Fact is better than fiction when it comes to proving a point and as a leading UK injection moulding group, we felt it was time to evaluate the impact of conformal cooling on a ‘difficult’ part. With the recent advances in additive manufacturing helping us to offer solutions to complex cooling channels, we decided to team up with UK based injection moulding optimisation specialist Plazology to evaluate the impact of conformal cooling on a ‘difficult’ part. The comparative study was completed on the same component produced in a twin cavity mould using conventional straight cooling channels for one core and ConformL channels for the other.
The Plazology team analysed the performance of the mould inserts using the Moldex3D simulation system, then verified its findings with physical mould trials using their in-house Krauss Maffei 1200KN Electric moulding machine.
The Plazology simulation was set up to mimic part production using conventional cooling equipment supplying water at a temperature of 20°C and a pressure of 5 bar. During the simulation they evaluated heat transfer, cycle time and part quality.
Here are some of their findings:
- The conformal cooling channels removed approximately 160% more heat from the part than the conventional channels
- Heat transfer into the conformal cooling channels was so effective that it led to a 19°C increase in the temperature of the cooling water
- A conformally-cooled part would require a cooling time of around 3 seconds, assuming HDT is 90°C, by contrast the conventionally cooled part needed 11 to 15 seconds
- ConformL cooling improved dimensional accuracy by 80% and reduces cycle times by 40% for challenging injection moulded parts.
Their full findings can be found in our latest white paper – Optimising part quality and cycle time with conformal cooling.
As the development of highly automated manufacturing technologies and the familiarity with that technology grows the potential and benefits of conformal cooling will become accessible to a wider range of users and applications.