Composites Part B: Engineering
This study is based on a previous experimental work in which embedded cylindrical heaters were applied to a pultrusion machine die, and resultant energetic performance compared with that achieved with the former heating system based on planar resistances. The previous work allowed to conclude that the use of embedded resistances enhances significantly the energetic performance of pultrusion process, leading to 57% decrease of energy consumption. However, the aforementioned study was developed with basis on an existing pultrusion die, which only allowed a single relative position for the heaters. In the present work, new relative positions for the heaters were investigated in order to optimise heat distribution process and energy consumption. Finite Elements Analysis was applied as an efficient tool to identify the best relative position of the heaters into the die, taking into account the usual parameters involved in the process and the control system already tested in the previous study. The analysis was firstly developed based on eight cylindrical heaters located in four different location plans. In a second phase, in order to refine the results, a new approach was adopted using sixteen heaters with the same total power. Final results allow to conclude that the correct positioning of the heaters can contribute to about 10% of energy consumption reduction, decreasing the production costs and leading to a better eco-efficiency of pultrusion process. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Year of publication: 2014