A former Dow Chemical Co. executive has formed a company to market a radically different type of tooling that he says turns a mold into a perfect heat exchanger.
The company, Metallamics Inc. of Traverse City, Mich., developed the technology to take heat from a mold at a quick pace. The heat-transfer process cools a mold as much as 35 percent faster than with conventional molds, said Metallamics President Robert McDonald. The process is for injection and blow molds.
``It's not rocket science,'' McDonald said. ``It's like inventing a better shovel. We're taking fundamental industrial tools and adding an efficient heat exchanger to it.''
Yet, McDonald admitted, the process does require advanced materials and technology. Essentially, the mold is made backward from one constructed conventionally. Instead of putting a heat-transfer element on the inside, a heat exchanger is wrapped around the outside of the tool, he said.
The result is faster cooling, producing 25-50 percent reductions in production cycle times, he said. The uniform cooling process also reduces the likelihood of nonuniform shrinkage and warpage. The firm's patented technology involves a new mold design, but McDonald would not reveal details.
Metallamics was awarded patents on the technology in September and now is discussing its use with several large companies, McDonald said. He would not identify the customers until agreements are reached, he said.
The 15-person company initially is focusing on the blow mold market and companies in the packaging, automotive and toy industries, McDonald said.
McDonald worked 25 years for Dow and served as president of Dow's Boride Products Inc. engineering ceramics unit in Traverse City. He left Dow four years ago.
The heat-transfer process has been in development for close to a decade, he said.
His new company plans to perform engineering work for the new molds and provide prototypes for trials.
In some cases, Metallamics also might make production molds, but it plans to use outside toolmakers for that work, he said.