Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

This paper was presented at MTSM 2011. This is the International conference "Mechanical Technology and Structural Materials" and was held in Split from 29-30 September 2011.

Support of the SFI-funded National Access Programme (under NAP337), particularly Dr Eric Moore of the Tyndall Institute, and the generation of test surfaces by the Technical University of Denmark’s Mechanical Engineering Department is acknowledged.


Demoulding parts from replication tools is a critical stage of replication processes such as injection moulding and hot embossing. This challenge increases as part size decreases since components and associated replication cores become more fragile and liable to damage. Understanding interfacial characteristics between a polymer and the tool surface is critical to optimise the demoulding of such parts from replication tools. The strength of the polymer-tool interaction is characterised by the adhesion energy and is specific for a particular polymer-tool pair. It’s magnitude depends upon the tool material, the chemical structure of the polymer, the processing conditions and the surface roughness.

Interfacial characteristics of a variety of polymer-tool steel surfaces are being studied by measuring contact angles of polymer droplets on the surfaces to predict the work of adhesion. The experimental set-up, selection of test parameters and main challenges faced to date are described and preliminary experimental results presented. In addition a description of how these results may be used to predict the force needed to demould parts from replication tools is discussed.

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