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Title: Micro-injection moulding of three-dimensional integrated microfluidic devices
Author: Attia, Usama M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2686 5790
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis investigates the use of micro-injection moulding (μIM), as a high-volume process, for producing three-dimensional, integrated microfluidic devices. It started with literature reviews that covered three topics: μIM of thermoplastic microfluidics, designing for three-dimensional (3-D) microfluidics and functional integration in μIM. Research gaps were identified: Designing 3-D microfluidics within the limitations of μIM, process optimisation and the integration of functional elements. A process chain was presented to fabricate a three-dimensional microfluidic device for medical application by μIM. The thesis also investigated the effect of processing conditions on the quality of the replicated component. The design-of-experiments (DOE) approach is used to highlight the significant processing conditions that affect the part mass taking into consideration the change in part geometry. The approach was also used to evaluate the variability within the process and its effect on the replicability of the process. Part flatness was also evaluated with respect to post-filling process parameters. The thesis investigated the possibility of integrating functional elements within μIM to produce microfluidic devices with hybrid structures. The literature reviews highlighted the importance of quality control in high-volume micromoulding and in-line functional integration in microfluidics. A taxonomy of process integration was also developed based on transformation functions. The experimental results showed that μIM can be used to fabricate microfluidic devices that have true three-dimensional structures by subsequent lamination. The DOE results showed a significant effect of individual process variables on the filling quality of the produced components and their flatness. The geometry of the replicated component was shown to have effect on influential parameters. Other variables, on the other hand, were shown to have a possible effect on process variability. Optimization statistical tools were used to improve multiple quality criteria. Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) were processed with μIM to produce hybrid structures with functional elements.
Supervisor: Alcock, Jeffrey R. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Micro-injection moulding ; Three-dimensional ; Statistical quality control ; Design-of-experiments ; Functional integration