Development of materials for the rapid manufacture of die cast tooling
The focus of this research is to develop a material composition that can be processed by rapid prototyping (RP) in order to produce tooling for the die casting process. Where these rapidly produced tools will be superior to traditional tooling production methods by offering one or more of the following advantages: reduced tooling cost, shortened tooling creation time, reduced man-hours for tool creation, increased tool life, and shortened die casting cycle time. ^ By utilizing RP's additive build process and vast material selection, there was a prospect that die cast tooling may be produced quicker and with superior material properties. To this end, the material properties that influence die life and cycle time were determined, and a list of materials that fulfill these “optimal” properties were highlighted. Physical testing was conducted in order to grade the processability of each of the material systems and to optimize the manufacturing process for the downselected material system. ^ Sample specimens were produced and microscopy techniques were utilized to determine a number of physical properties of the material system. Additionally, a benchmark geometry was selected and die casting dies were produced from traditional tool materials (H13 steel) and techniques (machining) and from the newly developed materials and RP techniques (selective laser sintering (SLS) and laser engineered net shaping (LENS)). Once the tools were created, a die cast alloy was selected and a preset number of parts were shot into each tool. ^ During tool creation, the manufacturing time and cost was closely monitored and an economic model was developed to compare traditional tooling to RP tooling. This model allows one to determine, in the early design stages, when it is advantageous to implement RP tooling and when traditional tooling would be best. ^ The results of the physical testing and economic analysis has shown that RP tooling is able to achieve a number of the research objectives, namely, reduce tooling cost, shorten tooling creation time, and reduce the man-hours needed for tool creation. Though identifying the appropriate time to use RP tooling appears to be the most important aspect in achieving successful implementation. ^
Engineering, Industrial|Engineering, Materials Science
Peter Jason Hardro,
"Development of materials for the rapid manufacture of die cast tooling"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).