Additive manufacturing for automotive tooling with conformal cooling

Renseignements sur le financement
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Type de subvention: Programme de subventions d'engagement partenariat
  • Année: 2017/18
  • Financement total: $25,000
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Sommaire du projet

Injection molding process is commonly used to produce automotive components. Injection molding of polymer components facesincreasing demands for part quality and production rate. Proper thermal management of the injection molding tooling is key toachieving simultaneous improvements in rate and quality. The devised cooling passages in the tooling manage the heat flow out ofthe plastic. Current fabrication methods place severe limitations on the configuration of the cooling channels used for heatwithdrawal.The freedom to create internal geometry by the use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) allows for fabrication of molds with complexinternal cooling passages. These cooling channels can be designed to be conformal to the molding cavity. Conformal coolingchannels produced by the AM process provide the ability to more accurately control the temperature of the molding cavitythroughout the process cycle. Such temperature control has the potential to shorten cycle time and to produce parts with lowerresidual stresses.CO-EX-TEC is keen to move the AM technology forward to open the door for more flexibility in designing tools and molds withconformal cooling channels that reduce the total cycle time of fabrication and improve the cooling performance of the tool duringproduction. This project in partnership with McMaster University, will provide an excellent opportunity for process improvementresulting in the use of AM technology to produce high performance dies with conformal cooling channels. Upon successfulcompletion, the results of this research collaboration will enhance the competitive positioning of CO-EX-TEC in the automotivesupplier market place.