Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) is opening up new possibilities in tooling industries. One of the main applications of metal AM in die-casting/Injection molding industry is tool inserts with the conformal cooling channel.
This article is mainly focusing on various benefits of conformal cooling in improving process and part performance.
Oskar Frech GmbH has printed core with optimal conformal cooling design for die casting mold using metal AM technology. Material was 18-Ni300 grade Maraging steel (1.2709).
Fig. 1 is CAD file with conformal cooling channels inside the insert.
Fig. 1 CAD file with conformal cooling channels inside the insert. (Source: Oskar Frech GmbH)
Followings are the key benefits received due to conformal cooling channel in tool insert:
Cooling time reduction - 60% reduction in cooling time (i.e., from 12 to 5 sec.) – This is possible with the help of conformal cooling channels in the cores, wipers, and anvils.
Process Optimization - Total process cycle was reduced by 12%.
Product Quality – Due to homogeneous temperature distribution due to conformal cooling, the parts porosity is largely reduced. Sliders and cores having conformal cooling channels create homogeneous temperature in whole mold. Thus, improved product quality is easily achieved.
Optimization of spray process - Due to reduction in cooling time, there is simultaneous reduction in use of mold separating agent. Thus, there is improvement in surface structure of die casting components.
Increased service life of Die components due to conformal cooling channels.
Using conformal cooling system in tool insert or mold, one could easily eliminate various challenges, reduce cooling time, improve surface and internal quality, reduce the use spray coolant along with the increased profitability of the die-casting process.