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A Polymer Process Optimization Center: Integration Of Nsf And Industrial Support

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.36.1 - 3.36.4



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Paper Authors

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Gwan-Ywan Lai

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Laura L. Sullivan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2526



The Polymer Processing Laboratory at Kettering University has enjoyed tremendous growth in capability over the past four years. Four National Science Foundation ILI Grants have provided for microprocessor controlled injection molding, stereolithography, capillary and on-line rheometry, and tensile testing. Funding from the Society for Manufacturing Engineering has resulted in the acquisition of mold temperature control equipment and mold flow simulation software. Internal funding has provided for process capability analysis, and industrial support has funded a coordinate measuring machine. Now, integration of this equipment has been endorsed through a $100K donation from local industry for a Polymer Process Optimization Center. With the creation of this Center, all phases of thermoplastic component manufacturing via injection molding will be integrated, from materials selection to tool design to process optimization. Undergraduate students will access this facility (1) as freshman, in one week study of polymer processing within a survey Introduction to Manufacturing Processes course (IMSE 101), (2) in an upper division Polymer Processing course (IMSE 407), and (3) via independent study projects in the area of injection molding for senior level students. Within the framework of the Polymer Processing course, IMSE 407, students will be given the opportunity to take the concept of a part, rendered via a solid modeling program, and transform it to a manufactured, injection molded part. This will involve converting the solid model to a solid tool via stereolithography, researching the materials of interest to be sure that they have suitable viscosity characteristics via rheometry, optimize the mold filling and packing portion of the injection molding cycle via on- line process parameter variation.


I. Laboratory Capability

The polymer processing laboratory at Kettering University provides hands-on experience in injection molding, thermoforming, extrusion, and polymer testing. This laboratory contains three injection molding machines with associated auxiliary equipment (process analysis equipment, drying ovens, grinders), two extruders, a laboratory capillary rheometer, an on-line process rheometer, a thermoformer, a Stereolithography Apparatus, an impact tester, and two mechanical test machines (one screw driven and one servohydraulic). This lab serves Manufacturing Systems Engineering students who may choose the polymer processing course (IMSE 407) as one of their two required processing electives. It also serves Mechanical Engineering students who have chosen a plastics cognate, a manufacturing cognate, or an automotive cognate. In addition, all freshmen enrolled in any engineering discipline are required to take "Introduction to

Lai, G., & Sullivan, L. L. (1998, June), A Polymer Process Optimization Center: Integration Of Nsf And Industrial Support Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7346

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