Research Project Summary Information
Low Temperature Injection Molding of Heavy-Section Wax Patterns for Investment Casting(15738)
Wax injection molding is the first step of the lost wax casting process (also known as investment casting). Wax patterns thus produced are then adhered onto a “runner”, like branches on a tree trunk. The electrically-driven wax injection molding machines heat the wax to high temperatures to achieve good flow characteristics; when the wax is injected into the mold the mold is cooled to solidify the wax pattern. The higher the wax temperature, the longer this cycle time, and the more energy consumed in heating and cooling. Thick, heavy wax patterns are especially challenging to melt and cool the wax. Plastic injection molding machines often run at lower temperatures than wax injection molding machines. MPI believes that with substantial changes to the core elements of existing plastic injection molding systems, plastic injection molding technologies can be adapted to low temperature injection of heavy-section wax patterns.
The technical focus of this investigation will be on demonstrating that high-quality patterns can be injection molded at approximately 100-120 degrees F and at the rate of at least 400 lbs/hr. The project will be in partnership with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a plastic injection molding system supplier (TBD).
The benefits of low temperature molding of heavy-section patterns are: reduction in electric energy required to melt the wax; reduction of the injection cycle time by four times; less platen cooling; and a reduction of injection machines by 75% thus reducing 75% of floor space needed.
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Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr