Simulations of the heat exchange in thermoplastic injection molds manufactured by additive techniques

Abstract : The cost and quality of complex parts manufactured by thermoplastic injection is traditionally limited by design constraints on the cooling system of the mold. A possible solution is to create the mold by additive manufacturing, which makes it possible to freely design the cooling channels. Such molds normally contain hollow parts (alveoli) in order to decrease their cost. However, the complex geometry of the cooling channels and the alveoli makes it difficult to predict the performance of the cooling system. This work aims to compute the heat exchanges between the polymer, the mold and the cooling channels with complex geometries. An Immersed Volume approach is taken, where the different parts of the domain (i.e. the polymer, the cooling channels, the alveoli and the mold) are represented by level-sets and the thermo-mechanical properties of the materials vary smoothly at the interface between the parts. The energy and momentum equations are solved by a stabilized Finite Element method. In order to accurately resolve the large variations of material properties and the steep temperature gradients at interfaces, state-of-the art anisotropic mesh refinement techniques are employed. The filling stage of the process is neglected. In a first step, only the heat equation is solved, so that the packing stage is also disregarded. In a second step, thermo-mechanical effects occurring in the polymer during the packing stage are taken into account, which results in the injection of an additional amount of polymer that significantly influences the temperature evolution. The method is validated on the simple geometry of a center-gated disk and compared with experimental measurements. The agreement is very good. Simulations are performed on an industrial case which illustrates the ability of the method to deal with complex geometries.
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https://hal-mines-paristech.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01674398
Contributeur : Magalie Prudon <>
Soumis le : mardi 2 janvier 2018 - 16:16:18
Dernière modification le : lundi 12 novembre 2018 - 10:55:49

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Wafa Daldoul, Thomas Toulorge, Michel Vincent. Simulations of the heat exchange in thermoplastic injection molds manufactured by additive techniques. 20th International ESAFORM Conference on Material Forming (ESAFORM 2017), Apr 2017, Dublin, Ireland. pp.Article number 120005, ⟨10.1063/1.5008143⟩. ⟨hal-01674398⟩

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