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mould heating; radiant heater; objective function; minimisation
This article focuses on the problem of calculating the intensity of heat radiation and its optimization across the surface of an aluminium or nickel mould. The inner mould surface is sprinkled with a special PVC powder and the outer mould surface is warmed by infrared heaters located above the mould. In this way artificial leathers are produced in the car industry (e.g., the artificial leather on a car dashboard). The article includes a description of how a mathematical model allows us to calculate the heat radiation intensity across the mould surface for every fixed location of the heaters. In calculating the intensity of the heat radiation, we use experimentally measured values of the heat radiation intensity by a sensor at the selected points in the vicinity of the heater. It is necessary to optimize the location of the heaters to provide approximately the same heat radiation intensity across the whole mould surface during the warming of the mould (to obtain a uniform material structure and colour tone of the artificial leather). The problem of optimization is more complicated (used moulds are often very rugged, during the process of optimization we avoid possible collisions of two heaters as well as of a heater and the mould surface). A genetic algorithm and the technique of hill climbing are used during the process of optimization. The calculations were performed by a Matlab code written by the authors. The article contains a practical example.
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