In this study, the thermal transport issues for a nanocomposite material used in the blow molding process are addressed in the fabrication of the composite mold. For low production cycles, there is a significant interest in using lower cost composite molds to replace the expensive traditional metal molds used for making polymer parts by the blow molding process. A critical issue in using a polymer matrix composite as an alternative to a metal mold is the large difference in the thermal transport property. The composite mold design must integrate enhanced cooling so that the product can cool sufficiently within each cycle time. Nanocomposites that use carbon nanofiber offer improvements in thermal and mechanical properties; therefore they are potential candidates for making molds for polymer products. This paper describes the design of the cooling system for a nanocomposite blow mold using numerical simulations; and the processing steps by which the design is incorporated in the fabrication of the mold.

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