Bulk temperature is used to indicate the weighted average temperature across the thickness.
The temperature of polymer melt changes not only with time and location, but also with thickness during the entire injection molding cycle. It is difficult to illustrate all these changes in a single display. For these reason, Bulk temperature is used. Bulk temperature represents the energy that is transported through a particular location. It has more physical significance than a simple average temperature as the polymer melt flows.
Bulk temperature is a velocity-weighted average temperature when the polymer is flowing and a simple average temperature when the flow stops. For each element, a plot of bulk temp versus time shows that the switch-over from bulk temperature to average temperature gives a smooth curve. Uniform bulk temperature distribution during filling is desirable for mold design.
By looking at the bulk temperature distribution at the end of fill, the effect of the next phase, packing pressure, can be estimated. In areas where the bulk temperature is close to transition temperature, the effect of the packing pressure can be low. In areas where bulk temperature is close to melt temperature, packing can be effective. The cooling time, however, can be increased.
Bulk temperature displays are an alternate way to examine the flow distribution. Areas with continuous flow (heat convection) typically have a higher bulk temperature. The bulk temperature drops quickly when the flow stops in that area.