Die Surface Engineering
Accomplishments of Previous Projects:
- Specimens of wrought copper coated with H13 via the DMD (Direct Metal Deposition) process have been successfully prepared and tested for thermal fatigue resistance. The thermal fatigue performance was similar to that of wrought H13.
- Smart coating development is continuing and generating improved electrical response. Studies found that the insertion of a TiN layer on either side of the AlN piezoelectric layer produced the best piezoelectric effect. Optimized processing parameters have been established for the AlN layer.
- The effect of internal and external cooling of dies on die life has been studied and provides additional insight for die design and operation.
Figure 6 – The cycle time for this casting was reduced by 13% through the use of a core fabricated from high thermal conductivity material.
- The cycle time reduction benefits of utilizing high conductivity alloys in die components have been demonstrated. In one case, the cycle time was reduced from 55 to 40 seconds (13%). In addition, the lead-time reduction benefits of utilizing pre-hardened die steels have been demonstrated. Productivity improvement opportunity!
- Cooling lines have been moved closer to the cavity surface in a die configuration with much historical data. This risk has been taken due to the improved performance of a new die steel as compared to H13 and for faster cooling. The die is currently in operation and a cycle time reduction of 12% has been achieved. Die life is currently being assessed. Productivity improvement opportunity!
- Specimens of four steel grades have been heat treated and testing is currently underway to determine the relationships between thermal fatigue, impact strength and microstructure as compared to Premium Grade H13.
- Measurements on cavity dimensions both before and after heat treatment were made on various die casting configurations as an initial effort to establish better guidelines for machining stock.