The Relationship between a Defined Microstructure within the Mold Surface and the Corresponding Roughness on the Part: A Systematic Study on Particle Size, Filler-, and Compatibilizer Content

Roman Christopher Kerschbaumer, Silvester Bolka, Teja Pesl, Ivica Duretek, Thomas Lucyshyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The perception of a surface and its haptic properties are significantly influenced by roughness and microstructure, respectively, whereby non-negligible parameters include friction, contact area, temperature, and humidity between the human finger and the examined surface. In particular, for a scientific investigation on haptic influences, the production of samples with a defined surface roughness is indispensable. The aim of this study is to analyze the impact of various mold insert roughnesses combined with the influences of particle size, filler-, and compatibilizer content on impression quality. An unfilled high density polyethylene was chosen as a reference for the impression quality investigations, while fillers with significantly different particle sizes and a compatibilizer were used to produce proprietary compounds. Injection molded parts were manufactured utilizing mold inserts with three different line roughness values. To support the obtained results, a multivariate analysis of variance, a simulation of the filling phase as well as a rheological material characterization were conducted. The results revealed that (i) the impression quality can be independent of the applied insert roughness based on the filler particle size that was studied, (ii) an increasing on both filler particle size and compatibilizer content raise the sample roughness as a function of the penetration ability of the filler into the insert valleys, and (iii) with a higher insert roughness, the thermoplastic moldings generally exhibit a significantly smoother topography. An assumed correlation between part roughness and melt viscosity could not be confirmed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2757
Number of pages23
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2021 by the authors.


  • Compatibilizer content
  • Filler content
  • Haptic properties
  • Impression quality
  • Mean filler size
  • Microstructure
  • Mold insert roughness
  • Molded surface roughness
  • Replication
  • Surface topography

Cite this