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Optimisation on Thermoforming of Biodegradable Poly (Lactic Acid) (PLA) by Numerical Modelling

Poly (lactic acid) (PLA) has a broad perspective for manufacturing green thermoplastic products by thermoforming for its biodegradable properties. The mechanical behaviour of PLA has been demonstrated by its strong dependence on temperature and strain rate at biaxial deformation. A nonlinear viscoelastic model by the previous study was employed in a thermoforming process used for food packaging. An optimisation approach was developed by achieving the optimal temperature profile of specimens by defining multiple heating zones based on numerical modelling with finite element analysis (FEA). The forming process of a PLA product was illustrated by modelling results on shape evolution and biaxial strain history. The optimal temperature profile was suggested in scalloped zones to achieve more even thickness distribution. The sensitivity of the optimal results was addressed by checking the robustness under perturbation.

Publication date: 22/02/2021

Author: Huidong Wei

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym13040654

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.