In cleanMOULD an all-round coating for plastic moulding tools that will be developed in collaboration with industry pilot users.
The coating will be obtained by improved nanotechnology in PVD coatings to reduce fretting- and abrasive wear, as well as friction and deforming problems.
Fretting wear a limiting factor in the life of many plastic injection moulds, and it has an estimated yearly cost over $10 billion worldwide. Micrometer-deep vents are designed and ground in the mould surfaces to allow air to escape from the mould as the plastic fills the mould cavities. Each time the mould is closed during its moulding cycle (i.e. every 10-30s in an operational mould under uptime production), the contacting surfaces “adjust” to each other and undergo microscopic vibrational movements that slowly damage these surfaces, leading to severe tear and particle release. Ultimately, the mould needs to be scrapped after repeated re-grinding, thus significantly affecting the overall mould service life.
Long productive lifecycles are key to effectively depreciate the heavy upfront investments in casting moulds in injection moulding production pipelines. Hence, reducing the impact of fretting corrosion is a fundamental need transversal to all manufacturing industries relying on injection moulding. This translates into direct savings that unlock value pools for the different actors along the injection moulding value chain (mould manufacturers, injection moulders, and end-costumers of plastic parts), but also entails important benefits for end-users, reducing the impact of contamination of moulded products with mould debris stemming from fretting wear - a core concern in sensitive manufacturing industries, such as food packaging and medical sectors, where hygiene is of utmost importance. In addition, increasing production synergies to explore the power of commonality and modularity to reduce overall costs through economies of scale is a very significant market trend in sectors such as electronics and automotive. This is further driving up the production series lengths and building a strong need for even longer lasting injection moulds
Building on CemeCon Scandinavia’s extensive experience in solving tribological problems in injection mould’s operational environments, cleanMOULD is a novel coating solution for moulds, based on a multi-layer diamond-like coating (DLC) formulation that jointly optimizes both the surface hardness and lubricity to minimize the impact of fretting wear. cleanMOULD’s functionally formula relies on a unique sequence.