The holy grail of molding is the rapid cooling of molds, and while several techniques have been tried (and some have failed) conformal cooling of molds is making some headway.
Mold cooling is at the heart of molding-cycle optimization and part quality, which means that mold manufacturers need to understand mold cooling, molding cycle optimization and be up on the latest cooling technologies. "Mold manufacturers need to be concerned about cycle time if they want to help their customers maintain a competitive edge, improve efficiencies, productivity and profits in order to compete on a global basis," said Bob Beard of Robert A. Beard Associates Inc. His mantra was given in a webinar for the American Mold Builders Association, and it's something he preaches often to various groups.
As a "mold-cooling guru," Beard is familiar with the many technologies that have been developed over the past couple of decades to reduce cycle times and improve both quality and profitability. Beard noted that using high-thermal conductivity metals such as beryllium copper and aluminum has helped molders achieve cycle reductions of 20% or more. Of course, aluminum isn't suitable for every mold application....