Suction blow molding for 3D parts
For almost 30 years, suction blow molding machines have been used for the production of 3D molded components. The process is currently experiencing an unexpected boom.
Over the past two decades the suction blow molding process has proven itself to be an efficient solution for the production of molded parts with pipe-shaped cross-section, so-called 3D parts. The development of materials, in particular high-temperature materials such as Polyamide 66 (PA66) or PPS, makes it possible to use plastic pipes increasingly in charge air applications for turbo-charged engines. This provides car manufacturers with another component for downsizing.
Compared to the conventional blow molding, suction blow molding has benefits due to lower material requirements and simplicity. The parison is sucked into the pipe-shaped mold cavity of a closed blow mold using a vacuum. The parts produced in this manner have an even wall thickness and have no compression seams. The procedure is especially attractive not only because of better component performance with a lower weight but also because it requires significantly less clamping force and allows the use of more cost-effective molds.
Origins in Japan
Suction blow molding was first realized jointly in 1988 by the Japanese companies Sumitomo Tool Co. and Tahara Machinery Ltd. The first European suction blow molding machines were built in 1992 by Battenfeld- Fischer in Troisdorf. In 1995, the company established the process in Europe and North America under license by Sumitomo. The merger of Kautex and Fischer in 2000 brought the different, until then often competing processes for 3D blow molding under one roof. Kautex Maschinenbau became a provider of the whole gamut of machines for the production of 3D parts. By the end of 2014, Kautex had delivered more than 160 machines for 3D blow molding, including more than 80 suction blow molding systems.
The latest KSB series by Kautex Maschinenbau was developed especially for suction blow molding and its basic version offers an affordable entry into suction blow molding technology. Existing extrusion blow molding machines can also often be retrofitted for suction blow molding.