Ultrasonic plasticizing of polymers for micro-injection molding has been proposed and studied for its unique potential in materials and energy-saving. In our previous work, we have demonstrated the characteristics of the interfacial friction heating mechanism in ultrasonic plasticizing of polymer granulates. In this paper, the other important heating mechanism in ultrasonic plasticizing, i.e., viscoelastic heating for amorphous polymer, was studied by both theoretical modeling and experimentation. The influence mechanism of several parameters, such as the initial temperature of the polymer, the ultrasonic frequency, and the ultrasonic amplitude, was investigated. The results from both numerical simulation and experimentation indicate that the heat generation rate of viscoelastic heating can be significantly influenced by the initial temperature of polymer. The glass transition temperature was found to be a significant shifting point in viscoelastic heating. The heat generation rate is relatively low at the beginning and can have a steep increase after reaching glass transition temperature. In comparison with the ultrasonic frequency, the ultrasonic amplitude has much greater influence on the heat generation rate. In light of the quantitative difference in the viscoelastic heating rate, the limitation of the numerical simulation was discussed in the aspect of the assumptions and the applied mathematical models.
This paper was aimed at finding out the solution to the problem of insufficient dimensional accuracy caused by non-linear shrinkage deformation during injection molding of small module plastic gears. A practical numerical approach was proposed to characterize the non-linear shrinkage and optimize the dimensional deviation of the small module plastic gears. Specifically, Moldflow analysis was applied to visually simulate the shrinkage process of small module plastic gears during injection molding. A 3D shrinkage gear model was obtained and exported to compare with the designed gear model. After analyzing the non-linear shrinkage characteristics, the dimensional deviation of the addendum circle diameter and root circle diameter was investigated by orthogonal experiments. In the end, a high-speed cooling concept for the mold plate and the gear cavity was proposed to optimize the dimensional deviation. It was confirmed that the cooling rate is the most influential factor on the non-linear shrinkage of the injection-molded small module plastic gears. The dimensional deviation of the addendum circle diameter and the root circle diameter can be reduced by 22.79% and 22.99% with the proposed high-speed cooling concept, respectively.
Frictional heat has been widely used in various polymer-based advanced manufacturing. The fundamental understanding of the thermodynamics of the interfacial friction of polymer bulk materials can help to avoid compromising the process controllability. In this work, we have performed unitedatom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to reveal the interfacial friction heating mechanism of amorphous polyethene (PE) in both the single sliding friction (SSF) and reciprocating sliding friction (RSF) modes. Different from the traditional view that the plastic deformation was the primary source of heat generation, the RSF process with no apparent plastic deformation in this work shows a better heat generation performance than SSF, where plastic deformation dominated the friction process. Our analysis uncovers that the mechanism of the interfacial friction heating enhancement in RSF can be attributed to the concentrated high-frequency chain motion related to molecular rearrangement, which is not clearly related to the deformation degree.
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