Foaming process with high-gloss surfaces

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bkl-lasertechnik presents new process in cooperation with the Innovation Group „Zukunft Spritzguss“

Additive laser melting enables foam injection with high-gloss surfaces

Foaming technologies in the injection moulding process bring vital advantages. However, the process that results in material savings and speed gains is also associated with a loss of quality on the surfaces of the parts. Until now
this foaming procedure was only applicable to parts for which surface quality was not important.
The German laser specialist bkl-lasertechnik has developed with his partners a process by which high-gloss areas can be achieved with the material-saving foam
injection moulding technique MuCell®. According to the company, they addressed this problem because the geometries necessary for the process of the confor-
mal cooling of tools can only be realised with Additive Manufacturing.

But why has a laser specialist just addressed this problem? “Quite simply,” says Bernd Klötzer, owner of bkl-lasertechnik, “The geometries necessary for this process for conformal cooling can only be realized with Additive Manufacturing..” The decisive step for the quality of the surfaces is the targeted heating and cooling of the mould in the right places and at the right time in the injection moulding cycle. With a newly developed temperature control technique, a special hot fluid is injected into the cooling channels to heat the surfaces at the critical points before the plastic is injected into the mold. Afterwards, the mould is cooled again rapid with a cold fluid.

The geometries for such tools can only be realized with additive laser melting. This is the only way to create shapes that can be heated or cooled rapid and purposefully using fine channels or insulating honeycomb structures.

In addition to the surface quality, this injection molding process offers further advantages. In addition to material savings of up to 10 percent, the production time for the tools is also reduced by up to 25 percent – thanks to additive manufacturing. In addition, due to the short heating times, energy is noticeably saved. Overall, the load on the injection moulding machine is also reduced, as only a spray pressure of 200 bar is used and the weight of the mould, thanks to the fine honeycomb structures, is much lower.
bkl-lasertechnik is not only able to develop injection moulding tools for high-gloss surfaces in the foaming process. The company can also provide these surfaces with attractive scars, which can be inserted into the mould three-dimensionally and distortion-free by the laser texturing. In order to support customers in the design, bkl-lasertechnik offers an extensive grain catalogue.

About bkl-lasertechnik

bkl-lasertechnik combines many years of experience and cooperation with research institutions in the field of applied laser technology. The company was founded in 2005 by Bernd Klötzer. Since 2001, Klötzer has been working on laser applications in practice. After many years of working as toolmaker in the metal and plastics processing industry, he knows the classic problems in the manufacturing sector. He brings this experience to supporting customers with state-of-the-art laser technology.

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