Project: Next-generation of robust super-slip coatings and surface treatments for superior release in plastics injection moulding

The European production platform and especially the plastics injection moulding industries are increasingly being outmatched by countries with lower salaries. The only way to COtain production in Europe is either to produce novel high-tech products or to increase the productivity as well as product quality using better moulds. It is the focus of the present Super-Slip project to produce novel types of wear-resistant, easy-release solutions for moulds, which will allow a quantum leap in the performance of current state-of-the-art moulds e.g. through a significant reduction of the cycle time, improved product quality (no sink marks, improved filling, no distortion, etc.) minimizing expensive breakdowns, extending the time between necessary COtenance periods, longer service life, and most importantly, provide easy release/ejection of the moulded parts from complicated geometries (e.g. Mould&Die, April 2005). Furthermore, it is the aim to gain fundamental insight into which parameters that are important in connection with a unified solution based on surface texturing, coating and ion-implantation._x000D_The developed Super-Slip solutions will allow designers and product development teams to design more complicated injection moulded parts which cannot be produced with the existing technologies, since it will be difficult to fill small and geometrically complicated cavities as well as nearly impossible to get the formed parts out of the cavities without damaging the parts._x000D_A clear benefit of a combined solution based on surface texturing, coating and ion implantation is the total elimination of release agents in connection with injection moulding; this is especially important for food and pharmaceutical applications. Furthermore, this will enable the design of complicated moulds with movable parts (ejectors, sliders, screw cores) to be used without the application of lubricants. _x000D_Second-to-none easy-release solutions will be created for plastics injection moulding industries by combining coating and ion implantation with surface texturing. The latter will be controlled through different roughnesses (e.g. micro blasting), different degrees of polishing or through laser induced micro/nano surface texturing. Laser Surface Techniques (LST) provides a unique method for applying optimized textures to different materials. This process involves the use of a laser to selectively remove material from the surface to create the desired geometry. As is evident from the growing number of publications on this subject, LST is starting to gain increasing attention in the tribology community. Furthermore, the LST method may also be used to polish the surface thereby being an interesting alternative to traditional time-consuming manual polishing techniques._x000D_A literature search has revealed a very limited amount of articles dealing with a fundamental understanding of the interaction between injection moulding and the use of different types of coating systems and designed surface roughness/texturing. The only coating production techniques to be found in the literature are Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD), Chemical Vapour Deposited (CVD) or Plasma Assisted Chemical Vapour Deposition (PACVD) of very well-known coatings systems such as e.g. CrN, Ti(Al)N, TiB2 and DLC. (e.g. Wear 225-229(1999)1109, Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 11(2011)5374 or ESAFORM Material Forming, 2007, p.915). The overall conclusion is that CrN coatings in some cases improve the release properties as compared to an uncoated reference sample. However, for many applications this solution is insufficient! _x000D_A limited number of articles report on the impact of surface roughness on the obtained surface finish of the injection moulded part. Several of these papers address how a polished surface will be altered by adding a CrN coating (e.g. Thin Solid Film 520(2012)2922). However, to the best of our knowledge there is no publication discussing the link between a tailored surface topography combined with a suitable surface treatment validating the release properties; neither in model tests nor in real applications involving different plastic/polymeric materials. When intertwining with ion implantation techniques, there are even fewer scientific reports. Hence, we are bridging the knowledge gap by understanding the impact of an optimized coating/ion implantation platform combined with an engineered surface roughness, validating its performance in model tests and real applications for different polymer families._x000D_Currently, no systematic study is available that demonstrates the effect of surface texture on the demoulding properties. Most of the polished injection moulds have surface finish between N3 to N5 according to standards. In reality, this value can be higher on certain areas of the injection mould and can be inhomogeneous over the whole mould.

Acronym Super-Slip (Reference Number: 7412)
Duration 01/01/2013 - 30/06/2016
Project Topic Second-to-none release coatings will be created for plastics injection moulding industries by tailoring and combining surface texturing, coatings and large-scale ion implantation. This allows for higher design freedom, increases the product quality and the productivity thereby securing European jobs
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 8

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
5 A/S Kenneth Winther - Mould Technology Coordinator Denmark
5 Danish Technological Institute Partner Denmark
5 PROINYEC, S.L. Partner Spain
5 HES-SO//Fribourg, Ecole d'ingénieurs et d'architectes de Fribourg Partner Switzerland
5 Novo Nordisk A/S Partner Denmark