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Opportunities and challenges of profile extrusion dies produced by additive manufacturing processes

: Yesildag, N.; Hopmann, C.; Windeck, C.; Bremen, S.; Wissenbach, K.; Merkt, S.


Maazouz, A. ; Polymer Processing Society -PPS-; Institut National des Sciences Appliquées -INSA-, Toulouse:
PPS 2016, 32nd International Conference of the Polymer Processing Society. Conference papers. Proceedings : Lyon, France, 25-29 July 2016
Melville/NY: AIP Publishing, 2017 (AIP Conference Proceedings 1914)
ISBN: 978-0-7354-1606-2
Art. 040002, 6 S.
Polymer Processing Society (PPS International Conference) <32, 2016, Lyon>
Fraunhofer ILT ()

The design and manufacture of profile extrusion dies is characterised by costly running-in trials. Significant cost and time savings can be achieved by replacing the experimental running-in trials by virtual ones. A simulative optimisation, however, often leads to complex, free-formed flow channels. A feasible manufacture of such dies is only possible with additive manufacturing processes such as the Selective Laser Melting (SLM). Against this background, the manufacture of profile extrusion dies by SLM is investigated. A major challenge is to ensure a specific surface quality of the extruded plastics profiles. The roughness of SLM surfaces does not meet the high demands that are placed on the surface quality of extrusion dies. Therefore, in case of the SLM die a concept for the surface finishing of the flow channel is required, which can be applied to arbitrarily shaped geometries. For this purpose, plastics profiles are extruded both with a conventionally and an additively manufactured die. In case of the SLM die only the die land of the flow channel was reworked by polishing. The comparison of PP profile surfaces shows that the SLM die with polished die land leads to the same surface quality of the extruded profile as the conventional die (Ra ≈ l μm). Another important task in the design of profile dies by SLM is the optimisation of the die topology. The efficiency of the SLM process largely depends on the volume of the part being produced. To ensure the highest possible efficiency, it is necessary to adapt the die geometry to its mechanical loads and minimise its mass. For this purpose, the internal pressure in the die was numerically calculated and used for a first optimisation of the die topology. The optimisation, however, leads to a free-formed outer die wall so that the die cannot be tempered with heating tapes anymore. This problem is solved by using the high potential of SLM for functional integration and integrating contour adapted tempering channels into the extrusion die.