-moulding injection process for the production of pallets

The purpose of the project is to further develop a plastic
moulding technology to be able to produce large pallets
primarily for articles in the food industry.

The project aims to further develop and optimise a moulding technology for large products with low specific weight and high strength demands. The developed technology will be used to establish an enterprise which will initially produce large pallets for the food industry. This pallet has to fulfil the following demands: - it has to satisfy the ISO 8611 standard, and other requirements that this industry has (e.g. hygiene demands) - it has to be designed for long life, low specific weight and be easy to handle - it has to be economically competitive, compared to existing systems. This implies taking up several design and production challenges such as: - low weight, but at the same time strong requirements with respect to stability and strength - no internal cavities (any cavities have to be foam- filled). Currently thick foam walls (about 50mm) are a problem. - no "pockets" on the external part (to facilitate cleaning). - The product will have variable (partly large) wall thickness. This is problematic with injection moulding. It is planned to solve these challenges through the use of low pressure, multi-moulding injection. One of the main challenges will be to include foaming in the process, and at the same time achieve a high strength product. Some of the concrete work tasks in the project will be: - define the optimum plastic material which in addition is approved by the food industry - develop the optimum production technology to develop a strong enough product - technical development of mould design - develop and construct machine technology to produce both 1/1 and 1/2 pallets - come up with a method to fill internal cavities with a material with the lowest possible specific weight (from the same family of plastics), which at the same time ensures joined cells. When combining plastic materials there will be problems with the attachment between materials, and how this develops with cyclic loads. Plastic materials will also shrink with ageing, but the degree of shrinking varies from one material to another. - mechanical properties of parts inside the pallet have to be seen in connection with the demands on the pallet. In particular with foam enclosures the properties also have to be evaluated in connection with loads during the injection moulding. - FEM (finite element method) analysis is necessary to analyse the properties of a pallet with loads. It is important to estimate the effect the dimensions of different components in the pallet will have on the properties of the pallet. - develop and test prototypes - produce O-series. All these tasks are planned to be carried out within the project. Keywords: plastic, moulding, pallets.
Project ID: 
1 809
Start date: 
15-10-1997
Project Duration: 
37months
Project costs: 
1 220 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Moulding, injection moulding, extrusion, sintering
Market Area: 
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Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.