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Advanced steel spray manufacture of high performance tooling


The industrial objective of the proposed RTD is to provide SME's with an alternative manufacturing route for the production of Steel Faced Tooling for the Metal Press Forming, Pressure Die-Casting and Plastics Moulding processing sectors. The proposed toolmaking technology to be developed is expected to result in an estimated reduction in manufacturing costs of between 40 and 80 percent and an estimated reduction in manufacturing time of between 50 and 80 percent (dependant on tool size and surface geometry) as compared to traditional tool machining techniques. The first two process sectors stated have received little benefit thus far from developments in Rapid Prototyping (RP)/Tooling due mainly to the inability of tooling produced via Rapid routes to operate in these aggressive process environments. Tooling development for both process sectors forms a major part of the proposed RTD. To date it has not been possible to use high temperature/integrity steel spraying processes to deposit steel surfaces onto pattern parts produced via conventional Rapid Prototyping technologies due to the inability of such parts to withstand the process conditions involved. The proposed RTD aims to develop and demonstrate new innovative material and process technology involving the production of tool surface pattems, mainly from soluble ceramic/glass materials, capable of withstanding the process conditions associated with high temperature/integrity steel spray deposition. It will therefore be possible to effectively build up a substantial steel tooling shell which can subsequently be de-moulded from the pattern part and suitably reinforced to provide tooling forms for the stated process sectors. An integrated process will be developed and demonstrated starting from 3D CAD component data converted to tool surface data. Tool surface forms will be manufactured using a suitable RP technology and used as casting patterns for the production of tool surface spray patterns in these high performance materials. High integrity steel surface deposition technology will be developed in conjunction with spray pattern technology to provide tooling surfaces of maximised density and wear resistance.

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PI Engineering
2200 Herentals

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EU contribution
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Participants (11)