Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What does “Tahcytherm” mean?
A. “Tachytherm” is a trademark, and as such, has no intrinsic meaning. It is, however evocative of the term “tachyallassothermic”, which is derived from the Greek words “tachy”, meaning rapid, “allasso”, meaning change or exchange, and “thermé”, meaning heat. A TachythermTM mold is an efficient heat exchanger or a “rapid exchanger of heat”.
are TachythermTM molds better than ordinary molds?
A. TachythermTM molds are better than ordinary molds because they run faster and produce better parts. They do this because they have exceptional thermal exchange efficiency. This means that heat can be removed from the polymer inside a TachythermTM mold faster and more uniformly than from an ordinary mold. That results in reduced cooling time and lower distortion from uneven cooling. More details on how and why can be found here.
Q. How are TachythermTM molds better than other molds with conformal cooling?
A.Other methods of achieving conformal cooling do not generally include the use of strategically placed high thermal conductivity materials, as TachythermTM molds do. This creates a high thermal conductivity envelope around the cavities of a TachythermTM mold, which direct heat from the mold cavity to the conformal cooling channels. We believe this is unique to TachythermTM molds, and TachythermTM molds are the only commercially available molds of this kind. Also significant: TachythermTM molds are manufactured by combining long-established mold making practices. Most of these can be done with standard equipment already found in most mold making shops. No investment in newly-developed free-form additive fabrication equipment is required for the mold maker. The TachythermTM mold making process simply combines these long–established practices in an unconventional way, to produce a technologically advanced product.
Q. Does a TachythermTM mold cost more than an ordinary mold?
A. There’s no simple answer to that question. Because the TachythermTM mold cavity is produced by electroforming, it can be more expensive to produce if the cavity has a very simple shape. If, however, the mold has a complex cavity geometry and especially if there are multiple cavities, the TachythermTM mold making process may actually be cheaper than conventional mold making. This must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In general, however, even relatively simple shapes, which may cost more to electroform than to conventionally machine, may be difficult to cool efficiently with gun-drilled cooling lines. This means that the money saved running such a part in a fast-cycling TachythermTM mold will generally pay for any higher initial cost within a relatively short time. Thereafter, the savings go straight to the molder’s bottom line.
Q. Hasn’t this approach been tried before?
A. There have been some similar approaches, though none exactly like the TachythermTM mold making process. For instance, In the late 1990’s, A firm called ExpressTool in Warwick, Rhode Island developed a process, which used a similar electroformed mold cavity. Their process involved brazing copper tubing onto the electroform to form conformal cooling channels, then over-plating and back filling with a polymer-based composite to form the mold insert. This process was rather protracted, and was ultimately not commercailly viable, though early results proved its effectiveness at reducing cycle times in injection molding applications. The TachythermTM mold making process has all the main advantages of the ExpressTool process, but is much more straightforward and practical.The resulting mold plate or insert looks similar to a conventional mold component, and behaves the same, except that it has unsurpassed thermal exchange efficiency.
Q. Where can I buy a TachythermTM mold?
A. TachythermTM molds can be purchased through ConforMAL, Inc. (see “Contact” page). They can also be purchased from any mold maker willing to become a licensee of the TachythermTM mold making process. We will be happy to work with your preferred mold maker, to license and instruct them how to make TachythermTM molds. The TachythermTM mold making process is not difficult, and can be performed by any competent mold maker.
a mold maker and am comfortable with all aspects of the TachythermTM
mold making process except for electroforming. How can I use the TachythermTM
mold making process?
A. ConforMAL has identified competent contract electroformers and manufacturers of electroforming equipment. We are happy to assist you in contracting out this portion of the TachythermTM mold making process, or in purchasing the equipment to do it yourself.