Efficient cooling of molding tools

Bionics helps to optimize cooling channels in molding tools leading to savings of cooling energy.

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Bionically optimized cooling channels lead to savings of cooling energy.

In the manufacture of textile molded components, such as floor mats for automobile interiors, heating- and cooling times of the molding tools have a measurable influence on production efficiency. In order to be able to cool the heated molded components as quickly as possible and to demold them, meandering-shaped installed cooling pipes are commonly integrated into the molding tools. Complex component geometries complicate uniform heat dissipation, and lead to diminished productivity due to increased cooling costs.

A model taken from nature

A new procedure from the tool- and mold-manufacturing company Grunewald GmbH & Co. KG (Bocholt), the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE (Freiburg) uses principles taken from nature: a bionic process was used to significantly improve the geometry and dimensioning of the molding tool’s cooling channel, and thereby save cooling time and cooling energy. The process is modeled on leaf veins or blood vessels – fractal structures which form a multi-branched network of channels in order to distribute fluids uniformly and with maximal efficiency.

Based on the results with an initial demonstration model, the project partners expect to be able to build larger molding tools with this bionic channel structure. It is hoped that the technology may be transferable to other procedures, such as injection molding and organic sheets.

Project implementation:

Grunewald GmbH & Co. KG
Biemenhorster Weg 19
46395 Bocholt
Telefon: 02871 | 2507-0
E-Mail: info@grunewald.de

AZ 30156