Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Dynamic heating and cooling unit

The prototype of the dynamic heating and cooling system consists of a basic two-circuit device. This allows having fast and cost-efficient work during the experimental and optimisation phase of the process development and prototyping. The basic concept was developed by Regloplas in co-operation with StructoForm. The concept was further developed and optimised on several technical meetings in-house Regloplas and at StructoForm lab.

Definition of the dynamic heating and control system:
Prototype: two circuit heating and cooling apparatus Processes: feasible for JETex and HTex processes Textiles: adaptable to various pre-forms and textiles First step: basic set-up with modular plate cavity and thermoplastic resin injection Second step: high temperature test up to 300° C and test with JETex process Third step: step-wise test and adaptation of on-line monitor and process control Forth step: processing with various materials, prototype production and monitoring.

The two-circuit system is based on enhanced state-of-the-art oil heating systems of REGLOPLAS. This was further developed and two units combined and integrated into one construction. The process control allows to cool one circuit and heat the other circuit independently (e.g. low circuit: 70° C, hot circuit: 160° C). Then, firstly the hot circuit heats up the cavity. When the part is consolidated in the mould, the cold circuit is opened and pushes the hot oil out of the cavity back into the hot circuit. Then the cold oil circulates through the cavity and cools it down rapidly. The adaptation of the preliminary prototype was completed. The detailed concept for more complex heating and cooling elements are finished. Two test systems of the high temperature dynamic system are available for further process development. New high temperature valves have been developed and successfully tested up to 10.000 cycles. They are integrated in the advanced second version of the heating unit. The heating and energy balance tests result up to now in a cycle time reduction by 50 % in comparison to conventional heating systems.

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