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Runner System, Flowing Part of Plastic Injection Mold

After material injected by nozzle, runner systems will convey the molten material from the sprue to the
gate. basic runner system consists of sprue, main runner, sub runner, cold slug, and gate. since the
design of the runner system has large effect on molding quality, molding efficiency, cycle time, cooling
time and other factor, it is important key when design of mold.

Runner System Construction

sprue will contact first time with melt plastic, at the injection process, sprue always contact with nozzle
from the injection machine, so consider when design the sprue consider the ball radius of nozzle, make
sure it isn’t make undercut on sprue. The dimensions of the sprue depend primarily on the dimensions
of the molded part in particular the wall thickness, too little sprue will make sprue cold faster and make
insufficient flow.

Main Runner
First time when design runner system, determine number of cavities, shape and gate types, then
arrange the cavity layout, at the multi cavity of mold balancing of runner is important, balancing ensures
virtually equal flow of plastic trough each gate.

To achieve balancing runner layout must be though,

Sub Runner
this part will continue flow from main runner until the gate, the dimension of sub runner and how much
sub runner system will be, is very depending on how much cavity of the mold, and how the layout, what
the layout use herring bone, H type, or star type. at the picture above use H type runner layout.
Cold Slug

when runner layout bent, clod slug may be required to continue plastic flow of better quality to the
cavities. The cold slug well helps the flow of material through the runner system by stopping colder,
higher viscosity material moving at the forefront of the molten mass entering into the cavity. The length
of the well is usually equal to or greater about 1,5-2 time than the runner diameter.


Basic purpose of the gate is to limit the flow of the melted plastic, but it must allow that melted plastic
flow and fill the cavity easily.

considering the fluidity of the material, gate should be made near the center of gravity of molding or the
line to make flow uniform and melted material even, then make the gate thick but still considering
melted plastic material, because thin part will cool easily and faster.

the gate type is very various depend on part shape, mold layout, mold system, etc., here some
explanation about design those gate type:

1. Direct gate

2. Side, edge gate

3. Tab gate

4. film gate

5. fan gate

6. Disc gate

Runner geometry

they are various geometry that we can use in runner, such us

1. full round

2. half round

3. trapezoid

use full round and trapezoid shape is recommended in various mold. Half round runners are not
recommended because of their low volume to surface ratio

Runner dimensions

The diameter of a runner depends on its length in addition to the part volume, part flow length,
injection machine capacity, and gate size, generally runner must never be smaller than the largest wall
thickness of the product, it’s usually make from 3 mm until 15 mm
The runner should be large enough to minimize pressure loss, yet small enough to maintain satisfactory
cycle time, Large runners are not economical because of the amount of energy that goes into forming,
and then regrinding the material that solidifies within them.

Runner layout
In general, they are three type of runner layout

1. “H” bridge (branching) runner system

2. Standard (herringbone) runner system (conventional runner)

3. Radial (star) runner system

look at picture below shown standard runner and H bridge type runner.

Runner system layout for injection mold runner

Balancing the runner system ensures that all mold cavities fill at the same rate and pressure, if the
product have not similar product geometry, it is recommended to use mold analysis software like mold
flow or C-Mold.