Coupled thermo-mechanical analysis for plastic thermoforming

Academic Article


  • An FEM software ARVIP-3D was developed to simulate the process of 3-D plastic thermoforming. The coupled thermo-mechanical analysis, thermal stress and warpage analysis for plastic thermoforming was carried out by means of this software. Rigid visco-plastic formula was adopted to simulate the deforming process. During this process, the method of comparing velocity, time and area was adopted as the contact algorithm at different nodes and triangular elements. Sticking contact was assumed when the nodes become in contact with tool surface. The Arrhenius equation and the Williams equation were employed to ascertain the temperature dependence of material properties. In order to analyze the temperature field of plastic thermoforming, the Galerkin FEM code and the dynamic heat conduction boundary condition were adopted; latent heat and deformation heat were treated as dynamic internal heat sources. Based on the above, the model of coupled thermo-mechanical analysis was established. Assuming that the thermal deformation occurs under elastic conditions, the thermal stress and the warpage following the cooling stage were estimated. Experiments of plastic thermoforming were made for high-density polyethylene (HDPE). An infrared thermometer was used to record the temperature field and a spiral micrometer was used to measure the thickness of the part. Results of numerical calculation for thickness distribution, temperature field and warpage were in good agreement with experimental results.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Song Y; Zhang KF; Wang ZR; Diao FX; Yan YN; Zhang RJ
  • Start Page

  • 1736
  • End Page

  • 1746
  • Volume

  • 40
  • Issue

  • 8