EVALUATION OF COMPOSITE MOLDS FOR INJECTION-BLOW
MOLDING USING THERMAL IMAGING
A. Attar*, A. Bendada*, R. Connolly*
Y. Dénommé**, É. Dallaire**, P.C. Aïtcin**
(*) Industrial Materials Institute, National Research Council Canada,
75 de Mortagne Blvd Boucherville, Québec, J4B 6Y4 Canada
(**) Université de Sherbrooke, Department of Civil engineering,
Sherbrooke, Quebec, J1K 2R1
Molds for the blow molding process are usually made of aluminum. This relatively low-pressure process
allows the potential use of other materials, such as epoxy or concrete reinforced with metallic powders.
The purpose of the study is to fabricate and evaluate a three-section mold made of a new formulation of
cement based concrete, known as ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC).
Results such as mold fabrication time, thermal behavior and dimensional stability are compared with
an existing aluminum and reinforced epoxy molds. The cooling performances and the surface temperature
distribution of the mold as well as the temperature of the part were analyzed using infrared thermography.
The dimensional accuracy of the mold was investigated using a digital laser scanner on the parts. The
analysis and the experimental results demonstrated that the composite tooling material is potentially good
candidate for blow molding, in terms of its thermal properties, dimensional accuracy and fabrication time.
The use of several recent mold materials, are broadening mold makers material specification choices in
prototype and low-production molds, and can have lower tooling costs when compared to conventional
steel/aluminum tools. New materials have brought new considerations in mold technologies by reducing
fabrication time . The choice of the tooling material is conditioned to its service temperature and must
guarantee continuous cycling at this temperature.
A three-part mold is built using a cement-based combination and the feasibility of using this new mold
material for the blow molding proces