Ultrasonic molding technology: Recent advances and potential applications in the medical industry
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© 2019 by the authors.Recently, ultrasonic molding (USM) has emerged as a promising replication technique for low and medium volume production of miniature and micro-scale parts. In a relatively short time cycle, ultrasonic molding can process a wide variety of polymeric materials without any noticeable thermal degradation into cost-effective molded parts. This research work reviews recent breakthroughs of the ultrasonic injection molding and ultrasonic compression molding process regarding the equipment and tooling development, materials processing and potential applications in the medical industry. The discussion is centered on the challenges of industrializing this technology, pointing out the need for improvement of the current process's robustness and repeatability. Among the most important research areas that were identified are the processing of novel engineered and nanomaterials, the understanding and control of the ultrasonic plasticization process and the tooling and equipment development.