Rapid Product Development – QuantumCast Cast Urethanes

Design and Development - Comments Off - Posted on February, 15 at 12:17 pm

The QuantumCast™ Cast Urethane process is a proprietary technology developed by Solid Concepts that produces strong pre-production and short-run production parts. This is essentially a low pressure injection molding process utilizing re-enforced platinum silicone as the “soft tool” or mold. The benefits of a soft tool (speed, versatility, & excellent surface detail) are combined with quantum improvements in the strength of new materials. Eighteen standard rigid and elastomeric materials are readily available for QuantumCast including Solid Concepts’ proprietary Advanced Formula Polymers (AFP’s). The resulting stable, void-free parts are ideal for consumer electronics, medical equipment & devices, automotive components, heavy equipment, sports equipment, as well as aerospace a nd military applications. With this technology, companies can be the first to market and sell product before hard tooling is completed.

The QuantumCast process creates a number of parts, anywhere from one to hundreds. The first step in the process is to create a master pattern; then this is used to create the cast urethane molds. The master pattern, the pattern from which all other parts are fashioned, is typically fabricated with PolyJet, SLA or CNC technologies. The master pattern undergoes Solid Concepts’ 6-Point Inspection and master finishing is performed to ensure a high quality mold. Next, the mold is created by pouring a catalyzed liquid silicone into a custom fitted box. This box holds the master pattern and its associated gating and venting system. The solidified platinum-cured silicon is then strategically cut along the parting line and the master pattern is removed. The two halves are reassembled and filled with liquid AFP material.  The mold containing the “green” (partially cured) urethane part is then placed in a chamber at elevated temperature and pressure. This assures void-free (no little bubbles) castings with optimum mechanical properties. The resulting production-quality part is cleaned of all gates and flash (excess material left on the part from the molding process). The mold can then be reused to create multiple castings, although it will have a limited life. Mold life is typically determined by the complexity of the part being cast.

Other unique offerings associated with QuantumCast include Micro-welded inserts – the strongest threaded inserts available in cast polymers, net shape master patterns, cosmetic paint, EMI & RFI shielding, cast-in-color with optical color matching, cast-in-texture, Mold-Tech® finishes and complex over-molding. Solid Concepts is the largest polymer casting operation in North America – both in terms of production capacity and part size capabilities, ensuring that your project will be of the highest quality and meet the toughest standards.

source: www.solidconcepts.com

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