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The closed loop, active control of reaction dynamics, through dielectric monitoring, enabling greater competitiveness of the European SME Plastics processing community

Final Report Summary - DYNAMIC (The Closed Loop, Active Control of Reaction Dynamics, Through Dielectric Monitoring, Enabling Greater Competitiveness of The European SME Plastics Processing Community)

The main project aim is to overcome the slow cycle times within the thermoplastic processes by initiating, controlling and partially achieving the polymerisation reaction within the injection barrel instead of in the mould after injection.

The research undertaken by UCBL enabled NTUA to develop process monitoring techniques achieved through process modelling, development of control strategies and algorithm's. As NTUA developed the monitoring techniques close links were maintained with UCBL in order to verify accuracy of the data. The high quality of the work undertaken in this area resulted in a set of control parameters for the real time dielectric monitoring of thermoplastic processing and as a result trials with the control system proved the accuracy of this data. NTUA developed a control system capable of monitoring the dielectric response.

The work done by UCBL and NTUA was further supported by Inasco who took responsibility for integration of the software implementation and interface with the dielectric sensor signals to create the dielectric monitoring and control system. This package of work meant that Inasco maintained close links with each of the consortium members in order to build effective systems for use in trials and pilot plant studies.

On completion of the system and pilot plant trials, studies were undertaken at end-user plants covering injection moulding and pultrusion techniques. The trials proved that the dynamic system is fully capable for integration into existing systems. The lead partner, CUKL have disseminated the DYNAMIC project throughout the full 36 month period using various media forms and through stands at major industry exhibitions. EurExcel have complimented these activities by delivering some further dissemination and more specifically training events for interested parties.

In summary, the technical work is considered to be successful and of value to all of the consortium and the thermoplastic processing industry as a whole, the Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) consortium members are thus keen to exploit the technology further.