Induction tooling technology

3iTech tooling system uses inductors integrated a few millimeters beneath the mold surface to provide fast heating and cooling.

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Composites tooling specialist RocTool (Le Bourget du Lac, France and Alanta, Ga.) has announced the launch of Integrated Internal Induction Heating Technology, or 3iTech, a process based on the company’s Cage System inductive heating method. It enables mold heating by electromagnetic induction. Inductors are integrated into the mold at manufacture several millimeters beneath the mold surface. The system’s heating “cage” encloses the mold, then heats the inductors, which, in turn, heat (via conduction) only the mold surface, vastly reducing the time and energy required for mold preheating and part cure. Designed for use in molding composites, including via injection molding, the system reportedly can heat a mold from 60°C/140°F to 200°C/392°F in a few seconds. Mold cooling (via traditional water channels) is said to occur at a similar rate.