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Defining the Problem and Setting Metrics

Refers to the requirements and reasoning of the essential and ideal material properties for the component and application, while finding out constraints and objectives.

To determine these requirements for a  high-performance external face of a laptop lid, a systematic changing process of the product is employed.

The first Stape of the project entails defining the problem of the design done through the analysis of the target client needs, the metrics are then developed for each of the demands to put a number to them, followed by benchmarking tests to withstand competition. These targets form the basis of the ranking matrix that is employed to get access to the best type of material for the laptop lid.

Numerous structural requirements are necessary, mechanical extension properties that a laptop lid design must meet. Via research into laptop manufacturing forums and technology magazines, different objective customer wants which have to be met to ensure a good product is formed.

Table 1 Client Essentials and Consistent Metrics




Light weight



Impact absorption from drops



Minimise vibrations when bumped or shaked

Dulling /  Hardiness


Functional under high impact

Yield Strength


Corrosion resistant

Corrosion Resistance



Weakness Strength


Relaxed geometry angles

Lid dimensions


Flattened for portability

Lid Shape


Various requirements shown in the Table do relate to the structural ability contained by the lid, a simple structural analysis determines the required mechanical properties.

The produced strength decrees once a material starts to deform, the strength of the material indicates its ability to resist plastic deformation as well as resistance to wear and tear.

Corrosion resistance is critical due to the varying conditions of operation and the significance of aesthetics and presentation. Localized corrosion result in pitting and corrosion cracking on the lid. The material should show a strong ability in resisting corrosion.


Measureable Property (Metric)

Object Value

Resistance to wear; High

Hardness (HV)


Resistance to the formation of a crack propagation

Fracture Toughness (MPa.m1/2)


Effect energy absorption

Toughness (Ut)


Elongation at break (%)


Light weight

Density (kg/m3)


Stiffness in axial directions; Good

Youngs Modulus (GPa)


Shearing forces stiffness.

Shear Modulus (GPa)


No yield under stress

Yield strength (MPa)


Heat conductivity

Temperature Conductivity

Doesn’t corrode

Corrosion resistance


The characteristics in the table were employed to screen the material databases. Simple material guides were then obtained using the objective drawn.

  1. Purpose: Providing a centrally structural stability
  2. Objective: Mass minimization.
  3. Restrictions: Need to meet yield strength, stiffness, hardness and fatigue strength criteria
  4. Material grade; Metal, Polymer and Carbon-fiber composite

Existing laptop outer lid frames research grasp the materials commonly used for the product. I observed that three types of materials were used consistently based on the specific outer lid requirements.

Aluminum – Expensive devices have aluminum in at least some parts of the device; side, top or bottom. Aluminum offers a quality look and feel, durability and a heat conductor known as a mixed bag. It has a cool feel to the touch when its materials are not pressing hot air against the chassis but if the device lacks proper airflow the outside feels much hotter than plastic due to lack of insulation to direct the heat away from skin.

Aluminum also conducts heat from the laptop during functioning to enhance a better performance on the device. It readily forms alloys with other metals easily. Regular aluminum weighs 2.7grams per cubic centimeter that is heavier than magnesium 1.7grams per cc and ABS plastic 1.08 grams per cc at the same size. Aluminum grades chosen depend on intended use of the metal. I choose an aluminum grade Alloy 6061; as this fits the criteria’s necessary to produce a high quality laptop outer lid chassis.

Requirements for a High-Performance Laptop Lid

Polymers do refer to a class of useful chemicals which are made up of several repeating units. They can be three dimensional, two or one. The units repeated are often linked in a chain.

Polymer classes are made up of hydrocarbons, which are compounds of hydrogen and carbon. The carbon and hydrogen atoms are bonded to each other by strong forces forming long chaine hydrocarbons. The nature of carbon do allow other atoms to be easily attached to each carbon atom in the backbone. The polymer chains occuring in translucent and opaque objects may be in a crystalline arrangement. The crystalline arrangement has atoms, ions, or molecules arranged in distinct patterns with the higher the degree of crystallinity, the greater the benefits in strength, stiffness, chemical resistance, and stability.

Polymers can be very resistant to chemicals, are both thermal and electrical insulators, light in weight with significant degrees of strength, are processed in various ways and have a seemingly limitless range of characteristics and colors.

Properties; they are tough, inexpensive , hard and rigid with  a good chemical resistance, it has a good dimensional stability and a creep resistance. Nevertheless, the chemical has cheap and electroplatable with moderate mechanical strength and degrades when exposed to acetone. Strong resistance to corrosive chemicals, very easy to machine and a low melting temperature thus simple to use in injection molding manufacturing processes or 3D printing on an FDM machine. It is easily machined, sanded, glued and painted; a great material for prototyping (Acharya and Gosada, 2016).



