Alex Hornsby

Product Design Engineering Graduate


Final Year Dissertation

My dissertation proposed a concept design for a laboratory based test rig to evenly and consistently heat the outer surface of polymer tubing ranging from nominally 30-100mm diameter resulting in the tube shrinking to the size required, simulating a typical ‘in the field’ customer situation (for example when joining electrical power cables).
The design is capable of testing various forms of polymer compounds within a nominated product range and is a response to the current process whereby samples are held in a vice and heated manually.
Prior to design a comprehensive literature review researched into:  current site procedures and information supplied to customers; existing heat sources that may be relevant to a concept test rig; an analysis of the material breakdown of the polymer tubing and a summary of the most relevant innovative products of interest.
A number of initial concepts were produced and once final design elements were agreed further work included motor power and torque and materials calculations. CAD drawings were produced for the different elements of the proposed prototype which was produced as part of this project.
The final proposal comprised a test rig offering an automated method of applying heat to polymer tube samples eliminating variables as far as possible. Should the prototype prove of interest further development ideas and attachment proposals are available  for consideration.


Sketches this link will show some of the concepts produced in the final year dissertation

The image below shows the final prototype at my exhibition being displayed to colleagues, University staff and invited industrialists

The rendered image (right) is an alternative method designed to allow the movement of the bearings that support the torch to move back and forth.