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Research Papers

A Systematic Approach for Designing Multifunctional Thermally Conducting Polymer Structures With Embedded Actuators

[+] Author and Article Information
Wojciech Bejgerowski

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742wojbej@umd.edu

Satyandra K. Gupta

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742skgupta@umd.edu

Hugh A. Bruck

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742bruck@umd.edu

J. Mech. Des 131(11), 111009 (Oct 14, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000239 History: Received April 18, 2009; Revised July 14, 2009; Published October 14, 2009

Thermally conductive filled polymers enable the creation of multifunctional structures that offer both anchoring points for the embedded actuators, as well as heat-dissipation functions, in order to facilitate the miniaturization of devices. However, there are two important challenges in creating these structures: (1) sufficient thermal management to prevent failure of the actuator and (2) the ability of the actuator to survive the manufacturing process. This paper describes a systematic approach for design of multifunctional structures with embedded heat-generating components using an in-mold assembly process to address these challenges. For the first challenge, the development of appropriate thermal models is presented along with incorporation of in-mold assembly process constraints in the optimization process. For the second challenge, a simulation of the molding process is presented and demonstrated to enable the determination of processing conditions ensuring survival of the in-mold assembly process for the embedded actuator. Thus, the design methodology described in this paper was utilized to concurrently optimize the choice of material, size of the structure, and processing conditions in order to demonstrate the feasibility of creating multifunctional structures from thermally conductive polymers by embedding actuators through an in-mold assembly process.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Parametric optimization of in-mold assembly using thermally conductive polymers

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Figure 2

Embedded resistor: in-mold assembly

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Figure 3

Temperature sampling points: (a) cross section and (b) side view

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Figure 4

FEA model assembly: (a) leads, (b) ceramic casing, and (c) polymer casing

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Figure 5

Surfaces for applying FEA boundary conditions (shaded): (a) heat power and (b) convection to air

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Figure 6

Temperature field FEA result for unfilled Nylon 12 sample

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Figure 7

Cross-sectioning of the embedded resistor specimen

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Figure 8

FEM model with voids

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Figure 9

Mold flow simulation sample result: (a) side view and (b) isometric view of a segment

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Figure 10

FEM model with orthotropic thermal conductivities assigned: (a) isometric view and (b) side view

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Figure 11

Temperature field FEA result for NJ-6000 TC filled polymer composite

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Figure 12

Modified FEA model: (a) assembly and (b) directional thermal conductivities

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Figure 13

Temperature field FEA result for the most anisotropic case (1-1-10/1-10-1)

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Figure 14

Isotropic thermal conductivity influence on the temperature of the embedded component

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Figure 15

ANSYS model key dimensions and boundary conditions

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Figure 16

In-mold assembly setup for manufacturing the motor holder

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Figure 17

In-mold assembled motor holders: (a) unfilled Nylon 12 and (b) thermally conductive filled Nylon 12

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