Aluminum & Magnesium Tooling

Acrolab supports the Aluminum and Magnesium Injection processing sector with multiple products and services. Cycle time, Heating, and overheating is key for these applications.  Our clients have unique applications and Acrolab technical experts must work hand in hand with your team to ensure the application is clearly understood. We work with you to supply thermal management services and components for your aluminum and magnesium injection applications that will exceed your expectations.

Aluminum & Magnesium Application Key Milestones

  • Obtain client information on the requirements
  • Thermal recommendations
  • Concept Design & Review
  • Solution Design & Development
  • Client Approval
  • Execute: Design, Build, Test
  • Deliver

What Can Acrolab Offer For Your Aluminum & Magnesium Application?

Make your project as turnkey as you want it to be, or choose one or all of the below to suit your needs

  • Engineering: Engineering Thermal Design Solutions
  • Electric Heat: Augment or Modify Designs to Allow For Electric Heating
  • Heaters: Split Cartridge Heaters, Electric Band Heaters, Cartridge Heaters
  • Cooling: Implement Specially Design Isobar heat pipes To Cool The Working Surface
  • Temperature Data: Thermocouples and RTDs To Read And Control Temperature
  • High Temperature Isobars : 150X-200X more thermally conductive than copper
  • Temperature Uniformity: Achieve Isothermal conditions
  • Hot/Cold Plates: Pre Heat Hot Plates Or Post Part Cooling Plates
  • Electrical Schematics: Electrical Tool Zoning And Layout
  • Mold Boxes: Electrical Mold or Fuse Boxes
  • Controllers: A Controller Design Specifically For Your Tooling Needs
  • Thermal Standards: Complete And Implement Thermal Tooling Standards For Systems And Components We Supply And Design

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Aluminum & Magnesium Application Challenges

  • Moving heat to the parting surface
  • Tooling heating from ambient temperature takes forever
  • Removing heat from a parting surface after multiple cycles
  • Short shots due to thermal challenges
  • Parts over and under curing
  • Problems with varying part geometries
  • Quick cycle times
  • Cooling overflows
  • Larger and larger part sizes or families
  • Cooling the part surface effectively
  • Obtaining isothermal conditions
  • Multiple cavities, inserts, and thermal breaks
  • Using correctly designed electric heaters to augment steam or oil heating/cooling

Heating Then Cooling The Part Surface

Some applications have only one challenge, either heating or cooling. In metal injection such as aluminum or magnesium there ends up being both of these challenges, both heating and cooling. After a shutdown or tool change, the tool has to heat up to temperature. In order to produce good parts.  Some of the tools are very large and can take a very long time (over 6-8 hours in some cases) to heat up.  Some clients can’t wait that long.

  • A dual heating system can be utilized to assist with heat up times from ambient temperatures.  In some cases this could be oil heating while augmenting specific locations with electric heat.
  • While heating does pose some challenges, the real name of the game (once the tool is up to temperature) is cooling. Cooling is where you can reduce cycles times. Some applications involve using oil to cool the tool.  In some cases  oil cooling is not enough and other systems are also used, such as spray cooling.
  • One way to heat up the tool more quickly and uniformly while also being able to cool quickly is to implement Isobar heat pipes into the tool. Isobars will assist with heating up the tool no matter which type of technology is used, while also assisting with cooling if a cooling cycles exists in the tool.

“Short Shots” Due To Thermal Challenges

Short shots can occur for a number of reasons. One reason they occur in Magnesium or aluminum applications is because the material losses too much thermal energy as it gets injection and travels through the tool. The part material is at a much higher temperature than the tool and so with each inch it flows into the tool it losses more and more thermal energy. At the end of fill the part material has lost enough heat that it does not flow as fast and in return you can end up with a short shot.

  • As parts become larger and more complex short shots become a more common problem.
  • Short shots typically show up at the “end of flow” (farthest away from the injection points).
  • There are some mechanical solutions that can be used to reduce the short shot issue, and these solutions work very well.
  • In some cases the mechanical solution is not viable or does not completely fix the problem.  In these situations one can implement augmented heating such as electric heat at the “end of flow” areas to help the molten material flow into the entire tool cavity.