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Repair of aluminium moulds: easy transportable environmental friendly repair process for aluminium moulds and development of new coatings on aluminium

Portable repair techniques were evaluated separately for (resin transfer moulds) RTM moulds and injection moulds. For RTM moulds, it was found that thermal spray techniques were suited to the repair of defects with depths below 0.3 mm. Dependent on the deposition material and the (thermal) loads thereon this may go up to 1mm. In particular arc wire spray is highly transportable. A large variety of coatings can be deposited like as done: Aluminium alloys, 316L and NiCrBSi. Aluminium alloys are thermal sprayed on the Aluminium moulds to repair the substrate Aluminium. Whereas 316L steel and NiCrBSi are sprayed and used for repair as protective coatings on Aluminium moulds and moulds made of other materials.

Potential applications are expected not only in the plastic manufacturing industry but also for any repair issue on components and industrial commodities.

EADS has deposited successfully anti-sticking coatings that will allow a better wear resistance and / or demoulding of the moulded plastic part in particular epoxy resins. Such coatings were prepared by plasma assisted chemical vapour deposition (vacuum deposition).

Such type of coatings are used also as hydrophobic coatings, to repel water and dirt from any kind of surfaces.

Graining and structuring the surface of an Aluminium mould was carried out by transferring the structure in a electrodeposited Nickel (electroformed Nickel). Regular triangular structures with aspects of a few 10 micrometers were engraved in Nickel. The Nickel was fastened to the Aluminium mould thus forming its surface.

Potential application of this technology are already in use when optical and plastic surfaces are structured in the range of less than one micro-meter, like optical grids.

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