Molding is one of the most widely used processing technologies in manufacturing. Among typical molding parameters, the mold temperature is a critical one for the quality of the molding process. A solution to this issue can be the employment of induction heating which, through a high-frequency electromagnetic field, produces eddy currents and a consequent rapid heating of the material into the cavity of the mold. The necessity to maintain the mold walls at the operative temperature makes the induction heating to be one of the most efficient non-contact means of heating. In fact, induction heating is characterized by quickness, efficiency, and energy saving; however, the design and the sizing of an induction heating system is complex due to different parameters involved in the electromagnetic and thermal phenomena. In this context, the paper aims to define a methodology to support engineers in the design and sizing of an induction heating system for molds, taking as case study a mold for composite parts. A model-based approach is proposed to analyze and simulate the mold heating, considering three different levels of modelling: Analytical (0D), Finite-Difference Methods (2D) and Finite Element Methods (3D). The Analytical approach investigates the solution of the physical equations applied to the volume of the material involved. Instead, the Finite-Difference approach (2D) solves the heat transfer problem by discretizing the domain and by solving for temperature at discrete points. Finally, the Finite Element method (3D) solves partial differential equations on a 3D discretized domain.
Cicconi, P., Pallotta, E., Russo, A.C., Raffaeli, R., Prist, M., Monteriu, A., et al. (2019). A model-based approach to support the design of mold heating for composites. In Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering (pp. 391-401). Pleiades Publishing [10.1007/978-3-030-12346-8_38].