Tool to facilitate versatile shaping
Master thesis at DTU MAN, Supervisor Torben Lenau

Nikolaj Vedel-Smith, Sept 2008 - May 2009

Production and manufacturing processes and tools co-determine how product are thought of, designed, constructed, fabricated, sold, used, and reused. New production technologies move the boundaries of products, hence a manufacturing improvement may give rise to a range of new products.

Mass production is at present rigid and inflexible in many respects. Variety and difference have many applications, aesthetically as well as pragmatically. This project aims to prove the concept of versatile shaping by finding and solving a specific application via the shape changing of the form or mould.

Starting by finding and assessing many applications and products as possible, the final application is selected via to evaluations and research phases. Sequential marking of cast components, exemplified with an insert tool for a disamatic moulding machine. Consecutively marking each green sand mould and producing a Unique Identification (UID) as Direct Part Marking (DPM). The symbology usage was analysed, and the Data Matrix ECC200 was chosen as standard. A paraffin Phase Change Material (PCM) actuation method was chosen to power the marking tool.

Incrementally and iteratively developing the simple actuation concept a series of principle tests conducted and three Mock-Upís were designed, constructed, built and tested. Sand adhesion was found to be a minor issue. Paraffin leakage for piston design actuators proved a significant problem. This was solved by choosing an enclosed design. The paraffin thermal properties were greatly enhanced by adding graphite. The graphite also enhances the electrical conductivity of the blend, hence enabling the paraffin to become self-resistance-heating. The thermal expansion of the paraffin is used in combination with a PolyUrethane Rubber (PUR) hydro-elastic membrane producing an optimal embossing geometry. The final Mock-Up-increment is successfully utilised for green sand embossing via piston-pneumatic compression.

The project has found and shown a needed and applicable variation of versatile shaping. The Mock-Up-tool comprises most of the requested features and demonstrate the basis applicability for a tool to facilitate versatile shaping, and a way to enhance an existing mass production process.