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  • Writer's pictureNan Zhang

Congratulations to Lorcan O’Toole

The UCD Engineering Graduates Association held the 2018 EGA Gold Medal & Award Ceremony on September 3rd 2018 in the UCD Engineering & Materials Science Centre. At this event, undergraduate and postgraduate awards were also celebrated, which Lorcan O’Toole, under the supervision and keen guidance of Dr. Nan Zhang, received the IMechE Project Award for his undergraduate research project as part of his Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering in UCD.

The Project Award is awarded annually to an undergraduate who is in their final year and is awarded on the recommendation of their university Head of Department, to a student who completes an outstanding research project in mechanical engineering. Lorcan’s project on “The characterisation of the heat transfer coefficient between polymer melt and mould cavity during micro injection moulding experiments” is a keen research area for micro and nano scale manufacturing and replication as micro injection moulding is an extremely versatile and efficient processing method of polymeric components with micro features.

The Heat Transfer Coefficient, HTC, describes the heat transfer ability at the polymer/mould wall interface and significantly influences the temperature gradient distribution between the polymer melt and metallic mould wall during the micro injection moulding process. Lorcan’s research focuses on characterizing the HTC individually for the Packing and Cooling stages in micro injection moulding and how injection moulding process parameter conditions affect the HTC. The importance of this area of research lie on updating the heat transfer model characterizing the HTC, such that commercially available moulding software will be able to simulate the cooling of micro injection moulding parts to a much more accurate degree, to better predict potential part defects and provide optimized part design. Clearly, this area of research may offer huge benefits to the micro moulding industry, including processing biomedical devices such as micro injection moulded micro feature stents, micro fluidic devices and even micro optical devices.

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