Influence of thermal ageing on the mechanical properties of an additively manufactured photopolymer used in soft tooling applications

Michael Mischkot, Gerhard Krexner, Viktor Soprunyuk, Wilfried Schranz, David Bue Pedersen, Guido Tosello

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    Abstract

    In recent years, direct rapid soft tooling based on inserts manufactured additively by light reactive photopolymer curing has become a solid alternative to classic tooling based on subtractive machining of metals for prototyping and pilot production of polymer parts by injection moulding. Reported numbers of injection-moulded parts per insert are in the low to medium three-digit range. This, however, is based on using additive manufacturing for the production of both mould halves. It was found that combining a soft tooling insert on one mould half and a metal insert on the other half can increase insert lifetime to more than 10 000 parts in acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) with a negligible influence of insert wear on the dimensional stability of the injection-moulded parts. Photopolymers are known for their very low heat conductivity compared to metals and their sensitivity to elevated temperatures leading to degradation and negative effects on their mechanical properties. Considering heat transfer laws, it can be assumed that most thermal energy brought into the cavity during the plastic injection is conducted away through the steel half of the mould, thus leading to a significant reduction of the thermal ageing of the photopolymer insert. This research supports the quantification of the influence of thermal ageing on insert lifetime by performing experiments with photopolymer samples aged thermally after exposure to different elevated temperature levels for different time spans.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th International Conference of the european Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology
    EditorsD. Billington , R. K. Leach, D. Phillips , O. Riemer , E. Savio
    PublisherThe European Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology
    Publication date2018
    Pages241-242
    ISBN (Electronic)9780995775121
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    Event18th International Conference of the european Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (euspen 18) - Venice, Italy
    Duration: 4 Jun 20188 Jun 2018

    Conference

    Conference18th International Conference of the european Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (euspen 18)
    Country/TerritoryItaly
    CityVenice
    Period04/06/201808/06/2018

    Keywords

    • Additive Manufacturing
    • Injection Moulding
    • Soft Tooling

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