SABIC is seeking to patent the concept of creating conformal cooling channels in mold inserts with additive manufacturing processes such as laser sintering.
A U.S. patent application titled “Molds And Methods Of Making Molds Having Conforming Heating And Cooling Systems” was published yesterday.
The specific goal of the SABIC approach is to more efficiently use rapid heating and cooling systems for the injection molding of parts such as mobile phone covers and automotive reflectors made from polycarbonate.
But the technology described in the patent appears to be a broad brush that covers almost any additive manufacturing process to produce cooling channels that are located close to a mold wall and curve in a way not possible with traditional machining methods. The concept has been used for more than 20 years, although infrequently because of its cost.
The patent application reads like a commonly available primer on how these systems work and are produced.
The assignee on the application is SABIC Global Technologies, B.V., Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands. The inventor is Venkatesha Narayanaswamy, a research associate at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.