Technical Name

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)

Chemical Formula

(C8H8)x· (C4H6)y·(C3H3N)z)

Glass Transition

106 °C (225 °F) *

Typical Injection Molding Temperature

203 - 239 °C (400 - 460 °F) *

Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT)

97 °C (209 °F) at 0.47 MPa (66 PSI) **


65 °C (140 °F) ***

Ductile Strength

56 MPa (6600 PSI) ***

Flexural Strength

84 MPa (10800 PSI) ***

Exact Gravity


Shrink Rate

0.6-0.8 % (.006-.008 in/in) ***

The exact material grade we chose is ABS, 30% glass fiber reinforced, injection molding grade.

Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymers is popular for high end laptop covers and chassis and expensive. The quality range is enormous with low end frames using less complex laminate orientations but suffering when flexibility and strength are concerned. The multipart laptop chassis portions were finished with , polyamide (PA), polyethylene terephthalate (PETand acrylonitrile butadiene styrene/ polycarbonate (ABS/PC) reinforced with carbon fibre.

The use of CFRT( continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic) technology that heats and cools the mould surface “practically instantly allows the production of thinner laptop covers  in approximately two minutes offering a 15-20% weight reduction compared with parts made using magnesium. The carbon composite parts  have good surface quality and impact resistance.

It provides for advanced composite performance approaching the detail and speed of injection moulding. The processes are also amenable to a high level of automation with the feel of unimpregnated carbon fiber like cloth and fiber adding a lot of strength to the plastic, weighs very little and conducts heat poorly, making it feel relatively cool to the touch, even when placed above hot components.

Screening the Material Databases

Zytel HTN Processing Guide

Zyte HTN high-performance polyamide resin allows for weight reduction, strength improvement, enhancing durability, increasing thermal performance and processing simplification (Dickinson,  2013). The high-performance resins have variety grades sustaining high strength and stiffness over a wide range of temperatures, chemicals and moisture exposure.

  • The Zytel® HTN group builds resins in the same manner however, they are physically transformed in different ways that include nylon coplymers and semicrystalline. The nylon copolymers comprise of 51, 52, 53, 54 and 92 series.
  • Zytel® HTN high performance resins with a feature of cutting down the total cost can be applied in place of metal parts that need to endure high temperature tolerances.
  1. Its resins offer; fatigue-resistance, versatility and easy of processing, astonishing force, outstanding creep opposition, extensive heat acceptance and rigidity with  little produce of moisture. The resins also have an outstanding preservation of possessions and a greater substance confrontation to factors like motor transmission.
  2. Manufacturing method

The method refers to the cutting of Alluminium using a machining known as the computer numerical control (CNC).  The machining slices the bodywork from the Aluminium block and then creates single portions of metal for the bodywork.

CNC unibody fabrication

The cuts of aluminum pieces by the use of the CNC go through different milling procedures.  The aluminium blocks are selected for their constructive force and the suppleness they provide in production (Frauenfelder, 2015).

CNC process precision slashes the keyboard openings from the outlook of the block hence providing recession to enable the opening display cover by acquring less pressure on the cover. (Aluminium Smelters Limited, 2017). A segment of the edge in front is grinded thin to allow light to pass through the metal by the use of the sleep indicator LED

The environmentally-friendly recycled bits

After the process is complete, waste materials can be recycled and reused after acquring the environmental standards.


3/ Cost:

I believe it depends on which material is used for manufacture since the production price for a carbon fiber exterior laptop cover is not cheap what with the precise technology at work and the fact that carbon fibre is a naturaly superior item to a cheap material such as ABS plastic (Gifford, 2013).

The finances

Project guidelines

Shape difficulty could be high, still intricate movable cores increase tooling cost.

Capital cost




substance consumption fraction



manufacturing rate (units)




apparatus existence (units)




Tooling charge






Financial consignment size (units)



Employment strength


Waste material includes but not limited to plastic strips, carbon fiber material discarded from previous builds and metal cuttings. Eliminating toxic chemical by containing no brominated flame retardants displays that are mercury free.

Minimising amount of waste products generated will serve to benefit you in the long run from money, time and resources that are saved by no longer having to plan, and worry about suitable ways to implement waste removal/recycling for your business

I believe metal, aluminium alloy to be precise, and the best choice material as it’s easy to source, cheap to buy, and easier to work with than say, it’s carbon fiber counterpart.

Quality control tests certify, the ductile strength and fracture toughness was unaffected over the temperature range of 71 0F (21 0 C) to 200°F (93 0 C). A 400 0F (205°C) where test temperature caused a 25 percent reduction in strength compared to the room.

Types of Materials Used for Laptop Lids

In casting aluminum alloys, the outer parts cool first creating a veneer of aluminum crystals. Continues cooling of the aluminum alloy towards the middle, the alloying elements precipitate out and hold the crystal regions together. Results in soft and stronger parts of the aluminum.  Homogenizing as a heat treatment procedure rearranges the precipitating elements evenly throughout the aluminum cast.

