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3/1/2012

Patented MECHTool system

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Galway, Ireland-based ÉireComposites’ patented MECHTool (Mold Efficient Cooling and Heating) system was developed to replace traditional ovens in a number of thermoplastic molding processes.

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Galway, Ireland-based ÉireComposites’ patented MECHTool (Mold Efficient Cooling and Heating) system was developed to replace traditional ovens in a number of thermoplastic molding processes. A heating system is built on the B-side of a standard metal or composite open mold, with electrical heating elements divided into zones. Each zone is controlled separately, enabling heat to be applied directly to the location where it is needed. Channels constructed on top of the heating system allow a high volume of conditioned air to be blown over the mold for rapid cooling. MECHTool was developed for heating and cooling molds with very large surface areas. This system is currently used to manufacture a range of products, including bus bumpers and catamaran hulls from Owen’s Corning Composite Materials’ (Toledo, Ohio) Twintex material. The MECHTool system became the basis for the large composite tooling technology described in the main article, where instead of applying the heating system to an existing mold, it was embedded into the wall of a high-temperature ceramic composite tool as it was constructed. ÉireComposites says MECHTool continues to be an option for molding components that do not exceed the current size limitations of metal tools.

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