The application of microfluidic components in medical technology is increasing extremely. There is high demand for a cost-effective mass production process for those components, because they are mainly disposable products, for example due to risk of contamination. Similar to the production of optical media like CDs and DVDs – also being micro structured plastic components – the injection molding of thermoplastic molding material is suitable here. However, there are high quality requirements for the component regarding micro structured replication and its inner morphology. In order to fulfi ll these requirements, the injection molding technologies that have been used so far are not suffi cient.
The Steinbeis Transfer Center Plastics Center in Bretzfeld has already been dealing with the molding of functional surface structures in the area of micro- and nanotechnology on the surfaces of macroscopic plastic components for over ten years. It was detected that especially the temperature of the shaping mold wall plays a decisive role for the production of high quality minimal structured plastic components. For that purpose different temperature systems for the specifi c infl uence of the temperature of the shaping mold wall in an injection mold had been researched. With these systems the high dynamic variotherm injection molding of thermoplastic molding material which is indispensable for the minimal structural replication is made possible. Together with the Watlow Plasmatech GmbH in Kuchl (Austria), a manufacturer of thermally sprayed electrical heating systems, the high dynamic variotherm temperature modules as well as the necessary control systems were developed.
More than 20 years ago the Japanese group Sony decided to establish the Sony DADC Austria AG for the production of CDs in Anif close to Salzburg. Today the company is the biggest European disc manufacturer. With more than two centuries of experience in mass production of micro structured plastic components, Sony DADC is now also offering this service to customers outside of the entertainment industry.
In a joint transfer project of the above mentioned partners the high dynamic variotherm technology which was developed by Watlow and the Steinbeis Transfer Center Plastics Center was introduced at Sony DADC in Anif for the production of micro structured components in medical technology.