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Research Papers: Design for Manufacture and the Life Cycle

Design of Conformal Porous Structures for the Cooling System of an Injection Mold Fabricated by Additive Manufacturing Process

[+] Author and Article Information
Yunlong Tang

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McGill University,
Montreal, QC, H2X 2L3, Canada
e-mail: tang.yunlong@mail.mcgill.ca

Zhengyang Gao

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McGill University,
Montreal, QC, H2X 2L3, Canada
e-mail: Zhenyang.gao@mail.mcgill.ca

Yaoyao Fiona Zhao

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McGill University,
Montreal, QC, H2X 2L3, Canada
e-mail: yaoyao.zhao@mcgill.ca

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design for Manufacturing Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanical Design. Manuscript received October 4, 2018; final manuscript received April 26, 2019; published online May 23, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Carolyn Seepersad.

J. Mech. Des 141(10), 101702 (May 23, 2019) (11 pages) Paper No: MD-18-1728; doi: 10.1115/1.4043680 History: Received October 04, 2018; Accepted April 27, 2019

The cooling system of plastic injection mold plays a critical role during the injection molding process. It not only affects part quality but also its cycle time. Traditionally, due to the limitations of conventional drilling methods, the cooling system of the injection mold usually consists of simple paralleled straight channels. It seriously limits the mobility of cooling fluid, which leads to the low cooling efficiency for the parts with complex free-form surfaces. In this research, an innovative design method for the cooling system of an injection mold is proposed by using conformal porous structures. The size and shape of each cell in the conformal porous structure are varied according to the shape of an injection molded part. Design cases are provided at the end of this paper to further illustrate the efficiency of the proposed method. Compared with those existing design methods for the uniform porous structures, the proposed method can further reduce the nonuniformity of the mold surface temperature distribution and decrease the pressure drop of the cooling system.

Copyright © 2019 by ASME
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Time spent of a typical injection mold cycle [2]

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Fig. 2

Comparison between (a) CVD-based cooling channels and (b) spiral-based cooling channels [22] (Reprinted with permission from Elsevier © 2015)

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Fig. 3

Cross-sectional view of the scaffold-based porous conformal cooling [24,25] (Reprinted with permission from Springer Nature © 2006)

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Fig. 4

Comparison between (a) conformal porous cooling structures (CPS) and (b) uniform porous cooling structures (UPS)

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Fig. 5

Simplified model for conformal cooling calculation

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Fig. 6

A comparison of cooling performance between porous structures and regular circular channel

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Fig. 7

General design flow of porous conformal cooling structures: (a) original part, (b) conformal cooling surface, (c) conformal cooling volume, (d) frame of CPS, (e) void region of CPS, and (f) solid model of mold

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Fig. 8

Solidification of a frame of CPS

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Fig. 9

An example of the frame of CPS and its unit cell

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Fig. 10

The graphic view of the data structure of CPS's frame

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Fig. 11

Graphic view of three different unit cell topologies: (a) cubic lattice, (b) body-centered cubic, and (c) octahedron

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Fig. 12

An example of numbered hexahedron primitive

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Fig. 13

Generation of CPS with body-centered cubic cell topology: (a) design domain with hexahedron primitives, (b) hexahedron cell primitive, (c) frame of unit cell, (d) frame for whole design domain, and (e) conformal porous structure

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Fig. 14

Two different cooling passageways for the half-cylindrical part: (a) cooling passageway for the conformal porous structure and (b) cooling passageway for the uniform porous structure

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Fig. 15

Comparison between CPS and UPS on the injection mold of half-cylindrical part: (a) average temperature of mold surface for conformal porous structures, (b) average temperature of mold surface for uniform porous structures, (c) pressure of coolant in the cooling passageway for conformal porous structures, and (d) pressure of coolant in the cooling passageway for uniform porous structures

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Fig. 16

(a) Mouse cover and (b) cooling passageway of CPS

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Fig. 17

Comparison between UPS and CPS on the injection mold of mouse cover: (a) distribution of average temperature of the mold surface with CPS, (b) distribution of average temperature of the mold surface with UPS, (c) pressure of coolant in the cooling passageway of CPS, and (d) pressure of coolant in the cooling passageway of UPS

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