Conformal cooling channels in injection molding tools – design considerations

  • 1 “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” University in Skopje, R. Macedonia - Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

This scientific paper presents the research conducted for defining the characteristics of the conformal cooling systems used in molds for injection molding processes (IMP). By utilizing laser-sintering additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, this type of cooling systems could be used to minimize the cooling and cycle times in the IMP’s and provide a homogeneous cooling necessary to maintain a consistent quality of the part. The paper also presents an overview of the AM technologies used in manufacturing conformal cooling molds and the main guidelines for designing these cooling systems.
The research shows that the efficiency of these channels is based on the channel system’s design; and for plastic parts with a lower complexity the improved temperature distribution compared to conventional cooling systems could be negligent.
The research is conducted by using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and CAD modeling to compare different conformal shapes, as well as their cooling efficiency on a plastic part. The simulation studies are done to determine the temperature distribution in each case study. These trials are done to assess the productivity benefits that arise from the use of conformal cooling channels compared to conventional channels that utilize baffles and bubblers.

References

  1. Andreas Gebhardt. 2011. Understanding Additive Manufacturing. Hanser Publications, Cincinnati
  2. Alexander K. Do, Paul K. Wright and Carlo H. Sequin. 2006. LatestGeneration SLA Resins Enable Direct Tooling for Injection Molding
  3. D.E. Dimla et al. Design and optimisation of conformal cooling channels in injection moulding tools. Journal of Materials Processing Technology 164–165 (2005) 1294–1300
  4. Siegfried Mayer (EOS GmbH): Optimised mould temperature control procedure using DMLS
  5. Manat H, Somchoke S, Dilok S: Improvement in the Cooling Performance of Conformal Mold Cooling By Using Fin Concept; International Journal of Mining, Metallurgy & Mechanical Engineering (IJMMME) Volume 2, Issue 2 (2014) ISSN 2320–4060
  6. Siegfried Mayer (EOS GmbH): Optimised mould temperature control procedure using DMLS
  7. Park, H. S., and N. H. Pham. "Design of Conformal Cooling Channels for an Automotive Part." International Journal of Automotive Technology 10.1 (2009): 87-93.
  8. Sachs, E. et al. “Production of Injection Molding Tooling With Conformal Cooling Channels Using the Three Dimensional Printing Process”. Polymer engineering and science, May 2000, Vol. 40, No. 5
  9. L-E. Rännar A. Glad C-G. Gustafson, (2007),"Efficient cooling with tool inserts manufactured by electron beam melting", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 13 Iss 3 pp. 128 – 135
  10. Menges, G., Michaeli, W. and Mohren, P. (2000), How to make Injection Molds, Hanser Publishers, Munich

Article full text

Download PDF