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Kingston Hot Press: Process Improvements

956 bytes added, 03:37, 16 April 2010
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===Prior Art===
At Queen's University Dr. Matovic has produced CAD drawings fully detailing the design and dimensions of the [ Kingston Hot Press]. A photo of the press with a recent paint job can be seen below:
The original design used 1/4" steel plates to press and heat the tiles. To overcome temperature inconsistencies which were producing burnt profiles the prototype plates were replaced with 1/2" aluminum plates.
(see also the Wikipedia [ article]
The Kingston Hot Press presents a particularly challenging heat transfer system to model. Six 750W Omega [ OT-2107] strip heaters are clamped to the two "press" plates which transfer heat and pressure to the mold and tile composite material. A cork rubber gasket provides insulation between the press plates and the steel weldments which provide the necessary structural support for the device. A simple on/off controller regulates the temperature of the center of the plate with a thermocouple transducer. Standard setpoints range between 150°C and 250°C. Since a tile (or film) can be pressed within 5-35 minutes depending on the thickness of the mold, the problem almost certainly falls within the transient time period. However, the plates are preheated to the setpoint temperature, and so a steady state model can assist in determining the ideal performance of the heating plates upon the initiation of the press cycle.
Plate Optimization

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