Optimisation of machine components in thermal fusion bonding process of porous fibrous media: Material optimisation for improved product capacity and energy efficiency

A comprehensive parametric study to aid in the material optimisation of the thermal fusion bonding machine components for improved product capacity and energy efficiency is introduced. The effect of conveyer belt and drum cover material type on the thermal bonding performance has been systematically investigated. A previously validated 2D computational fluid dynamics model based on the theory of porous media has been used for the study. The PEEK material is determined to be showing the greatest optimisation potential for higher production rates. The optimum material match for the highest production rates has been determined, considering the effect of material type on the thermal bonding time. Improved product quality associated with a uniform temperature distribution has been achieved by using PEEK material. The conveyer belt component has been determined as the highest energy-absorbing component and could be optimised.