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Composite Board Allows the Fast Machining of Injection Molds



Injection Molding

Composite Board Allows the Fast Machining of Injection Molds

The molds can produce hundreds of accurate parts

A NEW COMPOSITE BOARD allows the machining of thermoplastic injection molds in just hours. Molds milled with Cibatool-Express composite board from Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp. (East Lansing, MI) are durable enough to run hundreds of dimensionally accurate parts with high-quality surface finishes from production plastics such as ABS, polypropylene, and polycarbonate.

"Cibatool-Express can produce tools in 15 to 20% of the time needed to generate aluminum molds," says Linda Chamberlain, director of advanced manufacturing for Prince (Holland, MI). In 1997, Prince established a research partnership with Ciba to develop a series of composite boards for machining injection molds. The objective of the program was to reduce product development lead times by generating production-quality parts for engineering and marketing evaluation very early in the design process. The Cibatool-Express mold-making system created through this partnership exhibits the physical performance characteristics required for such a demanding application.

Rapid production is possible because the machined composite board exhibits a surface finish that virtually eliminates the need for the time-consuming benching required to produce aluminum molds. Once mounted in an aluminum support structure, the composite tool can withstand the temperatures and pressures needed to run many thermoplastics and form hundreds of production-quality parts that hold tolerances to ±0.005 in.

For more information, contact Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp. at 517/351-5900.

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Software

Software Developed for the Design of Implantable Devices

Allows designers to explore interactions between a device and the body

REMCOM INC. (State College, PA), an electromagnetics software developer, has released a native Windows 95/98/NT version 5.0 of XFDTD to complement its existing line of UNIX products.

Key features of the finite-difference time-domain software include steady-state/transient field analysis, S-parameters, complex media, and specific absorption rate (SAR) for biomedical applications.

The new Windows release features an easy-to-use graphical user interface that will allow engineers to perform sophisticated analyses previously available only from UNIX-based versions. The software's flexibility and ease of use, combined with its more advanced capabilities, may help companies increase productivity and shorten design cycles.

The new features enhance the variety and scale of analyses that can be done, especially for antennas, microwave devices, and biological applications. Enhanced biological analysis capabilities allow designers of implantable medical devices to explore the complex interactions between the hardware and the human body.

For more information, contact Remcom Inc. at 814/861-1299.

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Injection Molding

Microinjection Molding Machine Produces Small Plastic Parts

Fits onto a standard laboratory benchtop

MURRAY INC. of Buffalo Grove, IL, has introduced a microinjection molding machine that is specifically designed to fit into the process flow for cleanroom manufacturing of medical devices.

Examples of applications targeted for the Sesame .020 include molding tips directly onto catheters, molding luer fittings onto catheters, assembling components (plastic and metal), integrating sensors into devices, and producing small plastic parts. The machine fits onto a standard laboratory benchtop and requires only compressed air and 115-V-ac power for operation. Plastic shot capacity can be as small as 1.0 mm3 to mold parts with a wall thickness down to 0.025 mm.

When the machine was demonstrated at MD&M Minnesota in November, part sizes were illustrated by molding a sesame seed with a volume of 2.0 mm3 and a weight of 0.0022 g. The company's logo in 0.3-mm-high letters was molded into the surface of the sesame seed and could be seen under a microscope.

For more information, contact Murray Inc. at 847/419-0090.

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