Hot-blade cutting of EPS foam for double-curved surfaces—numerical simulation and experiments

Kiril P. Petkov, Jesper Henri Hattel

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In the present paper, experimental and numerical studies of a newly developed process of Hot-Blade Cutting used for free forming of double-curved surfaces and cost effective rapid prototyping of expanded polystyrene foam is carried out. The experimental part of the study falls in two parts. The first presents a number of large-scale cutting samples combining linear cuts with and without inclination measured from the horizontal direction of cutting, while in the second, the thermal phenomena in the process are studied based on infrared measurements of the hot-blade tool made by observation during the cutting process. A novel measurement method for determination of kerfwidth (i.e., the gap space after material removal) applying a commercially available large-scale optical 3D scanning technique was developed and used. A one-dimensional thermo-electro-mechanical numerical model for Hot-Blade Cutting similar to the one previously proposed by Petkov and Hattel (Int J Machine Tools Manuf 107:50–59 2016) for Hot-Wire Cutting of Polystyrene foam is used to simulate the process and describe the effects taking place within the hot-blade during different cutting procedures. The obtained results are graphically presented and discussed in relation to the aim for higher geometrical accuracy of the Hot-Blade Cutting process.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Issue number9-12
Pages (from-to)4253-4264
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Hot-blade cutting
  • Kerfwidth
  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS)
  • Thermo-electro-mechanical modelling

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