Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


CFD, Conformal Cooling System, Plastic Injection Mold


Ronald Barron




To accommodate the increasing demand for consumer plastic products with higher quality and the industry’s desire for injection molding processes with higher production rate, metal 3D printing technologies have been introduced into the injection molding industry to fabricate cooling channels which can be placed more conformal to the working surface of the injection mold. These channels are referred to as conformal cooling channels. Since the manufacturing cost of mold-inserts with conformal cooling channels are higher than those with conventional cooling channels, it is necessary to confirm the advantage of using conformal cooling channels rather than conventional cooling channels. In this thesis, CFD simulations are used to compare the performances of a conventional cooling system and a conformal cooling system. The conformal cooling system is shown to have better cooling performance while not consuming more pumping power. Since the injection mold cooling system design is highly dependent on the geometry of the molded plastic part, it is difficult to construct general design guidelines for all conformal cooling channels. Therefore, commonly used conformal cooling systems that consist of U-shape bends are studied in this thesis. The influences of three geometrical design parameters, namely configuration of the U-shape bends, cooling channel depth from the heating surface and number of cooling channels, on the cooling performance are examined in a parametric study.