Rotational moulding is a method to produce hollow plastic articles. Heating is normally carried out by placing the mould into a hot air oven where the plastic material in the mould is heated. The most common cooling media are water and forced air. Due to the inefficient nature of conventional hot air ovens most of the energy supplied by the oven does not go to heat the plastic and as a consequence the procedure has very long cycle times. Direct oil heating is an effective alternative in order to achieve better energy efficiency and cycle times. This research work has combined this technology with new innovative design of mould, applying the advantages of electroforming and rapid prototyping. Complex cavity geometries are manufactured by electroforming from a rapid prototyping mandrel. The approach involves conformal heating and cooling channels, where the oil flows into a parallel channel to the electroformed cavity (nickel or copper). Because of this the mould enables high temperature uniformity with direct heating and cooling of the electroformed shell. Uniform heating and cooling is important not only for good quality parts but also for good uniform wall thickness distribution in the rotationally moulded part. The experimental work with the manufactured prototype mould has enabled analysis of the thermal uniformity in the cavity, under different temperatures.

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