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Numerical Modelling and Optimisation of a Microwave Enhanced Rapid Prototyping

By Hauwei Zhao, Ian W. Turner, Prasad K. Yarlagadda and Klaus Berg


Microwave heating technology is a cost-effective alternative way for assisting the thermosetting process of thin epoxy resin layers of material. With the benefit of existing modelling for computing the electromagnetic field and power density distribution in a cavity, an investigation has been conducted about the application of an electromagnetic field and its effects on a thin epoxy resin layer. The results of the simulations have been used to optimise the design of a microwave heating system for curing a thin epoxy resin layer. The investigation leads to a feasibility study to combine the microwave heating process with the rapid product development technique, to build 3D models efficiently through the fast-curing of thin epoxy resin layers. Numerous configurations were investigated, by changing the design of microwave applicator. A numerical model was used to identify the strength and weakness of each design, leading to an optimised configuration that can be used for microwave heating, and fast curing of a thin epoxy resin layer. From the present study it can be concluded that a mathematical model can be used to optimise microwave heating devices, enabling the configuration to deliver a uniform electric field

Topics: FDTD method, Microwave heating, Rapid prototyping
Publisher: Springer
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s001700170102
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