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.
A Systematic Approach for Designing Multifunctional Thermally Conducting Polymer Structures With Embedded Actuators
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Bejgerowski, W., Gupta, S. K., and Bruck, H. A. (October 14, 2009). "A Systematic Approach for Designing Multifunctional Thermally Conducting Polymer Structures With Embedded Actuators." ASME. J. Mech. Des. November 2009; 131(11): 111009. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4000239
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