DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS OF CONFORMAL COOLING CHANNELS IN INJECTION MOULDING TOOLS DESIGN: AN OVERVIEW
Journal of Thermal Engineering
Design of the cooling system in the thermoplastic injection moulding process is one of the most important steps during mould design. It has a direct influence on the quality of the parts produced, and thereby impinges on the cycle time. Cooling channel design has traditionally been limited to comparatively simple configurations due to the main process for manufacturing being restricted to the drilling of straight holes. Nowadays, with the emergence and rapid uptake of 3D printing, complex
... ting, complex shapes are able to be produced with intricate details and more complicated geometries. The objective of this study was to determine the temperature profile along the mould tool cavity wall to improve the cooling system design. Virtual models from a 3D modelling software (such as Solidworks and Moldflow) are used to design a simple artefact and simulate studies to include different cooling systems such as straight and conformal channels. The effects of cooling channel form and location on the temperature distribution of the mould and the solidification degree of polymer are studied. The bulk of the results indicate that in order to improve the productivity of the process, the cooling and cycle times have to be minimised while at the same time a homogeneous cooling is necessary to maintain a consistent quality of product.