There is a multitude of metrics that manufacturers have to balance when working through the design process for conformal cooling applications. From the uniformity of the steel temperature across the mold stack up to how efficient the cooling process is, it’s critical to evaluate all components. However, the core is often the most vital.
If you’re interested in learning more about the design process, Anova Innovations, a leading company specializing in 3D steel printed steel inserts for injection molds and the supporting simulation services, looks at four different cores and works through how a manufacturer would decide on the best option.
In this case study, a plastic parts manufacturer was looking to upgrade a traditional mold for pharmaceutical pill bottles. This mold ran with a simple bubbler, a basic straight-line water cooling channel.
With a new, non-conventional design, the objective was to improve the cooling capabilities of a core that goes into a production stack mold. There are several benefits to improving the cooling capabilities of a mold, including, but not limited to a(n):
Whether part makers are interested in the profit improvements of boosted productivity or the ability to meet consumer demands with bioplastics, comprehensive testing during the design process is critical.
Anova evaluated four designs through a simulation process:
When looking at a cooling design, there are a few fundamental principles you need to keep in mind:
While evaluating the first design, we quickly realized that to reach the target Reynolds number, we would need a significant amount of coolant flow through each channel. Each parallel channel would require 1.21 gallons per minute (GPM) using 60-degree Fahrenheit water. Therefore, each core would require 7.26 GPM.
Based on the channel geometry of the FHC, parts manufacturers would need to run 1 GPM per channel (4 GPM for the core) with 60-degree Fahrenheit water.
The ELC design requires .75 GPM per channel with 60-degree Fahrenheit water and 1.5 GPM for the entire core.
The THC design requires 0.9 GPM per channel and core with 60-degree Fahrenheit water.
*Reynolds Number is an engineering term that determines that type of flow as either laminar or turbulent. The heat transfer capability of a molds cooling system is improved with turbulent flow.
These conformal cooling cores showed incredible improvements in productivity, cost savings, and statistically capable parts. If you’re interested in learning more about the results of Anova’s designs, sign up for our newsletter to receive part two of this case study.
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