Production of micro-molding tooling by hot embossing

Matthew Dirckx, Aaron D. Mazzeo, David E. Hardt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


Tooling is especially critical for micro-molding of polymers because the tool defines the geometry of the finished part. Various tool materials and processes have been demonstrated, including etched silicon, machined or electroformed metal, and molded polymers. Adhesion of the part to the tool and differential thermal contraction are frequently cited problems related to micro-molding tooling. Brittle silicon tools are particularly vulnerable to failure during demolding because of adhesion and thermal stress. The current work demonstrates the production of micro-molding tools by hot embossing of thermoplastics. Polymer materials for working tools are selected on the basis of high heat deflection temperature and high interfacial tension with the polymer being embossed. The high thermal resistance of the working tool material enables its use in hot embossing of materials with lower glass transition temperature such as polymethylmethacrylate and cyclo-olefm-polymer, as well as other micromolding processes. The high interfacial tension reduces adhesion between the master mold and the final part, reducing loads on the tools and facilitating demolding. Embossing parameters for a variety of working tool materials, as well as replication fidelity of the working tools and parts and tool-part adhesion are explored. Polymer working tools produced by hot embossing show great promise for manufacturing polymer micro-devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event2007 ASME International Conference on Manufacturing Science and Engineering - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Jan 15 2007Oct 18 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference 2007, MSEC2007


Other2007 ASME International Conference on Manufacturing Science and Engineering
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Production of micro-molding tooling by hot embossing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this