Don’t miss this free webinar on applying metal 3D printing for injection mold conformal cooling hosted by our Vice President, Hillary Thomas.
Conformal cooling has proven benefits for injection molding with some end users reporting improved cycle time and better overall part quality. Adding conformal cooling channels to mold cavities and cores has the potential to address key problem areas for particularly complex projects. The more even the cooling, the less chance for defects such as flash, warpage and more.
WHAT IS CONFORMAL COOLING
Conformal cooling describes the process by which water passes through internal channels of an injection mold cavity to uniformly cool the plastic part before it is ejected. These conformal cooling channels contour to the part geometry, providing more temperature control throughout the plastic injection molding process.
TRADITIONAL MACHINING VS. 3D PRINTING
However, traditional approaches to incorporating these channels can be costly and time consuming. Therefore, most companies need a high ROI or sufficient justification to integrate this technology. The costs associated with conformal cooling also explain why it’s not as common in all types of injection molding.
To accomplish this traditionally, unique machining methods must be used to braze steel together, joining two sides of an insert together with a filler metal with a lower melting temperature. While this approach is a fairly low capital investment and doesn’t require cutting edge technology, this approach can have longer lead times and limitations for complex parts.
The alternative is using 3D-printed steel with conformal cooling channels built into the part print. This process builds the components and the channels inside layer by layer, offering vast design freedom for complex water lines. With the introduction of Mantle’s metal additive technology this year, Westminster Tool is paving the way for the injection mold making industry.
To learn more about the benefits and use case for metal additive with conformal cooling, register for our upcoming webinar on Thursday, November 17 at 1:00 PM ET.