Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Manufacture of sprayed steel concept tooling incorporating conformal channels to enable heating and cooling of the tooling using thermal oil

Steel concept tooling was produced using Sprayform Technology (licensed from Ford) with conformal heating and cooling channels. The channels were manufactured using copper pipe work, shaped to the outer surface of the tooling, brazed in place to eliminate air gaps and then over sprayed with a thin layer of steel. The conformal channels were used in process trials to heat and cool the tooling directly using thermal oil and an external oil heater/cooler unit. The direct heating of the tooling has eliminated the requirement for a heating oven, which potentially dramatically reduces the energy requirements for the rotational moulding process. Future developments would include recycling the energy, from the cooling process and using it to assist in reheating the tooling during the process cycle. Direct heating and cooling when coupled with temperature measurement inside the tooling, will allow greater control of the moulding cycle, resulting in reduced energy wastage and reduced material scrap of reject product.

The addition of conformal cooling channels to the Sprayform tooling could also be used in other polymer processing techniques and could potentially be used in other heat exchange situations.

Reported by

Rotofab Ltd
Blyry Industrial Estate
Co. Westme Athlone
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