The main objective of the FOINMOULDS project is a challenging improvement of quality and performance of metallic and plastic components produced by high pressure die casting, injection and blow molding, in order to meet the increasing demands of customers and end-users. To achieve this, an outstanding weight reduction of moulds, increased efficiency in heat removal and process control is addressed through a new concept of moulds in which metallic foams (cellular materials) are integrated. This totally new a pproach will lead to dramatic improvements in production rates (10% reduction in cycle times for injection and 30% for blow moulding), lower prices and easier handling and maintenance of moulds. In order to meet these strategic objectives, the new concept of moulds will be achieved through the following scientific technological approaches: better mould temperature control, controlled local solidification, avoidance of component distortions, improved feeding and shorter processing time. The project is conce ived in 10 workpackages planned in a logic way. The first 5 containing important work of research and development prior to final design and manufacture of demonstrators. First stages of the project will deal with the conceptual design of moulds and gather ing information to establish a first approach. First thermal and structural analysis will be made to study dimensional stability, stresses in thermomechanicalloads and interactions of mould, metal foam insert and solidifying components. Based on this, a pr oper material selection and final prototype design will be performed. Next step will consists on manufacturing cellular metals at lab scale and testing (feed-back to previous tasks). Once first stages are completed, an assessment of how to integrate metal lic foams into moulds will be necessary (fastening, bonding, clamping, in-situ foaming, etc..) in order to achieve the best thermomechanical integration between mould and foams. All previous steps are the basis to manufacture final demonstrators and furth er testing in-service conditions. The demonstrators will be constructed and tested in service conditions with a thermal, structural and geometry analysis that will permit the feedback of information and optimise the results obtained to finally validate the prototypes. Finally, a technical and economical evaluation will be made. Exploitation and dissemination of results and management activities are also key points for the successful completion of the project objectives.
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Funding SchemeCooperative - SMEs-Co-operative research contracts