Infrared Heating Modeling of Thermoplastic Sheets in Thermoforming Process

Abstract : The thermoforming process involves a heating step before forming, the thermoplastic sheet being warmed up using infrared heaters. The forming temperature is above glass transition temperature for amorphous polymers and slightly below crystalline temperature for semi-crystalline polymers. Today, industrial thermoforming machines generally feature an infrared oven with ceramics heaters that emit infrared long waves. Other electric radiant heaters like quartz tubes or halogen lamps are also used, but not as much. The heating step of the thermoforming process could be improved to obtain best sheet's temperature distribution which governs the thermoformed part thickness distribution. Many parameters influence the heating step such as geometry and number of heaters, heaters temperature, position of the heaters, distance between heaters and sheet… An experimental infrared heating device is developed in order to measure the effect of the different parameters. Software called PLASTIRAD based on the volume method is used to simulate the infrared heating of polymers in order to optimise the infrared oven of an experimental setup .
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Sylva Andrieu, Yannick Le Maoult, Fabrice Schmidt. Infrared Heating Modeling of Thermoplastic Sheets in Thermoforming Process. International Conference of Polymer Processing Society, Jun 2002, Guimarès, Portugal. ⟨hal-02056363⟩

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