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Optimized Industrial HIPIMS system for coating Plastic Injection Moulds

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HIPINDMOULD (Optimized Industrial HIPIMS system for coating Plastic Injection Moulds)

Reporting period: 2014-10-01 to 2015-03-31

Mould sector, specifically moulds for injection of plastic faces high demands on surface quality of moulding tools. The main degradation mechanisms involved are adhesion, abrasion and corrosion of the surface; moreover, low adhesion of the plastic melt is necessary for reduction of release forces. Considering most sensitive markets to cleanness and contamination (medical, pharmaceutical and food packaging sectors), the use of additives, lubricants and demoulding agents is an issue. In some applications (optical parts in automotion) the surface finishing is also critical.
In order to improve their performance, surface treatments/coatings are applied on moulds using conventional technologies such as nitriding, chrome electroplating or sputtering.
Flubetech proposes here the introduction in mould sector of a recent and promising coating technology, High Power Impulsed Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS), which offers outstanding advantages with respect to conventional techniques since it produces smooth, dense, hard coating offering optimized performance against corrosion, sticking and wear and high quality surface finishing. The use of lubricants and demoulding agents can be also avoided, leading the use of these new moulds to products ready to use.

The main objective of the HIPINDMOULD project is to manufacture a prototype and to develop exceptional coatings on it based on this new and powerful technology. The aim of FLUBETECH is to give answer to real problems plastic injection moulding industry is suffering from, becoming European or even international reference as coater for moulds, offering these companies a comprehensive service with a continuous customer support. In their own words: “Our clients will choose us because we provide high-quality, cost-effective, customer responsive and environmentally sustainable coatings that reduce costs and save energy”.
During this reporting period corresponding to Phase 1 of HIPINDMOULD project a thorough Feasibility Study (Business Plan) has been carried out. Project approach has been analyzed and the market to which the innovation is directed has been studied in detail. Investment opportunity has been carefully revised and future growth has been also forecasted. With all these data, a project plan for Phase 2 has been elaborated in order to achieve the objective set.
As a result of the Feasibility study it has been verified that there is a rising market for the innovation proposed. The introduction of the new coatings in the mould sector will allow Flubetech to boost sales.
The development of the new generation of coatings proposed in HIPINDMOULD will allow plastic injectors to improve both the performance of their moulds and the productivity or their processes. Being a green coating technology that apart from outstanding technical properties, avoids harmful chemicals to dispose of, the innovation proposed will entail an important environmental benefit.