Kinematics optimization of the polishing process of large-sized ceramic slabs
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Although large-sized ceramic slabs have become a common market product nowadays, their finishing processes still lack proper analyses and optimizations. The finishing is carried out on energy-consuming polishing machines by a train of rotating abrasive heads, which oscillates in a transverse direction on translating slabs. In this paper, a computational method able to investigate the effect of the kinematics on the texture distribution is proposed. Its algorithms allow to map the number of contacts and the scratching angles, relevant factors in the definition of the polished surface quality, but also, differently from the previous studies, the easy use of any preferred law of motion. After validation, the method is applied to a traditional polishing machine in order to assess the optimal process parameters as the forward motion of the conveyor belt and the transverse oscillation of the beam carrying the rotating head with the fickerts. An enhancement in terms of surface quality and machining process is evident. In particular, results suggest to adopt a specific frequency value for the transverse motion, nearly the half of the original one: in spite of a very similar texture, a significant reduction of energy is permitted. Finally, the optimization of motions and processes may lead to other general benefits, such as a reduction of the tool wear and mitigation of possible issues as mechanical vibrations or noise.
KeywordsFinishing Surfaces Ceramics Kinematics Optimization Energy savings
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Realized with the support of the European Union and the Region Emilia-Romagna (POR-FESR 2014-2020, Axis 1, Research and Innovation) inside the “IPERCER” project with the aim of developing energy efficient solutions for the production of large porcelain stoneware tiles.
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