An apparatus to precisely measure local orthotropic shrinkage in polymer plates has been designed. The principle of local shrinkage determination is based on the comparison of the distance between two small engravings on the plate mould and the distance between the reproduced engravings on the polymer plate. Under a microscope, the distances are measured in two directions on micrometric translation stages. The performance of the entire device, which includes on-line experimental data acquisition, is discussed; the precision of shrinkage measurement remains below 4%. Shrinkage prediction models, which are based on statistical analysis and built with the first experimental results, have proved reliable and have been integrated as an experimental database in a general deformation prediction process of polymer parts. © 1993.
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