Plastic injection mould manufacturers and plastic injectors all know AMPCO METAL, the world leader in the production of copper-based material. These alloys, with high thermal conductivity and high mechanical properties, are designed to meet the cost, quality and productivity requirements of plastic injection applications.

In order to provide its customers with reliable data on the behaviour of these alloys and on possible productivity gains for plastic injection, AMPCO METAL uses Cadflow’s services.

Cadflow: Why and under which circumstances do you use Cadmould software suite?

Lionel Girard: We use Cadflow’s services in two cases. Either our customer, a mould maker, asks us to work on an alloy selection according to a specific project. Or when we want to validate new alloys performance as part of our own R&D program. The goal is to provide our customers with precise and reliable data that will help them select the best alloy for their specific project.

Cadflow: more specifically, what are the parameters you are looking at?

Lionel Girard: As our products are known for their exceptional thermal conductivity, we first look at this aspect. Especially since we know the influence of thermal conductivity on the optimization of the cycle time. Cadmould 3D-F’s thermal software allows us to simulate different materials (aluminium, steel, copper based) and different cooling modes.

We are going even further. Indeed, in order to optimize the mould’s cost, we test the benefit of using multi-alloys in the mould and we analyse the interface between the alloys.

Cadflow: what are the other parameters you are testing?

Lionel Girard: A good thermal conductivity also improves plastic parts appearance and limits the deformations. These parameters can be major in the case of plastic parts intended to be seen or touched (packaging etc…).

By being particularly attentive to the homogeneity of the mould temperatures, different filling simulations, depending on the materials and alloys used, will give a good idea of the future quality of the injected part.

Cadflow: what are the study parameters you provide to Cadflow?

Lionel Girard: We provide detailed information like the plastic being injected, the type of cooling fluid and cooling channels, the material of the mould, closing and opening temperature etc… in order to make the simulation accurate, reliable and objective. What does matter for us is to provide customers an unbiased approach from which they can make their choice. We must, therefore, rely on serious tools for the simulations because our credibility is at stake. In that way, Cadmould 3D-F’s software suite offers performance and security. It basically allows us to demonstrate what we say.

Cadflow: in the case of your own R&D developments, how do you use Cadflow’s services?

Lionel Girard: It’s basically the same as for a client. Except that we do these simulation studies internally to support our product argumentation, in order to provide tangible and quantified evidence in our commercial communications.