A Lecture by Prof. Lih-Sheng Turng on "From Dream to Reality: Success of CAE for Injection Molding and An Ongoing Journey for Lightweight, Microcellular Plastics"
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A Lecture by Prof. Lih-Sheng Turng on "From Dream to Reality: Success of CAE for Injection Molding and An Ongoing Journey for Lightweight, Microcellular Plastics"
DateandTime: 2014-11-24 11:38:16

Speaker: Professor Lih-Sheng (Tom) Turng, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Date: November 25, 2014

Time: 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Location: Room 1022, F10, Main Building, Qianfoshan Campus

Sponsor: School of Materials Science & Engineering



Professor Lih-Sheng (Tom) Turng received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the "National Taiwan University", and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. He worked in industry developing advanced simulation software for 10 years before joining the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2000. His research encompasses novel processes, new materials, and advanced analysis on materials processing. He has been working in the area of injection molding and microcellular injection molding, and has extended his research into nanocomposites, bio-based polymers, nanocellulose nanocomposites, tissue engineering scaffolds, and digital design and manufacturing. He has received numerous grants and awards, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Award, NSF Academic Program Awards, an Industrial Consortium, Wisconsin Innovation & Economic Development Research Program awards, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) Accelerator Program awards, and Department of Defense (DOD) Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI) grant.


Professor Turng is the Co-Director of the Polymer Engineering Center at UW-Madison, a Fellow member of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the recipient of the 2011 Engineer of the Year award from the SPE Injection Molding Division, and an Honored Service Member of the SPE. Professor Turng has published nearly 300 peer-reviewed technical papers since joining UW-Madison in 2000 and has authored or edited many books, book chapters, patents, conference proceedings, and special issue journals. He has served as the Chair of the Canadian NSERC Network for Innovative Plastic Materials and Manufacturing Processes (NIPMMP) as well as the editorial boards of a variety of international journals and the Board of Directors of the Injection Molding Division of SPE. Professor Turng has recently been selected to lead an interdisciplinary team at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) to develop innovative tissue engineering scaffolds that restore, maintain, or improve the function of diseased or damaged human tissues. He is also the University of Wisconsin–Madison Principal Investigator for the DOD DMDI project, one of the President Obama’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) institutes.


Abstract: This seminar is dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the Cornell Injection Molding Program (CIMP), which was founded in 1974 by Professor K. K. Wang and his colleagues at Cornell University. Inspired by industrial needs, CIMP was created to establish a scientific base for injection molding and to have a real impact on industrial practices. Due to the complex nature and interactions of the materials, process, and product geometry, its mission was considered impossible by many at the time. By integrating and extending existing knowledge in the fields of non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, heat transfer, rheology, and numerical analysis, along with the invention of new instruments for material characterization, the dream eventually became a reality after decades of concentrated group effort and commercialization activities. Today, the use of computer-aided engineering (CAE) simulation has become an integral part of product and tool design, helping engineers produce better products at a lower cost and in a shorter amount of time. This is particularly true as applied to the consumer electronics and automotive industries where product design changes more frequently. In the first half of this seminar, I will present several automotive case studies and development work that I was involved in during my tenure at Cornell University and in the CAE industry.


Injection molding with microcellular plastics is capable of producing parts with excellent dimensional stability while using less material and energy, lower injection pressure, and a shorter cycle time. As a result, microcellular injection molding has found broad applications in automotive products, business equipment, and various industrial applications. In spite of these advantages, however, wider adoption of this promising process has been limited due to its inherent drawbacks such as surface defects and inferior mechanical properties compared to conventional solid injection molded parts. The second half of this seminar will present a couple of special approaches developed by our group for achieving (i) swirl-free foamed plastic parts that exhibit a surface quality comparable to conventional solid parts, and (ii) microcellular nanocomposites and blends that possess improved mechanical properties or ductility using the microcellular injection molding process. I will also present a novel microcellular injection molding process developed by our group that employs gas-laden and ready-to-foam pellets to realize mass production of foamed injection molded parts using standard injection molding machines and co-blowing agents. Finally, I will conclude my talk with a couple of other on-going “dream” projects on digital manufacturing and design and tissue engineering that will have great impact on the manufacturing industry and health care when they become realities in the future.


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