Authors: D.S. Fidalgo; J. Monteiro; L.C. Costa
Addresses: I3N and Physics Department, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal ' I3N and Physics Department, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal ' I3N and Physics Department, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Abstract: Microwave heating has been widely used in industry to synthesise dielectric materials, in which conventional procedures are slow, expensive and inefficient. This work presents an alternative curing method based on the microwave radiation. In this application, the energy is introduced directly into the volume of the dielectric and consequently the quality of the process is highly dependent on the uniformity of the electromagnetic field distribution along the material. That is, the non-uniformity of the heating is a potential problem with serious consequences. To understand this phenomenon, a perceptive of how electromagnetic field is absorbed by materials is essential. Then, we carried out the electromagnetic field optimisation in a microwave oven loaded with samples of uncured composite cork. The COMSOL Multiphysics® software was used for this purpose. The complex permittivity of the material, at microwave frequencies, was measured with the resonant cavity method, and used as a parameter for the simulation.
Keywords: electromagnetic field optimisation; dielectric heating; dielectric properties; complex permittivity; microwave processing; composite cork curing; COMSOL; simulation; cavities; dielectric materials; alternative curing; microwave radiation.
International Journal of Materials Engineering Innovation, 2014 Vol.5 No.4, pp.336 - 345
Received: 01 Oct 2013
Accepted: 04 Dec 2013
Published online: 26 Feb 2015 *