Title: FEA simulation of conformal cooling within injection moulds

Authors: Tomas O Gloinn, Conor Hayes, P. Hanniffy, Keith Vaugh

Addresses: School of Engineering, Athlone Institute of Technology, Dublin Rd., Athlone Co. Westmeath, Ireland. ' School of Engineering, Athlone Institute of Technology, Dublin Rd., Athlone Co. Westmeath, Ireland. ' School of Engineering, Athlone Institute of Technology, Dublin Rd., Athlone Co. Westmeath, Ireland. ' School of Engineering, Athlone Institute of Technology, Dublin Rd., Athlone Co. Westmeath, Ireland

Abstract: Manufacturers are constantly striving to reduce the costs associated with design and manufacture. The plastics industry and in particular the injection moulding sector have focused their efforts on improving efficiencies within the moulding parameters and material selection process. Limited focus had been placed on the optimisation of the cooling process until recently an area within which, it has been documented that approximately 85% of the cycle time is consumed in cooling. Any reductions achieved in this particular area will have a considerable effect on the overall costs associated with design. This research study presents a design methodology applicable to the design of rapid tools for utilisation on an injection moulding machine. The study addresses the benefits that can be derived by adapting a thermal management design approach which, through its adaptation, could reduce the cycle times associated with rapid tools and improve the tool longevity. The report compares the common cooling techniques: a) no cooling, b) straight cooling and c) conformal cooling, through the Finite Element method.

Keywords: rapid tooling; conformal cooling; thermal management; rapid tools; tool management; FEA; finite element analysis; simulation; injection moulding; optimisation; cycle times; tool life.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMR.2007.014641

International Journal of Manufacturing Research, 2007 Vol.2 No.2, pp.162 - 170

Available online: 21 Jul 2007 *

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