Influence of mold pressurization on cycle time in rotational molding composites with welded ignimbrite as loading

Paula Douglas, Paul Hanna, Zaida Ortega*, Jake Kelly-Walley, Mark McCourt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

In the context of rising energy costs and climate emergencies, there is a need to incorporate novel procedures or materials to meet sustainability requirements and increase the efficiency of processes and use of resources. Although rotational molding might seem disadvantageous due to the long cycle times and high energy consumption, its inherent advantages, including the production of hollow parts of any size without wasting materials, with good surface reproducibility and no internal stresses, using cost-effective tooling remain noteworthy. To address energy consumption concerns, increase productivity, and enhance the environmental footprint of rotomolded products, this work proposes the incorporation of residual welded ignimbrite from quarries, a dusty material with over 60 % of SiO2, combined with the mold pressurization, finding a 4 % reduction of total cycle time with ignimbrite, which is further shortened to 12 % when pressure is applied. Particularly notable is the reduction 27 % reduction in oven time when using ignimbrite at 10 % under pressure. The thermomechanical and rheological characterizations revealno adverse effects either by the use of pressure or the mineral dust, thus establishing a viable alternative for energy (and cost) reduction. Besides, the obtained parts show good aesthetics, a stone-like aspect, which might provide additional features for applications such as outdoor furniture or storage tanks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101797
Number of pages7
JournalComposites Communications
Early online date23 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2024

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