The procedure resets crystalline structure, making it easier to work parts again. Involves restructuring the aluminum alloys by making the granule structures to slip on each other alongside the slide planes. Re-crystallization cannot take place if the temperature is improper for the correct duration in the entire process.

Solution heat treatment includes quenching, the hasty calming down of alloy to conserve the essentials allocation. The whole arrangement ends up homogenized when elements that precipitate age hardening dissolve,while the rest become spheroids.

To cast, mould and press the block of aluminium into a flat plane slightly bevelled at the edges to serve as the laptop outer casing/lid, pressure is used.

Aluminium alloys at 704ºC or 760ºC were poured which then solidified at 1 or 10 atmospheres of applied pressure. Solidification under pressure increases maximum ductile strength of the casting by 3 to 9% and elongation to failure increased by 27 to 37%. Porosity reduces by 69-72%.

The combination of pressure solidification and low pouring temperature produce the greatest improvement in mechanical properties. Other methods vary in margin for error - ±10°F of the target temperature. Underneath the slender range force dissapears whilst beyond the target heat, discoloration, strain increase, melting elements, leading to alloy reprocessing.

Components that liquefy for the duration of the heat treatment precipitates hence holding grains in position increasing the material strength. Taking roughly five days to reach full strength it occurs at room temperature, with 90% of the hardening happening in the first 24 hours for naturally ageing alloys.

The normal alloy strength increases with time with the particle size of the increasing until the maximum strength is achieved. Over aging decreases the hardness.

This is determined by the necessary material weight and the material element value. The necessary material weight comprises of the substances that occupies the die controls. Thin walls need a superior scheme of channels to ensure that the whole element loads faster  and consistently hence the increase the amount of the necessary material

Are accumulated into a single "Overhead" category, and an hourly cost of some kind divided into work centers allocated to jobs based on hours devised.

Refers to employee wages engaged in manufacturing and overheads associated such as benefits.

The manufacturing cost calculation is the sequence time that is relative to amount of the die shinning apparatus tonnage of the clamping force being used.

Larger clamping force, means a more expensive machine with size of the part complying with the machine stipulations that include the platen size and the clamp stroke. The type of the machine impacts the manufacturing cost in a way that using very high liquefying heat requires costly cold compartment apparatus. Breaking down the cycle time into both resetting and cooling time lowers the manufacturing cost hence leading to the decrease of injection time.

  • Lessening the utmost wall width of a fraction to lessen the cycle time hence cutting down the fraction volume.
  • Standardized wall width to assure consistent cooling and reduction imperfections.
  • Encompassing bends diminishes stress applications and cracks.
  • Internal radius is at least the width of the walls
  • Reduce external undercuts numbers.
  • Side-cores for external undercuts additional tooling cost
  • Relocating the parting line
  • Redesigning to remove an external undercut

The difference between hot and cold chamber machines is that  hot chamber machines tends to save more time than the cold chamber machines. On the other hand, Ladling time is reliant on the shot mass whereas the cooling time is narrowed for lesser wall width hence need little time to cool off.

The two primary tooling mechanisms include

  • The die set. The price of the die set is primarily managed by the bulk of the fraction's cover. If the fraction is large then it means that the die set will be more expensive.
  • The machining of the cavities. The facets of fraction's geometry affects the price of machining the cavities.


Acharya, A., & Gosada, S. (2016). Factory at your Desk Introduction to the World of 3D Printing.

Keevil, D. J. (2014). Aluminium. Hove, England, Wayland

Dickinson, A. (2013). The polymers

Frauenfelder, M. (2015). The Computer.

Gifford, C. (2013). Technology. New York, Scholastic

Habs, H. (2012). Aluminium. Environmental Health Criteria. Geneva, World Health Organization.

Hudson, J. (2016). Process: 50 product designs from concept to manufacture. London, Laurence King.

Hummon, M. (2014). Value of demand response: quantities from production cost modeling. New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited. (2017). Aluminium. [Invercargill, N.Z.], New Zealand Aluminium Smelters

National Association of Accountants. (2014). Accounting for labor costs and labor-related costs. New York, N.Y., National Association of Accountants

National Institute Of Standards and Technology (U.S.). (2016). Polymers. Gaithersburg, Md, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Technology Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Pearce, E. M. (2015). Polymers. Washington, D.C., National Academy Press.

Rand Corporation, Kontrovich, F., Hoffmayer, K., & Large, J. P. (2015). Production Rate And Production Cost.

Siebert, H. (2014). Labor productivities and labor costs in Euroland. Kiel, Kiel Institute of World Economics

Trevallion, D., & Strazzari, S. (2013). Design and technology. Glebe, N.S.W., Pascal Press

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