Optimization of Thermoforming
A polymer resin manufacturer needed to improve the processing
robustness of their product in the hands of numerous
customers with widely varying deep-draw thermoforming
operations. We characterized the rheological behavior of
the polymer under flow conditions typically used in thermoforming and utilized this information in a finite
element simulation of a representative production process.
Our analysis revealed the importance of material behavior
in the nonlinear stretching regime after the onset of
nonuniform deformation just prior to ductile failure.
Specific modifications of the polymer composition
were recommended to widen the processing window and
reduce rejects in manufacturing.