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Shorter cycle times, high component quality, high strain and fewer component leaks – in order to achieve these goals in mass production of die casting components, LKR is exploring new ways of developing and manufacturing tools.The current FFG-funded project "StoreITup-IF" is developing thermal storage systems to increase the energy efficiency of plastic and metal forming processes, using optimized polymer compounds and heat exchangers. These allow the large-scale integration of temporally fluctuating sources of waste heat, as they occur during melting and solidification. For this purpose, special polymers are used as phase change material (PCM), which open up cost-effective and broad application possibilities: Process heat, solar thermal energy, heat networks and power plants are in the spotlight. Specifically, optimized laboratory storage tanks are designed, manufactured and, subsequently, their advantages for waste heat utilisation in plastic extrusion and aluminum casting are investigated. The project demonstrates how an additive manufactured tool insert with contiguous cooling can simultaneously improve component properties and recover energy.By using the MPA (Metal Powder Application) technology in toolmaking and the use of hybrid construction methods with steel, copper and water-soluble filling material aim at the following advantages for tools, energy consumption and quality:

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Conventionally drilled cooling channels (reference)

  • Increasing the number of cycles and component quality through higher cooling rates
  • Reduction of downtime due to faster mould temperature control
  • Increasing energy efficiency through energy savings of up to 70%
  • Improved tool life due to lower thermal stresses in the tool
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Project start: 04/2015

Project duration: 42 months (including 6 months of extension)

Funding agency: FFG

Coordinator: AIT Austrian Institute of Technology – Center for Energy


  • Austria Solar Innovation Center (ASiC)
  • CTB Automatisierungstechnik GmbH (CTB)
  • geba Kunststoffcompounds GmbH (geba)
  • Montanuniversität Leoben, Department Kunststofftechnik (MUL-KT)
  • technosert electronic GmbH (technosert)
  • LKR Leichtmetallkompetenzzentrum Ranshofen GmbH