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Part cooling analysis by conformal cooling channels in injection molding

Özmen, Mehmet Emin
Straight cooling channels are the most common method of controlling part temperature in injection molding process. However, straight cooling channels are not enough to manage temperature uniformity of the parts. In this work, a numerical study is conducted to decrease cycle time and cost of the injection molded parts by using conformal cooling channels. For this purpose, the commercial injection molding simulation program Moldflow is used. The governing physical equations for injection molding were derived and presented. The assumptions of the model were checked for simple geometries by comparing analytical results and numerical results of Moldflow. Then, the effect of conformal cooling channels is investigated for injection molding of a half cylinder shell part. It was seen that conformal cooling channels cools part faster and more uniform than straight cooling channels without corruption on the surface appearance. Finally, a real life case study was presented. For this purpose, a refrigerator shelf that is manufactured by the Arçelik Company was studied. The process was simulated using actual process parameters and simulation results were compared with production results. Then, the process was simulated using conformal cooling channels and compared with production results. It is seen that the cycle time of the refrigerator shelf was decreased considerably while preserving surface quality appearance.