Beaumont (Erie, PA) announced that it was issued a patent by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on August 4, 2015, for its Therma-flo plastic molding characterization technology. The patent was minimally challenged, said the company, because of its truly novel and revolutionary approach. All 84 claims within the patent ultimately were approved, making Therma-flo the first technology with a method and systems patent for characterizing the injection moldability of plastic materials, according to Beaumont.
Therma-flo was initially developed to measure and quantify how a polymer flows through a mold under a wide range of cavity and runner thicknesses and diameters, explained Beaumont. The technology is part of a fully integrated and semi-automated test cell at its facility that includes Therma-flo moldometer tooling, a high-performance injection molding machine with specially developed controls and a high speed data-collection system. Compatible software enables the mapping of the injection molding characteristics of a polymer. The software was developed to manage the extensive data set generated for a given polymer and extend its practical application to product, tooling, polymer and software development, said Beaumont. A Sodick Plastech two-stage injection molding machine is used to prepare the melt and perform precision molding.