Rapid prototyping team has vacuum cast prototype 400mm diameter glass filled nylon radiator fans using a fast and economical process from MCP Tooling Technologies.
A major automotive manufacturer’s rapid prototyping (RP) engineering team has vacuum cast prototype 400mm diameter glass filled nylon radiator fans using processing technology from MCP Tooling Technologies MCP’s RP technology provided a fast and economical method of determining the percentage of glass fill required to achieve the optimum weight/strength ratio and geometrical stability for this particular application.
The RP team was able to use the same silicone tool to produce around 10 parts, gradually increasing the glass fill percentage with each part.
The alternative would have been to have invested tens of thousands of pounds in hard tooling and the associated operational time required at the injection moulding machine during each material change.
The process is therefore equally suitable for high value, short series production tasks as well as for trials such as this one prior to high volume series production.
Typically 20-30 parts can be cast from each silicone tool, although this number may be reduced when producing parts with highly complex geometry, or increased with more simple shapes.
MCP’s glass filled nylon unit can be integrated into any existing MCP PLC operated vacuum casting machine and, said MCP to manufacturingtalk, represents a small percentage of the investment required to install nylon sintering equipment.
Significant cost savings can also be made on materials when compared with the sintering process.
Comparison of vacuum cast nylon and vacuum cast glass filled nylon parts with injection moulded parts show almost identical hardness (Shore A/D at 23 deg C) and Flexural Modulas (Mpa) and significantly higher heat deflection temperatures, said MCP * Retrofittable – as a retrofitable option, the Gf nylon casting module will enhance the existing capabilities of manufacturers and service providers, allowing them to offer the most robust functional prototypes or short series production parts in the most economical way possible.
Successful applications already include heat proof parts for engine trials, and a highly complex 300mm diameter pump housing for a short series production project.
MCP’s technology involves the addition of a nylon module to existing vacuum casting equipment.
Pigment addition and mixing operate in the normal way under vacuum into a silicone mould.
The process delivers a glass filled nylon part in around 30 min.
Alongside the speed and economic advantages of this new process, users will also benefit from the recognised benefits of the standard vacuum casting process which include exceptional surface finish and part accuracy.