Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 1985

Degree Name

Doctor of Engineering Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Richard C. Progelhof

Second Advisor

John Vincent Droughton

Third Advisor

Benedict C. Sun

Fourth Advisor

Hans E. Pawel

Fifth Advisor

Joseph Ellis Kopf


This dissertation presents the results of an experimental and theoretical investigation of the heating and densification portion of the rotational molding process in a uniaxial, cylindrical mold.

A thorough literature survey is included which reviewed past analysis of the rotational molding process and other areas that assisted in understanding of the process.

The results presented in this dissertation included an analysis of the densification process by use of Scanning Electronic Microscope (SEM) photography producing intermediate correlations between the physical properties of the densifying material and neck radius of adjacent coalescing spheres. In addition, a hybrid experimental procedure coupled with a small computer simulation was devised to determine the actual initial thermal conductivity and diffusivity of the powdered polymeric material.

Finally, a computer program was written to simulate the heating and densification process during the rotational molding process. Results showed good agreement with actual experimental findings.