Amorphous thermoplastics, as a type of engineering plastic material, are used in various industrial sectors. In order to manufacture high-performance products, it is important to optimize their forming process to mitigate residual stresses. However, stress in a plate is difficult to measure, therefore, modeling provides a powerful way to investigate and understand the evolution of stress. In this study, the forming process of a polyetherimide (PEI) plate was modelled using finite element analysis, and then validated through a comparison with a warpage experiment. This study reveals that the whole forming process can be divided into three stages by the glass transition temperature Tg
of the PEI. The second stage, corresponding to the plate cooling from above Tg
to below Tg
, contributes a large portion of the residual stress in a short time. The final residual stress, the magnitude of which is affected by the cooling rate and plate thickness, shows a parabolic distribution through the thickness of the plate. These important conclusions are beneficial for improving the quality of an amorphous thermoplastic plate, while allowing highly efficient production.
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