(29e) Conventional and Emerging Mw/rf Processing Methods for Polymers, Plastics and Composites

Authors: 
Cresko, J. W. - Presenter, Electrotechnology Applications Center


There are great opportunities in the polymer, plastics and composites manufacturing industries to improve energy efficiency, materials utilization and product quality issues. Microwave (MW) and radio frequency (RF) heating technologies are underutilized tools that have the potential to bring competitive advantages to those manufacturers that can exploit the ability of these non-ionizing electromagnetic (EM) waves to volumetrically heat materials.

This paper will start by examining fundamental concepts important from the process development/materials engineering perspective, and will review state-of-the-art of dielectric materials processing in context with its history. This will be followed by an overview of emerging MW and RF methods, such as composites curing, polymer processing, solid phase polymerization, processing of heat sensitive emulsions, processing of conductive materials, and curing of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs).

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