Rotational Molding is a very competitive manufacturing method for producing large hollow plastic products. It provides one advantage over other plastic processing technologies: production of seamless articles, with uniform wall thickness and complex shapes for sectors as chemical storage, toys, construction and transports. However this technology has stuck without major innovative improvements in last years becoming energy inefficient and costly, and at the same time other techniques which have substantially improved (as injection moulding or blowing moulding) are not suitable for such large pieces. Moreover, it has to face up to the growing market of low cost plastic goods from China and India. As a result, rotational moulding industry with high labour and energy costs becomes one of the most vulnerable sectors of Plastic Processing Industry. Therefore, this sector needs to research and develop technology innovations in order to provide plastic industry of high value added products which manufacturing will allow it to reduce energy consumption and production costs. The challenge is the development of low energy systems in order to enhance the energy efficiency and reduce the cycle time, without becoming more expensive. The solution proposed is an automatic rotational molding machine with the following systems: -Induction Heating System. This system will use a medium frequency power supply and helical induction coils to generate heat within the mold. It will integrate a thermal insulating layer between the coil and the mold to avoid heat losses. -Internal Cooling System. The new technology will be integrated an internal cooling system which it will consist of ionic liquids. This system will remove heat from internal mould atmosphere, reducing the cooling time. In addition, it will provide low pressure to the polymer when it has reached melt point in order to improve the mechanical properties of the final product and to reduce cycle times.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME-AG - Research for SME associations/groupings
NG24 3UT Newark
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