Düsseldorf, Germany — K 2019 was a showplace for liquid silicone rubber, with companies highlighting new machinery, materials, tooling, molding and simulation technologies.
As a world premiere, Schwertberg, Austria-based injection molding machinery producer Engel Austria GmbH ran an entirely license-free process applying an LSR gasket to both sides of a 65 percent zirconium/16 percent copper content metallic glass alloy frame.
First, a 120-metric-ton Engel Victory AMM amorphous metal molding machine molded 100 grams shot weight of Amloy Vitreloy 105 Zr/Cu/Ni/Ti/Al alloy from Hanau, Germany-based Heraeus Holding GmbH. The demonstration used a mold from Singapore-based Flex Ltd. with a cycle time of 70 seconds. Such net shape metal parts do not need manual or CNC machining, unlike metal injection molding, according to Heraeus.
The second machine, a 45-tonne vertical Engel Insert 60V/45 Rotary XS containing an RD 900-millimeter-diameter two-station rotary table, overmolded 1.425 grams of LSR 3070/50 from Burghausen, Germany-based Wacker Chemie AG as a gasket onto the metal frame with 35 seconds cycle time. The demonstration used a tool from Marchtrenk, Austria-based LSR molder Starlim Sterner Spritzguss GmbH. The highly fluid uncured LSR reached the underside through small apertures in the frame.
An Engel Viper 12 linear robot worked with the automatic metal ingot feeding system and an Engel Easix KR10 R1420 articulated arm robot inserted the metal frame in the Starlim mold and removed the finished LSR/metal part.
Engel said the AMM/LSR process opens new opportunities for "almost indestructible housings with better dust, water and radio wave protection." Potential applications include portable electronic devices, minimally invasive surgical instruments, suspension systems and wear-resistant drive-train components.
As part of Engel's Inject 4.0 interpretation of Industry 4.0 principles, iQ Flow Control and iQ Vibration Control Smart Machine solutions monitored the LSR process, supplemented by e-connect and e-connect 24 Smart Service support.
Rankweil, Austria-based subsidiary Technische Informationssysteme GmbH (TIG) provided Smart Production manufacturing execution system and enterprise resource planning support with TIG authentig intelligent networking, TIG 2go smart dashboard and TIG big machine data bank software solutions. TIG became an Engel subsidiary in 2016 and has networked more than 10,000 injection molding machines worldwide.