Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Manufacturing microstructured tool inserts for the production of polymeric microfluidic devices
    Tooling is critical in defining multi-scale patterns for mass production of polymeric microfluidic devices using the microinjection molding process. In the present work, fabrication of various microstructured tool inserts using stainless steel, nickel and bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) is discussed based on die-sinking EDM (electrical discharge machining), electroforming, focused ion beam milling and thermoplastic forming processes. Tool performance is evaluated in terms of surface roughness, hardness and tool life. Compared to stainless steel, nickel and BMGs are capable of integrating length scales from 100 to 10−8 m and are good candidates for producing polymeric microfluidics. Selection of tool materials and manufacturing technologies should consider the end-user requirements of actual applications.
      1633Scopus© Citations 32
  • Publication
    Performance of nickel and bulk metallic glass as tool inserts for the microinjection molding of polymeric microfluidic devices
    Electroformed nickel and bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) can be designed to incorporate features withlength scales ranging from millimeters to nanometers. This, combined with their good mechanical prop-erties relative to other materials, makes them competitive candidates for manufacturing multi-scalemolds to produce high volumes of polymeric microfluidics components and other micro/nano devices.Despite this attractiveness, BMGs are newly developed engineering materials and their capabilities asa mold material have not been evaluated. This paper compares the performance of nickel tools madeby an electroforming process and BMG tools made by a thermoplastic forming process, specifically withregard to typical microfluidics patterns and features. Ni shows excellent capabilities for good featurereplication. BMG thermoplastic forming is highly dependent on the choice of alloy composition, whichrestricts the achievable feature size and aspect ratio. Compared to Ni, BMG has hardness values that areclose to those of stainless steel and shows the superior mechanical strength that is required for massproduction applications. However, oxidation in BMG tool manufacturing process affects the tool surfacefinish significantly and reduces the tool¿s corrosion resistance. Future development of BMG tools includepreventing the formation of oxidation layers or developing BMGs with an anti-oxidation composition,and further reducing their overall cost and widening its processing window parameters. Despite thesechallenges, however, BMGs are shown to combine excellent mechanical properties and capabilities formulti-scale forming; this makes them significantly more attractive than relatively soft Ni tools.
      711Scopus© Citations 24