Poslinski A.J., Orlicki D., Tsamopoulos J.A.
Inflation of an annular meniscus within a mold cavity is an important fluid mechanical problem in blow molding and glass blowing operations. Deformation of the meniscus surfaces directly affects the thickness distribution of the finished product. This paper analyzes axisymmetric inflation for large values of the externally applied gas pressure that result in full attachment of the meniscus to a confining mold surface. Numerical calculations combine Galerkin/finite-element discretization of the governing equations with an implicit time integration algorithm that determines simultaneously the flow field and the surface location at every time step. Results indicate that the instantaneous shape and the final thickness distribution upon mold contact is influenced by the modified Reynolds number and the initial configuration of the meniscus prior to inflation. Transient calculations illustrate how the present model may be used to design an inflated part avoiding costly “trial-and-error” procedures, and computer simulations show qualitative agreement with available experiments. © 1990.