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Technical Brief

Design, Simulation, and Injection Moulding of a Microreactor Baseplate

[+] Author and Article Information
Joško Valentinčič

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Ljubljana,
Aškerčeva 6,
Ljubljana SI-1000, Slovenia
e-mail: jv@fs.uni-lj.si

Andrej Glojek

TECOS,
Slovenian Tool and Die Development Centre,
Kidričeva ulica 25,
Celje SI-3000, Slovenia
e-mail: andrej.glojek@tecos.si

Izidor Sabotin

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Ljubljana,
Aškerčeva 6,
Ljubljana SI-1000, Slovenia
e-mail: izidor.sabotin@fs.uni-lj.si

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MICRO- AND NANO-MANUFACTURING. Manuscript received July 18, 2015; final manuscript received May 24, 2016; published online June 30, 2016. Assoc. Editor: John P. Coulter.

J. Micro Nano-Manuf 4(3), 034501 (Jun 30, 2016) (6 pages) Paper No: JMNM-15-1046; doi: 10.1115/1.4033710 History: Received July 18, 2015; Revised May 24, 2016

A suitable tooling strategy is identified to enable mass production of a microreactor baseplate via injection moulding. A bottom grooved micromixer design suitable for micromilling of a tool insert is developed. To identify suitable polymer and process parameters, injection moulding simulations are performed. Mesh generation is described; two approaches of gate description as well as mould temperature control in simulation software are discussed. Three materials are examined from the injection moulding point of view, polystyrene (PS), cyclic olefin copolymer (COC), and polyether ether ketone (PEEK). A microreactor baseplate is produced by injection moulding of PS.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) SGM geometry with corresponding streamline representation and (b) SHM geometry with representation of double helical fluid motion across the channel

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Fig. 2

(a) Presentation of a prototype SG micromixer. Below a comparison between CFD simulation and experimental result is presented. Good agreement of the flow pattern can be observed, and (b) prototype of a SH micromixer. At the groove number 4 and 5, air trapped in the grooves can be noticed.

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Fig. 3

Direct and indirect process chain for manufacturing a micromoulded polymer part (adapted from Ref. [1])

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Fig. 4

(a) Design of a microreactor baseplate for ionic liquid synthesis, (b) tool segment for injection moulding of SGM, (c) tool segment for injection moulding of SHM, and (d) difficulties at replicating the sharp corners of the SHM groove

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Fig. 5

Mesh in the micromixer area and in the surroundings

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Fig. 6

Melt flow when using beam and three-dimensional mesh to represent the gate (material PS): (a) beam and (b) three-dimensional mesh

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Fig. 7

Temperature distribution on the mould surface (movable side) during injection moulding (material PS): (a) Fill time 0.4 s, (b) fill time 1.2 s, and (c) fill time 5.1 s

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Fig. 8

Filling of the cavity (material PS)

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Fig. 9

Filling the cavity in the area of micromixer (material PS): (a) Fill time 0.34 s, (b) fill time 0.35 s, and (c) fill time 0.37 s

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Fig. 10

The micromixer segment of the microreactor baseplate produced by injection moulding in PS

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