We are very happy to be featured in Plastics Technology magazine once again. This time, we are featured with an injection molded product that may not have become a commercial product due to the high costs associated with conventional tooling. We like to take on projects that are difficult and expensive to manufacture using conventional legacy equipment and tooling methods.
Use of the Terfy golf mat reduces maintenance costs, water use, seed use, repair labor associated with divots, and makes every t-off look like a great swing!
On a conventional injection molding machine, the geometries involved with the many knit points and challenging flow characteristics would drive up the size of the mold and injection pressures required, which in turn leads to the need for a stronger material and increased cost. A large machine would be required to make this large and complex part and the associated hourly machine costs would be lofty due to the high energy, capital, and maintenance costs associated with it.
At Omachron Plastics, our unique process simplifies the manufacturing process.
The Steps We Took:
1. Molded parts using HDPE (as per the client’s request).
2. Tested the parts. This proved that the originally designed parts were too thin to be durable as a final product, leading to suspicion of the material itself.
3. Modified the aluminum mold to make parts thicker in order to withstand a variety of tests.
4. Molded thicker samples, again from HDPE.
5. Repeated the tests on the thicker samples. HDPE still proved a poor choice due to the tensile strength and rigidity of the compound.
6. Performed a variety of experiments to create samples from different a range of HDPE & LDPE mixes. All the samples failed under testing conditions.
7. Molded sample parts from 100% LDPE.
8. Performed a number of successful tests (including the real-life tests pictured) on the 100% LDPE sample pieces.
9. Manufactured the initial order of 25 pieces to fulfill the client’s quota.
After some thorough scientific, and technical testing, we had a little fun with it on the premises here - just to make sure! Our smallest budding scientist came for a visit and gave it his best shot.
Injection rates not exceeding 500 PSI
Concept to molded sample within 3 weeks
Total cost of project including final 25 samples was under $10,000 CAD
The product needed to have a thick, durable face that could withstand the force of an average 93.4 MPH swing. The product needed to be made in a single molded cavity, using a single injection gate with only one sprue – to many, a daunting task. We perfected the technology, allowing us to produce mats with no visible knit lines created during the molding process.
The toughness of a plastic is generally determined by how it resists impact. Due to the nature of the golf mat, it had to be designed to withstand a high volume of both direct and tangential impacts from clubs. While tensile strength is important, it cannot be the sole factor in choosing an appropriate material for an application. For example, ABS has a tensile strength of 4100 PSI at 73°F, it was not ideal for this application due to its rigidness. Much like ABS, HDPE has a relatively high tensile strength but is fairly rigid and cracked under testing conditions. Our solution was to go with LDPE, a material with nearly ¼” the tensile strength of ABS and HDPE, but with superior impact and fracture-resistance properties. The flexible nature of LDPE combined with its durable nature and impact resistance made it the ideal candidate. LDPE has a high rate of thermal expansion, is moisture-resistant, and comes at a relatively low cost. Let’s call the testing a mulligan. After a few rounds of testing, we found the ideal material for a durable and practical product that met all of Terfy’s requirements.
The unique part about our technology is that we can reduce the upfront time and investment based on experience and understanding of manufacturing. We have a specific understanding of plastic compounds and their application to different aspects of prototyping. We rigorously test the products and adjust it to suit the end goals. We have been in the world of R&D for over 40 years and understand the implications of finding the right material so that the end product is both user-friendly and affordable.
Terfy has been a passion for its inventor, the result of years of work. We are proud to say that it has been acknowledged by Plastics Technology for its difficult design, engineering, and innovation. We have many more exciting innovations and technology being released in the coming weeks!