Modelling of the rotational moulding process for the manufacture of plastic products

Khoon, L.K., 2003. Modelling of the rotational moulding process for the manufacture of plastic products. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The present research is mainly focused on two-dimensional non-linear thermal modelling, numerical procedures and software development for the rotational moulding process. The RotoFEM program is developed for the rotational moulding process using finite element procedures. The program is written in the MATLAB environment. The research includes the development of new slip flow models, phase change study, warpage study and process analyses. A new slip flow methodology is derived for the heat transfer problem inside the enclosed rotating mould during the heating stage of the tumbling powder. The methodology enables the discontinuous powder to be modelled by the continuous-based finite element method. The Galerkin Finite Element Method is incorporated with the lumped-parameter system and the coincident node technique in finding the multi-interacting heat transfer solutions inside the mould.
Two slip flow models arise from the slip flow methodology; they are SDM (single-layered deposition method) and MDM (multi-layered deposition method). These two models have differences in their thermal description for the internal air energy balance and the computational procedure for the deposition of the molten polymer. The SDM model assumes the macroscopic deposition of the molten polymer bed exists only between the bed and the inner mould surface. On the other hand, the MDM model allows the layer-by-layer deposition of the molten polymer bed macroscopically. In addition, the latter has a more detailed heat transfer description for the internal air inside the mould during the powder heating cycle. In slip flow models, the semi-implicit approach has been introduced to solve the final quasi-equilibrium internal air temperature during the heating cycle. A notable feature of this slip flow methodology is that the slip flow models are capable of producing good results for the internal air at the heating powder stage, without the consideration of the powder movement and changeable powder mass. This makes the modelling of the rotational moulding process much simpler.

In the simulation of the cooling stage in rotational moulding, the thermal aspects of the inherent warpage problem and external-internal cooling method have been explored. The predicted internal air temperature profiles have shown that the less apparent crystallization plateau in the experimental internal air in practice could be related to warpage. Various phase change algorithms have been reviewed and compared, and thus the most convenient and considerable effective algorithm is proposed. The dimensional analysis method, expressed by means of dimensionless combinations of physical, boundary, and time variables, is utilized to study the dependence of the key thermal parameters on the processing times of rotational moulding. Lastly, the predicted results have been compared with the experimental results from two different external resources. The predicted temperature profiles of the internal air, oven times and other process conditions are consistent with the available data.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Khoon, L.K.
Date: 2003
ISBN: 9781369324976
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 24 Jun 2021 10:55
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2023 08:59

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