Question:

To use the ‘User-defined Database’ feature ‘Add Product’ in SOLIDWORKS® Plastics, what material property data should I collect to successfully add a complete custom plastics material?

Answer:

To successfully add a complete plastics material to the SOLIDWORKS® Plastics ‘User-defined Database’, please collect and input the following data.

Always use the material supplier published values.

General material values:

- ‘Melt Temperature’ – This is the set process temperature used in the barrel and screw (set, ‘Min’, ‘Max’).
- ‘Mold Temperature’ – This is the set mold temperature used in the process (set, ‘Min’, ‘Max’).
- ‘Part Ejection Temperature’ – You can also use the material supplier published Heat Deflection Temperature Under Load (HDTUL) value.
- ‘Glass Transition Temperature’ – For an amorphous material use the glass transition temperature (Tg), and for a semi-crystalline material use the melt temperature (Tm), not the process melt temperature of the barrel and screw.
- ‘Specific Heat’ – Use the material ‘cp’ value.
- ‘Thermal Conductivity’ – Use the material ‘Kp’ value.
- ‘Viscosity’ – It is recommended to use the ‘7: Modify 7 parameters Cross model (D1, D2, D3, A1, A2bar, tau, n)’ option.
- ‘PVT’ – It is recommended to use the ’13: Modified Tait Equation (b1l-b4l, b1s-b4s, b5-b9)’ option.
- ‘Shear Relaxation Modulus’ – Use the material ‘N’ value.
- ‘Thermal Expansion Coefficient’ – It is recommended to use the ‘2: Constant modulus (Parallel, Normal)’ option. For isotropic materials, these values should be equal.
- ‘Young Modulus’ – It is recommended to use the ‘2: Constant modulus (Parallel, Normal)’ option. For isotropic materials, these values should be equal.
- ‘Poisson’s Ratio’ – It is recommended to use the ‘2: Constant modulus (Parallel, Normal)’ option. For isotropic materials, these values should be equal.
- ‘No-Flow Temperature’ – Use the material supplier published value. For an amorphous material this is not necessarily the glass transition temperature (Tg). Amorphous materials soften over a range of temperatures and typically do not melt at an exact temperature. For a semi-crystalline material this the melt temperature (Tm) value, not the process melt temperature of the barrel and screw.
- ‘Melt Flow Rate’ – Use the material supplier published value.
- ‘% Fiber’ – For materials with no fibers, use the ‘NULL’ option. For materials with fibers, use either the ‘1: Fiber Percentage’ option, or when the material supplier publishes the properties of the actual fibers use the ‘6: Fiber Percentage, Aspect Ratio, Thermal expansion Coefficient, Young Modulus, Poisson’s Ratio, Density’ option.
- ‘Max. Shear Rate’ – Use the material supplier published value, or the value from a material in the same polymer family.
- ‘Max. Shear Rate’ – Use the material supplier published value, or the value from a material in the same polymer family.

Additional values for the ‘Viscoelastic Birefringence Calculation’ option:

- ‘Stress Optical Coefficient (Above Tg)’ – Use the material supplier published value.
- ‘Stress Optical Coefficient (Below Tg)’ – Use the material supplier published value.
- ‘Leonov Viscoelastic Model’ – Use the material supplier published values for ‘(T0, s, N =, C1, C2, Tref)’.

Values for thermoset materials:

- ‘Viscosity’ – It is recommended to use the ‘7: 7 parameters Macosko model (B, Tb, tau, n, alpha, c)’ option.
- ‘Curing Model’ – It is recommended to use the ‘6: Kamal (m, n, a1, a2, E1, E2)’ option.