2/3/2020 | 1 MINUTE READ

Freeform Injection Molding Creates Mold Cavities with High-Performance Materials

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AddiFab has been working on freeform injection molding (FIM), a unique blend of AM and injection molding, and now the company is ready to step into the spotlight.

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AddiFab has been working on freeform injection molding (FIM), a unique blend of AM and injection molding, and now the company is ready to step into the spotlight. The FIM technology is deceptively simple, yet extremely versatile. According to the company, the proprietary platform is used to create injection mold cavities, which are tough enough to process reinforced PEEK and other high-performance materials. They are also dissolvable, which enables injection-molding components that are too complex for conventional tooling.

AddiFab has been doing extensive testing on specific grades of Tefabloc, one of Mitsubishi Chemical’s high-performance TPE materials, to demonstrate compatibility with freeform injection molding. The Tefabloc material parameters were easy to dial in, meaning it was quickly able to overmold, as well as demonstrate the geometric complexity that is possible with FIM.

Encouraged by the positive results, AddiFab has now set its sight on KyronMax, a group of reinforced polymers with best-in-class strength-to-weight ratio produced by Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials. According to the company, KyronMax engineering plastics are among the most competitive materials in the Mitsubishi Chemical portfolio for metal replacement in structural applications, and with FIM, outstanding material properties can be achieved on an additive platform while using current feedstocks.

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