Time-consuming and costly turnarounds for production molds are a world-class pain, or so molders tell us. Whether their molds are running metals, ceramics, plastics, rubber-you name it-molders agree that there's got to be a better way. So does Randall M. German of Penn State University.
That's one reason why the professor and his colleagues plan on creating a new engineering research center for sintered materials, devices, and systems. One of its first research projects will be in the area of rapid tooling-tooling that's sintered from powdered metals. Production tools in three days. That's their goal.
"Sintering has been a core object of my attention since the '80s, when I was at RPI [Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute]," German reminisces. He well knows its potential. And he strongly believes that sintering can help alleviate the pain of first tooling costs.
In addition to studying different models, processes, and methodologies, he says the undergraduate and graduate students supporting the Center's research also will qualify sintered parts molded in the three-day tools.
Rapid tooling will be only one of the Center's technology transfer activities. Its ultimate goal is to improve the product quality, features, size range, shape complexity, and the materials base of processed sintered materials in many industrial applications. Funded by both the public and private sectors, company members will have right of first refusal to all the technologies developed, and first access to process and design software improvements, training materials, and students.
Center for Sintered Materials,
Devices & Systems
Penn State University
State College, PA
Phone: (814) 865-2121
Fax: (814) 863-8211
E-mail: [email protected]