Contour Fitting of Fused Filaments Cross-Section Images by Lemniscates of Booth: Application to Viscous Sintering Kinetics Modeling

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A method for image analysis was implemented to determine the edge pixels of two biopolymer-based thermoplastic filaments during their hot melt isothermal sintering at 120 °C. Successive inverted ellipses are adjusted to the contour of the sintered filaments and lead to the identification of the parameters of the corresponding lemniscates of Booth. The different steps of the morphological image analysis are detailed, from 8-bit coded acquired images (1 frame/s), to the final fitting of the optimized mathematical functions describing the evolution of the filaments envelope. The complete sequence is composed of an initial pure viscous sintering step during the first minute, followed by viscoelastic swelling combined with melt spreading for a longer time, and then the stabilization of the sintered filaments shape for over 2 min at high temperatures. Using a master curve obtained from Hopper’s abacus, the characteristic viscous sintering time is assessed at tvs = 78 s, confirming the one previously found based on the measurement of the bonding neck length alone. Then, the full description of the evolution of the thermoplastic filaments envelope is assessable by image analysis during sintering trials as a result of its digital modeling as successive lemniscates of Booth, reflecting geometry changes in the molten state.

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