“Metal Additive Manufacturing for Moulds”
In the METAMOULD ICON-project novel metal additive manufacturing (Laser Powder bed Fusion, LPBF) processes and innovative post-processing techniques for mould applications will be studied. Starting from the requirements of injection and extrusion moulds, topologically optimized and AM- ready designs targeted for optimal mould heating and cooling will be developed. The LPBF process for a promising new type of steel, expected to result in better combination of mechanical performance and corrosion resistance, will be optimized for mould applications and characterized. The required surface texture specifications and wear resistance will be reached by using in-process and/or post-process subtractive techniques, while optimized heat treatments will guarantee the required mechanical properties. The process that is first developed on academic samples will be upscaled to samples of full scale and complexity and the resulting process and parts will be validated according to the original end-user specifications. Novel hybrid techniques to lower the cost of the final mould will be investigated as well.
The overall objective is to enable personalized moulds with longer lifetime, better cooling capacity (more energy-efficient processes) and locally produced with shorter lead times compared to the actual commercial moulds.