Innovative technologies for texturing 3D mould surfaces will be combined and further developed in order to create the functional micron and sub-micron topographies on injection moulding tools. The HIMALAIA project will take advantage of the latest developments in three technologies.

Laser-based 3D surface patterning / structuring

Innovation : Highly accurate and repeatable laser-based texturing technologies for 3D mould cavities

  • Flexible and robust laser structuring/texturing will be demonstrated on

    • 3D mould inserts with engineered surfaces up to 300×200 mm
    • with radius of curvature of 1mm.

    This structuring should allow the manufacturing of thermoplastic parts with anti-scratch, anti-squeak, antimicrobial, self-cleaning and optical properties

  • Repeatable and desired material micron and sub-micron structures in response to different Laser processing parameters
  • Repeatable and accurate micron and sub-micron structures no matter the incident angle to achieve a highly flexible patterning / structuring solution for 3D parts

Particle self-assembly and photonic nanojet

Innovation : Large, complex and 3D mould cavities micro-/ nanostructuration based on particle self-assembly processes

  • Optimization of the direct deposition of HCP microsphere arrays directly on mould inserts for photonic nanojet
  • Enabling of the as-yet impossible functionalisation of complex shaped moulds via an innovative, removable and disposable thin film (10 µm) with partially embedded HCP microsphere arrays that can be automatically applied to the surfaces of mould inserts to guide laser patterning/texturing.

Increased robustness of fine structures via surface engineering of the mould

Innovation : Innovative metal surface engineering solutions to improve the robustness of micron / sub-micron structured 3D mould cavities

  • Enhanced hardness of stainless steel inserts by 300% using S-phase surface engineering
  • Reduced coefficient of friction to < 0.10 via DLC and NiCrN coatings

  • Increased durability of micron /sub-micron structured insert surface to withstand at least 250 000 injection moulding cycles without damaging