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Our Process

 

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.

 
 
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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

 
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Light Bulb Concept

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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

 
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Highlights

processing time less than 1 sec
processing in open air
electronic cleantech
high precision
ENERGY EFFICIENT
high throughput
low cycle time

 
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Brought To You By

RDF 30kJ BETA

State of the art custom built MACHINE for mid-size human operator

 

Maximum Processable Weight

  • 55g GlassiNickel

  • 90g GlassiZirconium

  • 225g GlassiPlatinum

  • 375g GlassiGold

Running Specs

  • 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.

 
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Production Cycle Breakdown

Follow along

 

Loading

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).

Heating

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. 

Injection

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. 

Cooling

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. 

Ejection

Once the parts have cooled, the mold is opened and the parts are ejected. 

 

Setup

Subsequently, the electrodes are repositioned to accept a new feedstock. The capacitor bank is recharged for the next molding cycle.