Thermo-fluid Topology Optimization and Experimental Study of Conformal Cooling Channels for 3D Printed Plastic Injection Molds

dc.contributor.authorJahan, Suchana
dc.contributor.authorWu, Tong
dc.contributor.authorShin, Yung
dc.contributor.authorTovar, Andres
dc.contributor.authorEl-Mounayri, Hazim
dc.contributor.departmentMechanical and Energy Engineering, School of Engineering and Technologyen_US
dc.description.abstractWith the advent of additive manufacturing, innovative design methods, such as network-based techniques, and structural topology optimization have been used to generate complex and highly efficient cooling systems in recent years. However, methods that incorporate coupled thermal and fluid analysis remain scarce. In this paper, a coupled thermal-fluid topology optimization algorithm is introduced for the design of conformal cooling channels. The problem is formulated based on a coupling of Navier- Stokes equations and convection-diffusion equation. The problem is solved by gradient-based optimization after analytical sensitivity derived using adjoint method. With this method, the channel position problem is replaced to a material distribution problem. The material distribution directly depends on the effect of flow resistance, heat conduction, natural and forced convection. The algorithm leads to a two-dimensional conceptual design having optimal heat transfer and balanced flow, which is further transformed into three-dimensional cooling channel design. Here, a comprehensive study is presented, starting from design, simulation, 3D printing process and experimental testing of an injection mold with conformal cooling channels in industrial production environment. A traditional mold model is provided by an industrial collaborator. To enhance the overall thermo-fluid performance of the mold and improve final product quality, a redesign of this mold core is done with conformal cooling channels inside. The final design is 3D printed in pre-alloyed tool-steel powder Maraging Steel using Truprint 3000 metal 3D printing machine. The printed core required some heat treatment and finishing processes and added features to be incorporated to make it production ready. Once all the preparation was complete, the core was tested experimentally in a multicavity injection molding machine in real industrial environment at our industrial partner’s production facility. This paper describes all the steps starting from design, analysis, die 3D printing and finally ending at final experimental testing, as well as recommendations for tool designer and injection molding industry to implement additive manufacturing for their benefit. This paper is not just focused on a specific aspect such as design, simulation or manufacturing, but rather a comprehensive paper presenting a case study on implementation of topology optimization and additive manufacturing in real life industrial production scenario.en_US
dc.eprint.versionFinal published versionen_US
dc.identifier.citationJahan, S., Wu, T., Shin, Y., Tovar, A., & El-Mounayri, H. (2019). Thermo-fluid Topology Optimization and Experimental Study of Conformal Cooling Channels for 3D Printed Plastic Injection Molds. Procedia Manufacturing, 34, 631–639.
dc.relation.journalProcedia Manufacturingen_US
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International*
dc.subjecttopology optimizationen_US
dc.subjectconformal coolingen_US
dc.subjectmetal 3D printingen_US
dc.titleThermo-fluid Topology Optimization and Experimental Study of Conformal Cooling Channels for 3D Printed Plastic Injection Moldsen_US
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