Project

Analysis of effects of using aluminium as mold material in plastic injection molding for automotive HVAC ducts

Project (M.S., Mechanical Engineering)--California State University, Sacramento, 2011.

Aluminum injection molds, primarily used in the past for prototypes are being investigated for use as production molds with the advent of a new generation of aluminum materials specifically tailored for this application. 
 This project investigates the effects of using aluminum tooling while comparing the importance of other contributing factors in molding performance through the use of Moldflow software and Taguchi methods.
 The large number of variables studied, 13 at three different levels, contributed to some interesting results that were not seen on other published studies with smaller numbers of variables. The main focus, the mold material was found, not surprisingly, to be an important contributor in molding performance. However, unexpectedly the aluminum tooling in this instance was found to perform poorer than steel while beryllium-copper was found to be far superior to both. Factors such as melt temperature and mold temperature were important contributors. Other variables that were the focus of experiments with fewer variables, such as waterline geometries were found to be of little importance in comparison.

Aluminum injection molds, primarily used in the past for prototypes are being investigated for use as production molds with the advent of a new generation of aluminum materials specifically tailored for this application. This project investigates the effects of using aluminum tooling while comparing the importance of other contributing factors in molding performance through the use of Moldflow software and Taguchi methods. The large number of variables studied, 13 at three different levels, contributed to some interesting results that were not seen on other published studies with smaller numbers of variables. The main focus, the mold material was found, not surprisingly, to be an important contributor in molding performance. However, unexpectedly the aluminum tooling in this instance was found to perform poorer than steel while beryllium-copper was found to be far superior to both. Factors such as melt temperature and mold temperature were important contributors. Other variables that were the focus of experiments with fewer variables, such as waterline geometries were found to be of little importance in comparison.

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