CSIRO and Amaero Adress Die Cast Tooling Problem with Modern Techniques


Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, is developing a solution to solve the issue of die cast tooling problems, using conformal cooling and additive manufacturing. And the process is being aided by virtual reality.

Working with Melbourne small business, Amaero Engineering Pty Ltd, researchers at CSIRO’s Lab22 Innovation Centre, one of Australia’s leading centres for metallic additive manufacturing, developed the innovative solution using some clever simulations.

Program Manager at Amaero, Mr Sam Tartaglia, said the company, which specialises in additively manufactured high performance parts, saw an opportunity to explore the use of conformal cooling in 3D printed die cast tooling, using computational modelling.

“High pressure die casting (HPDC) is by far the most popular manufacturing route for mass-produced near-net-shape metal parts,” Mr Tartaglia said.

“The process forces molten metal into a die cavity via a series of passages or ‘runners’, which include the ‘sprue area’, to produce a part in the shape of the cavity before the final solidified product is removed,” he said.

“We were looking to find a solution to a stubborn problem that was challenging one of our clients - the sprue area running too hot.

“The issue was causing prolonged cycle times, with the die taking longer to cool between shots, and frequent production line stoppages”.

Using Finite Element Method computational modelling, the partners explored optimising the geometry of conformed cooling channels of the H13 die tools for the sprue area using additive manufacturing.

Principal Research Engineer at CSIRO, Dr Dayalan Gunasegaram, said the team focused on coupled heat transfer and stress analysis.

“We used the modelling to assess the effectiveness of conformal cooling, compared to traditional tooling used in industry,” Dr Gunasegaram said.

Apart from giving the casting and runners their shape, HPDC tools perform the task of removing heat from the molten metal via the water circulating through the cooling channels within the tools.

The problem, however, is that traditional machining methods used to drill out these channels can only produce straight holes in limited locations, and this diminishes the effectiveness of the heat removal strategy.

Conformal cooling, by contrast, uses coolant channels that follow the complex contours of intricate part designs, offering much better cooling efficiency.

Additive manufacturing makes it possible to build parts with highly optimised, complex geometries – perfect for creating conformal cooling channels in a tool.

Mr Tartaglia said conformal cooling can translate to significant productivity improvements along with improved product quality.

“This capability has potential applications in plastic injection moulding, metal die casting tools and other metal tooling used in manufacturing” he said.

Dr Gunasegaram said the project, partly funded by an Innovation Connections grant through the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Program for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), is an example of how CSIRO can add commercial value to businesses working in the advanced manufacturing space.

Amaero, who have diversified into additively manufactured tooling as a new business area, will have a virtual booth at the upcoming North American Die Casting Association’s Die Casting Congress & Tabletop in the month of October.


Related news & editorials

  1. Holloway Group is one of the few Australian-based plastic injection moulding companies that can produce large goods.
    by      In , In
    When Matthew Holloway, Managing Director and owner of Holloway Group, came across an article about a concrete void filler product that was being made in China for an Australian company, he immediately knew it was something he could manufacture himself. 
    So he contacted the owner of the company that... Read More
  2. The brilliant TFT displays are protected by a glass front and feature a capacitive touch screen supporting multi-touch capability and gesture control.
    by      In , In , In
    Human-machine interfaces are a key component when applied to industrial automation. 
    Turck’s new HMI series enables cabinet-free operating and installation concepts with complete all-round IP67 protection at operating temperatures between -20 and +55°C
    With its high degree of protection, the TXF700... Read More
  3. Maxim Integrated’s line of AEC-Q100 Grade 1 solutions for automotive systems, the DS28E40 is a parasitically-powered authenticator utilising a 1-Wire interface for simple connectivity.
    by      In , In
    In critical systems, genuine components are the safest and most reliable.
    As cars become more sophisticated, safety and security risks grow as well. Designers can now enhance these elements for vehicle systems while reducing both complexity and code development by authenticating genuine components... Read More
  4. A world-first advanced manufacturing accelerator known as ‘Line Zero – Factory of the Future’ has begun construction at the Tonsley Innovation District near Adelaide, as the government looks to the future to reinvigorate the manufacturing industry.
    by      In , In , In
    A world-first advanced manufacturing accelerator known as ‘Line Zero – Factory of the Future’ has begun construction at Tonsley Innovation District near Adelaide, as the government looks to the future to reinvigorate the manufacturing industry.
    The South Australian government has matched a $5... Read More