Apr 24, 2015
Unique die technology enables all-in-one molding of blower fans with complex shapes
Matsuda Kanagata, which designs and manufactures dies for plastic molding, has utilized a Japanese Government support program to develop dies for all-in-one molding of blower fans.
Medium-sized blower fans are used for hand driers in washrooms, and small blower fans are used to cool PCs. Usually, they’ve been made by bonding several molded parts, but given the need for strength and compactness, there’s been strong demand for all-in-one blower fans made by a single molding process. But because blower fans have complex shapes, removing the molded product from the die is very difficult, so this demand has been hard to meet.
"We thought about dividing unremovable items into two parts with slides, so that after the first part is removed, the second can be removed by bending it. If that was sufficient, it would be easy, but unless products can be removed radially, they won’t work as fans. So, we put hydraulic cylinders under the slides, in parallel fashion, and made the die as small as possible. If the die is small, the molded item can be small, too, so the cost can also be reduced."
The method of molding by combining different materials is commonly known as two-color molding. But this term is also used to describe additional molding after primary molding has been done. In this way, Matsuda has developed a further evolution of all-in-one blower fans. In particular, the company plans to focus on small and medium-sized blower fans, for which it expects high demand.
"This method is worth using even for medium-sized blower fans, and given the current volume, we think shipments will double or triple. If we can succeed in making small blower fans as well, we think there’ll be ten times the demand. Currently, many fans are made by bonding parts using ultrasound or chemicals, but sometimes bonded parts come apart, so we get asked if we could make all-in-one products. We’ve only just made these two-color-molded fans, but we’ve already had several inquiries."
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