Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Two main processes are performed in the manufacturing of fiberglass filters. This thesis looks at the first of these processes, which is known as the spinning process in the industry. At the subject plant, melted glass is drawn from a moving furnace through a plate with several #16 sized holes acting as tiny nozzles and spun onto a large-diameter drum spinning at a set speed. The glass strands after being drawn have an average diameter of 27-30 microns. While the glass is being spun on the drum, a special binder is applied to the glass strands that will later be used to bond the glass together and give the final product dimensional stability. The glass is spun until a certain weight is achieved. Then it is cut and removed in the form of an 18 ft. mat, and sent to the second stage of production. Currently, the system's controlled variables (temperatures, furnace speed, drum speed, etc.) are just combinations derived experimentally by the subject company to produce certain products.;The glass being drawn from the furnace occasionally breaks, causing problems in the process, along with down time. The furnace motor does not disengage when the sensor reads an error, so the furnace continues to traverse the drum as if nothing is wrong. This means there is a potential for missed steps such as a place where two fast passes of the furnace are supposed to occur. It can also lead to portions of the mat being thicker in some places than in others. It is unknown whether these small inconsistencies have a large effect on the amount of waste generated in the expansion process or in the finished product itself.;This thesis uses theoretical formulas to create a working model of the process. From here, different controllable variables will be changed and analyzed to determine their effect on the final product. This can help determine an effective way to improve production in the future.
Watts, Jeremy S., "Modeling the fiberglass spinning process" (2007). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 1817.