Ready to challenge the status quo and design new processes? Rapid Discharge Forming (RDF) is a revolutionary processing platform for manufacturing of metallic components that disrupts conventional metal manufacturing techniques.
Unique Thermoplastic Processability
Glassimetal's technology is the only one of its kind, offering products that have service strength many times greater than steel and manufacturing economics similar to injection molded plastics.
Unlike conventional metals, our proprietary metallic glasses have thermoplastic processability similar to plastics and 100 times higher service strength
Unlike metal injection molding (MIM), where conventional metals are mixed with plastic, the RDF platform enables direct injection molding of the metallic glass as done in plastics technology
Light Bulb Concept
RDF is a single-step manufacturing process that can produce a final, net-shaped metal part in less than 1 second by leveraging the unique properties of metallic glasses
A fast discharge of electrical current rapidly heats the metallic glass feedstock
Processing takes place at viscosities similar to those of injection molded plastics
A deformational force or pressure is applied to shape and form the metal into a net shape component
processing time less than 1 sec
processing in open air
low cycle time
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RDF 30kJ BETA
State of the art custom built MACHINE for mid-size human operator
Maximum Processable Weight
30kJ energy capacity
20tn clamping force
8000lbf injection force
23in/sec injection speed
all processable alloy range
Commercial RDF Platform
Owing to inherently short processing times (<1sec), an all-electronic foundation, and ability to process in open air, the RDF processing platform is highly amenable to advanced automation.
Today’s industrial-scale injection molding machines are designed to be highly modular for easy interchangeability of machine components. An “RDF Module“ is highly adaptable and can be easily incorporated and programmed in a modular injection molding machine.
In collaboration with commercial vendors for injection molding machines, mold assemblies, and electrical discharge power supplies, Glassimetal is currently designing an “RDF Module“ that will be incorporated into a fully-automated, industrial-scale injection molding machine by the end of 2018.
The commercial RDF injection molding machine is specified to have throughput and cycle times typical of plastics injection molding. With these specifications, the RDF injection molding platform will deliver high performance metal products with the speed, output, and cost effectiveness of plastics molding.
Production Cycle Breakdown
An amorphous metal feedstock is loaded into a barrel connected to the mold cavity. The mold is closed and a clamping force (Fm) is applied. The feedstock makes electrical contact with two electrodes that approach it axially on either end. This contact is maintained by application of contact force (Fc).
The electrodes are connected to a capacitor bank storing sufficient energy to bring the feedstock to its processing temperature. A high current, with a peak between 10 to 20 kA, is discharged through the feedstock heating the material to its processing temperature in 20-30 ms.
One electrode - also serving as a plunger - drives the softened metal through a gate and into the mold cavity. The entire injection process takes place in 50-100 ms.
Once the injection stroke is complete, a packing force (Fp) is maintained by the plunger as the material cools in the mold. The time required for cooling depends on part geometry but varies between 500 ms to 5 s.
Once the parts have cooled, the mold is opened and the parts are ejected.
Subsequently, the electrodes are repositioned to accept a new feedstock. The capacitor bank is recharged for the next molding cycle.