The effects of the thermal properties of three flooring materials on the spread rate of polymer melt over the surface were studied using a model based on the Particle Finite Element Method (PFEM). The high thermal conductivity of steel keeps the steel floor at a nearly uniform temperature throughout, whereas the ceramic and oak floors are able to sustain a higher temperature beneath the point at which the hot melt is dripping onto the surface. In general, the spread rate is controlled by the viscosity at the outer edges of the melt pool. The spread rate over steel is therefore fastest, especially for a thin floor that rapidly increases in temperature. The low thermal inertia of oak results in rapid changes in surface temperature, which traps the heat close to the interface between the floor and the melt and maintains a high temperature and low viscosity in the center of the melt pool. The ceramic floor transports heat more readily and may develop a hot spot underneath. The material properties of ceramic lie between those of oak and steel, but although the spread rate over a steel floor is always faster than over ceramic, the spread rate over oak may not always be slower.
Modeling thermoplastic melt spread over different flooring materials