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Title: Study of thermal-mechanical properties of polyurethane foam and the three-dimensional shape of molded bra cups
Authors: Yick, KL 
Wu, L
Yip, J 
Ng, SP
Yu, W 
Keywords: 3D shape
Bra cup molding
Polyurethane foam
Thermo-mechanical analysis
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Elsevier Science Sa
Source: Journal of materials processing technology, 2010, v. 210, no. 1, p. 116-121 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of Materials Processing Technology 
Abstract: Molded bras nowadays are dominating the overall bra market place, while the bra cups are mostly made of polyurethane foam sheets. The smooth and seamless inner surface of a molded bra cup gives three-dimensional nice fit to the wearer and provides unlimited designs for different softness and thickness. However, it has been a difficult question to determine the optimum molding conditions for various types of foam and there was no reliable method to measure the cup shape conformity. In this study, the properties of five polyurethane foams were investigated by thermal-mechanical analysis (TMA) and their 3D shapes formed in various molding conditions were measured by a Steinbichler Comet scanner and a new parameterization-based remesh algorithm method. The results revealed that the optimal temperature and dwell time for molding bra cups were greatly affected by the thermal-mechanical properties of polyurethane foams. The softening temperature and deformation properties of the foams tested by TMA can facilitate the determination of optimal molding temperature for the desirable cup shape and thickness. This study provides an effective and quantitative approach to eliminate the time-consuming "trial-and-error" in the molding tests traditionally being used in the industry.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2009.08.004
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