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Hot-embossing of polymeric micro-tubes

Zhao, Jie and Qin, Yi and Razali, Akhtar and Yip, Arthur Lan Kuan and Fei, Zhicong (2012) Hot-embossing of polymeric micro-tubes. In: 7th International Conference on MicroManufacturing, 2012-03-11 - 2012-03-14.

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Abstract

Needs of polymeric micro-tubular-components has led to the development of a hot-embossing process and corresponding tools and the machine for an automated process of shaping polymeric micro-tubes into functionalised engineering components for medical device applications. Based on the fundamental study of the hot-embossing and compression moulding processes, a process configuration of hot-embossing of micro-tubes was proposed. The process concept evolution was supported with FE simulations. These were followed by a series of forming experiment, initially with simple shaping-tools. The formed samples were then assessed in detail. Based on the experience gained from the process simulations and the experiment, a desktop, miniature machine with an integrated tool-system and an automated handling system has been developed. The machine and the tool were validated with the shaping of various micro-tubes (different types of materials and dimensions). The results obtained indicated that a good performance from the process, the tool and the machine has been achieved. This paper reports the process and equipment development described above.