Multiphysics Modelling of Powder Coating of U-Profiles: Towards Simulation-based Optimization of Key-Performance Attributes by Variation of Powder-Parameters
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonThe International Journal of Multiphysics. 2023, 17 (2), 169-190. https://doi.org/10.21152/1750-9518.104.22.168
Multiphysics simulation software has been developed to predict the key performance attributes of industrial powder coating applications based on applied process-parameter settings. The software is a Eulerian-Lagrangian finite-volume Multiphysics solver based on OpenFOAM, capable of modelling mass transfer effects between powder-coating pistols and electrically grounded metallic substrates. It considers various factors such as fluid dynamics of process airflow, coating-particle dynamics, particle-substrate interactions, and particle charging mechanisms within the corona. The software is fully compatible with Massive Simultaneous Cloud Computing technology, allowing hundreds of simulated coating scenarios to be computed simultaneously. Experimental validation efforts have been conducted, indicating a high degree of practical relevance of the technology. The current simulation study aims to demonstrate the potential of the simulation software for adjusting coating lines and optimizing powder coating of U-profiles. Specifically, the study focuses on optimizing the key-performance-attributes of the powder coating application with respect to varying material parameters of the applied powder, namely mean particle diameter, standard deviation of Gaussian particle size distribution, and powder particle density. The software predicts and visualizes coating patterns, coating efficiencies, and the batch-based standard deviation of coating thickness on a U-shaped metallic substrate, resulting in concrete and optimized powder settings. The presented results and the applied software are highly relevant for powder material suppliers.