To shorten the cycle time in conventional hot embossing, an infrared laser (laser/IR)-assisted microembossing process was investigated in this study. Since the laser/IR heats the substrate rapidly and locally, the heating and cooling time can be substantially reduced. Two different modes of IR embossing were tested. In one case, the polymer substrate was the IR-transparent poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and a carbon black-filled epoxy mold was used. In the second case, the polymer substrate was an IR-absorbent PMMA, and an IR transparent epoxy mold was used. The experimental results showed that both a shorter cycle time and good replication accuracy could be achieved. A commercially available finite element (FEM) code, DEFORM™, was used for process simulation. The relationship between the penetration of radiation energy flux from the laser/IR heating source and temperature distribution inside the polymer substrate was considered in the simulation. The flow pattern observed in the experiments agreed well with the numerical simulation. However, the displacement curve showed a discrepancy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry