Materials Processing and Applications Development (MPAD) Center

mpad composites
mpad metals
compression molding animation 2Click the image above to view the animation in a larger format.UAB’s MPAD center and MSE department has collaborated with processing simulation software company Moldex3D. Moldex3D compression molding (CM) software will be used to teach classes and conduct research.  In general, CM is a process in which a molten neat polymer or fiber filled polymer charge gets squeezed into a preheated mold cavity under pressure until the charge has cooled down and solidified. This process is a low-cost molding method due to its low tooling cost and high production volume. It is also suitable for prototyping and manufacturing production in various applications such as automotive, aerospace, energy, medical, consumer, electronics, defense, and more. CM can be used to produce parts with high fiber aspect ratio resulted from its low shear forces in preparing the charge and therefore high mechanical properties.  

Moldex3D CM helps users “check potential defects resulted from heat and pressure, decide appropriate materials, and optimize process conditions”. The software will be used in teaching students how to visualize the results of the fiber orientation, volume shrinkage, deformation, and etc. Combined with the in-house extrusion-compression molding facility at UAB’s MPAD center, the software would give students experience in both the virtual simulation world and hands-on processing skills. In addition, Moldex3D compression molding (CM) software will also be used to conduct research in compression molding long fiber reinforced thermoplastic (LFT) at the MPAD center.