Authors: D. Dimitrov, A. Bester
Addresses: Laboratory for Rapid Product Development, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. ' Laboratory for Rapid Product Development, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Abstract: During the various plastic conversion processes a large amount of heat must be extracted from the plastic in the mould. The rate at which this heat is removed has a large impact on the cycle time. The temperature distribution in the mould influences the heat extraction, causing some parts of the product to cool slower than others, which in turn has an influence on the dimensional and geometric accuracy of the final product. Modern simulation software has a large role to play in creating virtual representations of the heat distribution and conduction in moulds. These tools can help the designer to develop moulds and products, which are optimised both for aesthetic purposes and production. This paper discusses some experiences gained in a comparative case study of conventional cooling vs. conformal cooling in production moulds. Some pitfalls are also pointed out related to the virtual model as well as to the manufacturing process of the experimental mould using layer manufacturing techniques.
Keywords: computational fluid dynamics; CFD; conformal cooling; layer manufacturing; parasolid simulation; tooling performance; packaging industry; production moulds; virtual prototypes; temperature distribution.
International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2007 Vol.30 No.3, pp.190 - 196
Published online: 10 Nov 2007 *Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article