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Automotive Plastics: Principles of Materials & Process Selection C0135

Plastic - any class of synthetically-produced organic compounds capable of being molded and hardened into a specific shape or form. This course is designed to offer a basic understanding of plastics and plastic processing. Using plastics can be simple, but there is much more behind producing high performance plastic parts. This seminar will walk you through the molding process, provide a comprehensive look at the variables in the manufacturing mix, and review characteristics of typical automotive plastics such as PP, PVC, ABS, and more. This seminar will also cover troubleshooting molding mistakes and alternative processes, and review the selection of an application's appropriate plastic material. Material presented is both an excellent foundation for further development and an extensive update for those already working in the field.

Learning Objectives
At the completion of this seminar, attendees will be able to:
  • demonstrate an understanding of typical automotive plastics and primary and application-specific plastics processing methods
  • recognize key plastics terminology and parameters related to plastics
  • explain alternative molding processes
  • prevent or reduce molding mistakes
  • understand the molding cycle
  • troubleshoot the processing operation

Who Should Attend
This seminar is designed for those who are new to automotive plastics, as well as those who have some experience. The program will benefit product designers, process engineers, purchasing agents, project engineers, manufacturing engineers, material engineers, and sales and marketing professionals.

Participants should have an undergraduate engineering degree.
  • Introduction to Injection Molding
    • Process description
    • Product description
    • Business overview
  • The Injection Molding Machine
    • Clamp systems
    • Plastication unit
    • Screw
    • Controls
  • The Molding Cycle
    • Pressure in process
    • Velocity generation, including mold filling, mold packing, cooling, ejection, material melting and material handling.
  • Typical Injection Molding Mistakes
    • Melt temperature
    • Material drying
    • Contamination
    • Over packing
    • Incomplete fill
    • Oversized machines
    • Undersized machines
    • Temperature control
  • Mold(s)
  • Function
    • Forming
    • Cooling
  • Basic Design Requirements
    • Clamp slots
    • Ejection "hole"
    • Support
    • "Seal-off"
Robert G. Speirs

Robert Speirs is Associate Professor of Plastics Programs at Ferris State Univ. Additionally, Speirs instructs many plastics engineering technology seminars covering material selection, product design and advanced plastics processing. Along with his vast teaching experience, Speirs brings practical industrial experience from his work with Baxter Travenol Laboratories and Dow Chemical. Speirs also has taught continuing education seminars in injection molding, mold design and injection molding troubleshooting for molders throughout North America and in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Hotel & Travel Information

Fees: $1415.00
SAE Members: $1274.00 - $1274.00

1.3 CEUs
You must complete all course contact hours and successfully pass the learning assessment to obtain CEUs.

For additional information, contact SAE Customer Service 1-877-606-7323 (724-776-4970 outside the U.S. and Canada) or at

Duration: 2 Days
Upcoming open enrollment dates being scheduled. Please check back.

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