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A quantitative method to estimate high gloss polished tool steel surfaces
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design (MTEK), Functional Surfaces.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9084-819X
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design (MTEK), Functional Surfaces.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8058-1252
Uddeholms AB, Hagfors, Sweden.
2011 (English)In: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Metrology and Properties of Engineering Surfaces: 12 – 15 April 2011, Twickenham Stadium, UK / [ed] Richard Leach & Liam Blunt, Teddington: National Physical Laboratory , 2011, 35-39 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Visual estimations are today the most common way to assess the surface quality of moulds and dies; a method that are both subjective and, with today’s high demands on surfaces, hardly usable to distinguish between the finest surface qualities. Instead a method based on non-contact 3D-surface texture analysis is suggested. Several types of tool steel samples, manually as well as machine polished, were analysed to study different types of surface defects such as pitting, orange peel and outwardly features. The classification of the defect structures serves as a catalogue where known defects are described. Suggestions of different levels of ‘high surface quality’ defined in numerical values adapted to high gloss polished tool steel surfaces are presented. The final goal is to develop a new manual that can work as a ‘standard’ for estimations of tool steel surfaces for steel producers, mould makers, polishers etc.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Teddington: National Physical Laboratory , 2011. 35-39 p.
Keyword [en]
tool steel, replication, surface analysis, surface characterisation
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-21482ISBN: 978-0946754-59-5OAI: diva2:605273
13th International Conference on Metrology and Properties of Engineering Surfaces, 12-15 April 2011, Twickenham, UK
Available from: 2013-02-13 Created: 2013-02-13 Last updated: 2015-01-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. On Polishability of Tool Steels
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On Polishability of Tool Steels
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

One of the world’s fastest growing industries is the plastic industry. Today’s ever increasing demands of high quality products, shorter lead times and reduced costs push development and research forwards. Moulds for plastic injection moulding need to have a functional surface to meet demands on demoulding and wear properties, but also to produce the required final surface quality, which for ‘standard mould qualities’ of high gloss applications means nearly defect free, shiny and smooth mould surfaces with roughness levels in the nm-range.

The aim of this thesis was to develop a metrology framework to quantitatively characterise these mould surfaces in order to gain better understanding of which defect structures are critical at injection moulding, and how these are correlated to material properties and operating conditions in surface preparation of tool steels. In practice this means to capture surface features of some few nm in height/depth up to some hundreds of microns in lateral dimension within insert areas of cm2 and larger. Experiments combining polishers’ experience with steel producers’ as well as non-contact areal texture examinations of surface topography were performed to overcome and link practical skills to academic ones.

Based on areal surface metrology, defect classification and image analysis based surface characterisation, an evaluation procedure for polished tool steel surfaces was developed, initially tested and verified. The suggested method involves descriptions of relevant defect structures and acceptance levels for high gloss polished tool steels in the form of numerical parameter values based on interferometric measurements. It was also concluded that the cleanness of the steels was less important as long as it was kept within reasonable levels; the surface preparation strategy is a major factor influencing the mould surface quality e.g. it was found that a ‘several-step-strategy’ was favourable to avoid defect structures; not all ‘mirror-like’ mould surfaces had desirable topographies for injection moulding, therefore a well-defined mould surface assessment with numerical values describing mould surface quality is necessary to secure effective mould surfaces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Chalmers University of Technology, 2013. 50 p.
, Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny Serie, ISSN 0346-718X ; 3509
tool steels, polishability, surface characterisation, surface texture parameters, high gloss polishing, injection moulding
National Category
Manufacturing, Surface and Joining Technology
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-22175 (URN)978-91-7385-828-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-04-05, Virtual development laboratory, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, 10:00 (English)

Includes pamphlet in Appendix I.

Available from: 2013-11-08 Created: 2013-05-17 Last updated: 2015-01-26Bibliographically approved

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