Enhanced Door Seal for Sinterstation™ 2000 series

Photo of Samantha Caldwell, Abdullah Ghuman, Brianna Schultz Students: Samantha Caldwell, Abdullah Ghuman, Brianna Schultz

Sponsor: Harvest Technologies

Date: Fall 2011

Requirements:
The functional requirements of the Sinterstation™ are that the oven chamber should maintain a uniform thermal environment ranging from 150°C to 180°C. Also the door must effectively seal the chamber to prevent any significant heat loss and maintain an oxygen level in the chamber at less than 2%. The main constraints are that the seal should not exceed the dimensions of the door, which are 2.01m x 0.08m x 0.84m. In addition to the dimensions, the maximum force to easily maneuver the door should not exceed 530N.

Problem:
Improve the door design and seal material on a selective laser sintering worksatation to increase the life of the seal and reduce time of maintenance. Currently maintenance requires approximately 24 hours which results in loss of revenue and incurs a high labor cost.

Solution:
The solution created by the team comprises a dual seal system. The first seal is an insulation seal that will protect the second seal from excessive exposure to elevated temperatures. The second seal is a silicone seal because it is inexpensive and is capable of efficiently sealing the chamber so there are no nylon leaks from the Sinterstation™. The team produced seal prototypes and analytical results of a heat transfer analysis and a life cycle analysis of the new design. Additionally, the sponsor received a completed SolidWorks model of the new door design in conjunction with a thorough cost analysis of implementing the new system.

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