Optimization of Conformal Cooling Channels for Rapid Prototyped Mould Inserts

Tongyan Zeng, Essam Abo-Serie, James Jewkes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


High-pressure die casting (HPDC) is a well-established manufacturing field that has received renewed attention because of the design opportunities that have arisen as a consequence of the development of additive manufacturing methods such as selective laser sintering (SLS). These novel processes are uninhibited by the conventional limitations of computer numerical control (CNC) machining methods and allow the cooling channel layout of the mould cavity to be created freely. HPDC bears many similarities to injection moulding; however, metal forming engenders more challenging operating conditions than those associated with polymers. Therefore, the development of an optimal cooling channel layout for a rapid prototyped mould insert is of considerable interest to industry. Previous work has shown that the cooling of corners can be challenging, as typical cooling channels with circular cross sections fail to provide sufficient heat flux in these regions. This is a consequence of the small surface area of the sections of the cooling pipes exposed to the corners and their distance from the cast. Recent studies have explored various shape optimisation approaches [1, 2] that have demonstrated improvements over conventional cooling channels. The adjoint optimisation approach developed by Lions and Pironneau [3, 4] is a powerful numerical method that can be used to calculate a pre-defined mesh sensitivity based on an objective function that can then be used to deform the shape of the geometry. Whilst adjoint optimisation has been successfully applied in aeronautical applications [5], its potential application in heat transfer has received limited attention. This extended abstract presents preliminary adjoint optimisation results as a ‘proof of concept’ for the development of a cooling channel optimisation strategy for HPDC mould inserts. We are interested in achieving uniform heat transfer/cooling, minimising pressure drop between inlet and outlet flow and reducing thermal fatigue to extend tooling life
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Heat Transfer and Thermal Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of 16th UK Heat Transfer Conference (UKHTC2019)
EditorsC Wen, Y Yab
PublisherSpringer, Singapore
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-33-4765-6
ISBN (Print)978-981-33-4764-9
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


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