Cooling channel design in the plastic injection moulding process is of paramount importance to the performance of the mould, influencing the quality of the parts being produced and productivity of the process. However, cooling channel design is usually limited to relatively simple configurations as well as conventional machining processes, such as straight-line drilling, and milling, etc. The cooling performance may not meet the expectations of the mould engineers. This paper proposes an alternative design method for a conformal cooling passageway with multi-connected porous characteristics based on the duality principle. The proposed method can provide a more uniform cooling performance between the mould plate and the conformal cooling passageway than the existing conformal cooling channel design. Injection mould defects like warpage or hot spots can be avoided. In this study, a 3D mould plate model was offset negatively and the location of the proposed multi-connected porous cooling passageway was identified. The negatively offset model was decomposed into a finite number of cubical cells via the sub-boundary spatial enumerated cell decomposition. Then a duality relationship between the primal and the dual graphs was developed. This provided the preliminary layout of the multi-connected porous passageway for the coolant flow in multiple directions. The cooling channel axis design of the multi-connected porous passageway, illustrated by the skeleton from the dual graph, was created. Following a Boolean difference operation, the proposed multi-connected porous cooling passageway inside the mould plate was able to be generated and fabricated with the aid of rapid tooling technologies. A real-life case study for the design of a multi-connected porous cooling passageway was implemented and examined. The effects of coolant flow and cooling performances, analyzed by computational fluid dynamics simulation, were validated.
- Conformal cooling
- Mould cooling
- Sub-boundary spatial enumerated cell decomposition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
- Computer Science Applications
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering