Experimental study on energy consumption in the plasticizing unit of the injection molding machine

  • 1 Faculty of Mechanical Engineering – Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Poland


Injection moulding is a widespread method of polymer processing. The annual, global energy consumption for injection moulding is comparable to the annual energy production of different European countries. The most energy-consuming stage of the injection moulding is the plasticization process, which needs the energy mainly for the rotational and reciprocating screw motion as well as the heating of the barrel. Both issues were examined by changing various parameters of the injection moulding process, measuring the process characteristics and calculating the corresponding values of SEC (specific energy consumption). Various thermoplastic polymers were examined. It was found that the optimal conditions from the energy consumption point of view is low value of rotational velocity of the screw. Changes of back pressure do not affect the energy consumption of the plasticizing system of the injection moulding machine. Furthermore, an increase of the SEC value with increasing barrel temperature was shown. It was ca. 15% for the average barrel temperature rise of 20°C.



  1. P. Davim, Sustainable Manufacturing, ISTE, London, 2010.
  2. C. Herrmann, M. Hauschild, T. Gutowski, and R. Lifset, Life Cycle Engineering and Sustainable Manufacturing, Journal of Industrial Ecology 18 (4) (2014) 471-477.
  3. J. Allwood, M. Ashby, T. Gutowski, E. Worrell, Material efficiency: providing material services with less material, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 371(1986) (2013) 20120496.
  4. T. Gutowski, S. Sahni, J. Allwood, M. Ashby, E. Worrell, The energy required to produce materials: constraints on energyintensity improvements, parameters of demand, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 371 (1986) (2013) 20120003.
  5. A. Nee, B. Song, S. Ong, Re-engineering Manufacturing for Sustainability: Proceedings of the 20th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering, Springer, Berlin, 2013.
  6. R. Kent, Energy management in plastics processing - framework for measurement, assessment and prediction, Plastics, Rubber and Composites, 2/3/4 (37) (2008) 96-104.
  7. R. Kent, Energy Management in Plastic Processing, A Signposting Guide by The British Plastics Federation, BPF Energy, London, 2011.
  8. materials from NANOCEM website: The IndustrialAcademic Nanoscience Research Network for Sustainable Cement and Concrete
  9. T. Gutowski, J. Dahmus, A. Thiriez, Electrical energy requirements for manufacturing processes, in: 13th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering, 2006
  10. F. Qureshi, W. Li, S. Kara, Ch. Herrmann, Unit process energy consumption models for material addition processes: a case of the injection molding process, 269-274, in: D. Dornfeld, B. Linke, Leveraging Technology for a Sustainable World, Springer, Berlin, 2012.
  11. I. Ribeiro, P. Peças, E. Henriques, Assessment of energy consumption in injection moulding process, 263-268, in: D. Dornfeld, B. Linke, Leveraging Technology for a Sustainable World, Springer, Berlin, 2012.
  12. A. Thiriez, T. Gutowski, An environmental analysis of injection molding, in: Proceedings of the 2006 IEEE International Symposium on. IEEE, 2006.
  13. Energy Information Administration,, visited: Nov. 15, 2018.
  14. H. S. Park, T. T. Nguyen, Optimization of injection molding process for car fender in consideration of energy efficiency and product quality, J. of Comput. Design and Eng., 2014, 1, 256- 265; DOI: 10.7315/JCDE.2014.025
  15. J. Iwko, R. Steller, R. Wroblewski, Experimental verification of the computer model for the plasticization process in injection molding part 1: test stand, Polymer Processing, 1, 2015, 15-21 (in Polish)
  16. Technical Datasheet for Schulaform 9A Acetal Copolymer: , visited Jan. 21, 2019.
  17. G. Guerra et al., Crystalline order and melting behavior of isotactic polypropylene, J. Polym. Sci. Pol. Phys., 1984, 6, 1029- 1039; DOI: 10.1002/pol.1984.180220608
  18. B.E. Tiganis, R.A. Shanks, Y. Long, Effects of processing on the microstructure, melting behavior, and equilibrium melting temperature of polypropylene, J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 1996, 4, 663- 671; DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-4628(19960124)59:4<663::AIDAPP12>3.0.CO;2-R
  19. K. J. Wilczynski, A. Nastaj, A. Lewandowski, K. Wilczynski, A Composite Model for Starve Fed Single Screw Extrusion of Thermoplastics, Polym. Eng. Sci., 2014, 10, 2362- 2374; DOI: 10.1002/pen.23797
  20. F. Johannaber, Injection Molding Machines, A User’s Guide, Hanser, Munich, 2008.

Article full text

Download PDF