Characterization and Modeling of the Thermal Properties of Photopolymers for Material Jetting Processes
Mikkelson, Emily Cleary
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One emerging application of additive manufacturing is building parts with embedded electronics, but the thermal management of these assemblies is a potential issue. Electrical components have efficiency losses, and a significant portion of that lost energy is converted into heat. Embedding electronics in PolyJet parts is of particular interest since material jetting additive manufacturing has the ability to deposit multiple, functionally graded materials on a pixel by pixel basis. Although there is existing literature on other PolyJet material properties, there is limited research on their thermal characterization. The goal of this work is to determine the thermal conductivities of select PolyJet photopolymers (VeroWhitePlus, TangoBlackPlus, and Grey60) by using the heat flow meter method. The resulting thermal conductivities are then applied in finite element analysis (FEA) simulations to model the thermal distribution of heated PolyJet parts. Two FEA models of one-dimensional conduction in PolyJet parts are defined and compared to a corresponding physical model to verify the thermal conductivity measurements; one simulation expresses thermal conductivity as a function of temperature and the other uses an average value of thermal conductivity. The thermal conductivities were determined for a range of temperatures, and the average values were 0.2376 W/(m•K), 0.2307 W/(m•K), and 0.2272 W/(m•K) for VeroWhitePlus, TangoBlackPlus, and Grey60, respectively. When applying the thermal conductivity results to an FEA model, it was concluded that defining thermal conductivity as a function of temperature (as opposed to a constant value), reduced the average error in the predicted temperatures by less than 1%.
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