Research Papers

Design and Manufacture of Injection Mold Inserts Using Electron Beam Melting

[+] Author and Article Information
Arif Rochman

Department of Industrial and
Manufacturing Engineering,
University of Malta,
Room 004, Engineering Building,
Msida MSD2080, Malta
e-mail: arif.rochman@um.edu.mt

Althea Kate Borg

Department of Industrial and
Manufacturing Engineering,
University of Malta,
Engineering Building,
Msida MSD2080, Malta

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received April 15, 2014; final manuscript received September 4, 2014; published online October 24, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Joseph Beaman.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 136(6), 061011 (Oct 24, 2014) (8 pages) Paper No: MANU-14-1190; doi: 10.1115/1.4028541 History: Received April 15, 2014; Revised September 04, 2014

The capability of producing injection tool inserts using an additive manufacturing (AM) technology was investigated. Using electron beam melting (EBM), the restriction of drilling straight cooling channels could be eliminated and freeform channels with sufficient powder removal were achieved. EBM parameters and the design of the cooling channels strongly influence the sintering degree of the powder trapped in the channels and thus the ease of the powder removal. Despite the low heat conductivity of the new inserts made from Ti6Al4V, the cooling performance was the same as for the conventional inserts. However, the use of Ti6Al4V is advantageous, since the expanding agent used in injection molding is very corrosive.

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Fig. 1

Conformal cooling circuit (a) and conformal cooling channel based on visibility (b)

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Fig. 2

Two mold inserts with their respective slider

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Fig. 3

Sketch for cooling channel covering the whole horse's belly

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Fig. 4

Rectangular plate dimensions clamped at all edges, where a ≥ b

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Fig. 5

Cooling channel samples for powder removal test

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Fig. 6

Powder semisintered around cooling channel sample 1 and inside the channel

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Fig. 7

Image taken with borescope camera after ultrasonic cleaning for samples 1, 2, and 3

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Fig. 8

Conventional cooling channels (left) and new cooling circuits (right)

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Fig. 9

Insert after EBM process surrounded by semisintered powder (a) and sieved after removal (b)

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Fig. 10

Back side (a) and cavity side view (b) of finished EBM inserts

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Fig. 11

The curling effect on the insert edges

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Fig. 12

Ejection side insert before and after finishing using high speed milling

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Fig. 13

Part quality for 60 s cooling time from conventional cavity inserts (left) and new cavity inserts (right)

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Fig. 14

Swelling on belly of horse figure from conventional cavity inserts (left) and new cavity inserts (right)



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