ASTM D4703 Compression Molding Thermoplastic Compounds | Preperation Equipment

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The objective of compression molding, in a general sense, is to make specimens that are both homogeneous and isotropic. The molds themselves are made from power, pellets, particles from recycling operations, or from preformed sheets. To produce the thermoplastic mold the beginning materials are melted and molded in a mold that is the desired geometry and thickness. Thermoplastic specimens can also be machined, punched, or cut from a uniform sheet of thermoplastic mold.

There are three pieces of equipment needed for compression molding thermoplastic materials into test specimens according to ASTM D4703. The first is a two-roll mill with chrome plated rolls. The second is a mold. The third is a thermal press. ASTM D4703 requires the press to be capable of 10 MPa (1450 psi) and to be able to heat up to 240 degrees Celsius.

The apparatus used to mold the thermoplastic test specimen is dependent on the type of thermoplastic being created. This means that many apparatus meet the requirements of ASTM D4703, however not all can be used to create a specific thermoplastic.

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