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Cold-Gas Molding Slashes Cycle Times

Article-Cold-Gas Molding Slashes Cycle Times

Originally Published MPMN October 2001

Cold-Gas Molding Slashes Cycle Times

This gas-assisted injection molder is equipped with a cryogenic heat exchanger that may increase productivity by as much as 40%.

A gas-assisted injection molding (GAIM) process developed by scientists at Warwick University (Coventry, UK; uses cold air to increase production rates by as much as 40%. Like standard GAIM methods, the Kool Gas procedure reduces cycle times by injecting air into the mold to displace unnecessary material from a part's core. Unlike conventional processes, however, this method first cools the gas to a temperature of –170°C. "This temperature differential allows the dramatic improvement in cooling times," says researcher Gordon Smith. In addition to quick cycle times, the Kool Gas process also allows detailed manipulation of the thickness of part walls. "Because the gas goes in at such a cold temperature, it cools the surface of the molded product very quickly and allows greater control of wall thickness than previous meth-ods." Among many other applications, the Kool Gas procedure could be used to produce medical tubing with very smooth internal bores.

Zachary Turke

Copyright ©2001 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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