Mathematical Modeling of Induction Thermoforming Process for Radio Telescope Panels Manufacturing
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoRelease after 07/30/2021
AbstractObtaining a high-efficient, low-cost, and time-saving method for manufacturing radio telescope primary reflectors is one of the most considerable obstacles for further progress in this area. In addition to the above, the lack of literature in this subject presents another problem, as the currently available manufacturing methods are considered trade secrets by their owners. To that end, the novel process of induction thermoforming was developed in the Steward Observatory Solar laboratory at the University of Arizona. This method offers potential advantages over the existing means of shaping curved metallic sheets. The main objective of this work is to develop and implement a numerical study to verify the performance of the proposed method. Hence, a mathematical model of the induction thermoforming was constructed. Finite element analysis (FEA) was implemented with the aid of ANSYS software to solve and analyze the model for a prototype plate with dimensions 120×120×3 mm. The simulation technology was developed by integrating the electromagnetic and thermal analysis modules in ANSYS. Comparing the results with those given by the existing experimental data shows an agreement, with a relative percentage error of less than 12% in temperatures data. Several numerical simulations were performed for many cases to study the effect of coil current, frequency, coil to plate distance, and heating time in the system performance. The research in this field is still at the beginning and has not been deeply investigated yet. It needs more improvements to obtain better control in system parameters and improve the process efficiency.
Degree ProgramGraduate College