The SPE Library contains thousands of papers, presentations, journal briefs and recorded webinars from the best minds in the Plastics Industry. Spanning almost two decades, this collection of published research and development work in polymer science and plastics technology is a wealth of knowledge and information for anyone involved in plastics.
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Fundamentals of Melt Fracture Elimination Using Fluoropolymer Process Aids
Fluoropolymer process aids are widely used in polyolefin blown films to eliminate melt fracture. These process aids function by depositing a thin fluoropolymer layer on internal die surfaces, and promoting slip at the fluoropolymer – polyethylene interface. The present work describes how the morphology of fluoropolymer – polyethylene blends can be controlled to increase fluoropolymer deposition rate by using a new, rheology-modified fluoropolymer in combination with an interfacial agent.
A Survey of Manifold Designs for Flat Die Extrusion
Feedblock Coextrusion is considered to have been commercialized with the Dow Chemical patents issued in 1971. As Cloeren and Nissel introduced their own Coextrusion technology, a common thread throughout all technologies was design of Coextrusion dies. For decades extrusion die manifold designs remained unchanged. The ‘90s ushered in new commercial manifold designs aimed at solving age old problems with flow uniformity, die deflection, and coextrusion performance. This paper will examine the progression of die manifold designs, their impact on extruded products, and their implications on future coextruded structures.
Blown Film Characterisation
Effects of process changes on polyethylene blown films were studied using profile analysis techniques. The relationship between process parameters, barrel temperature, haul off rate and die gap, and film properties, thickness, blow up ratio (BUR), freeze line height, consistency of bubble profile were studied. An optical analysis system was developed which allowed film characteristics to be monitored during processing.
The Effect of Orientation on the Mechanical Performance and Thermal Properties of Extrusion Cast Metallocene Polyethylenes
Cast films were prepared using a Killion single screw extruder, from a range of metallocene PEs of varied comonomer types (hexene, octene), using different haul off speeds (8-4m/min) and die gaps (700-250?m). It was found that samples with greater orientation in one direction had increased tensile strength and shrinkage in that direction. DSC analysis showed crystallinity to decrease with decreasing haul off speed.
An Investigation into the Cooling of Blown Film
The focus of this investigation was develop a relatively simple model which could be used in blown film simulation. We desired to have the model represent the major contributors to the heat transfer for blown film. Our experimental results suggested that the heat transfer coefficient went through a maximum as the the bubble expanded. We have proposed a physical model which is consistent with our experimental observations. The model is based on a 3D representation of the boundary layer of ain around the bubble.
Process Stability Enhancement by Encapsulation Extrusion Method
A film casting simulation has been used to demonstrate why the encapsulation extrusion process is so effective industrially in enhancing the stability of the extrusion. In the present study, it is intended to explain theoretically why and how the coextrusion of LDPE in encapsulation dies improves the HDPE process. The undesirable neck-in and draw resonance phenomena frequently occurring in the extrusion of HDPE are shown due to its low-melt-strength property, and consequently can be alleviated using high-melt-strength materials in the encapsulating dies.
Performance Analysis of a Variable Barrier Energy Transfer Screw
High plastication rates and high quality extrudates are often difficult to produce using single-screw extruders, especially at low discharge temperatures. A new screw called a variable barrier energy transfer (VBET) screw was recently developed to plasticate at high rates, low discharge temperatures, and with high melt qualities. The fundamental operation of the screw along with performance aspects will be presented. A comparison is made between the melting, pumping, and mixing characteristics of an Energy Transfer (ET) screw and VBET screw.
Novel Barrel Heating with Natural Gas
Normally for direct heating of barrels in plastic processing machines electrical resistance heaters are used. A newly developed heating/cooling system uses natural gas. This paper explains the design and realization of a unit where the exhaust air from a radial burner heats the barrel by convection and radiation. Integrated cooling possibility by a tangential incoming airflow also meets practical requirements. Transforming basic energy is not necessary, which leads to CO2 reduction and lower energy costs for the processors.
On-Line Visualization of PS/PP Melting Mechanisms in a Twin-Screw Extruder
The melting and deformation mechanisms of polystyrene (PS) and polypropylene (PP) blends were investigated through on-line visualization of the co-rotating twin-screw extrusion process. A sliding barrel technique was used to realize the on-line visualization with one glass window in the barrel. The axial temperature and pressure profiles along the screw channel were measured using the same sliding technique. Different melting mechanisms were found for the PP/PS (80:20) blend and PS/PP (80:20) blend.
Engineering Analysis of Devolatilization of Additives in Intermeshing Co-Rotating Twin Screw Extruders
An experimental study of various operation conditions and screw configurations was made to understand and solve devolatilization problems in intermeshing co-rotating twin screw extruders. This includes studying additives (Nonane, Hexanol, p-Xylene) of polyethylene. We describe devolatilization through a model of interfacial area and mass transfer coefficients in an intermeshing co-rotating twin screw extruder.
Flow Behavior of Newtonian Fluid through Conveying Elements and Kneading Blocks
The flow behavior of a Newtonian fluid through conveying elements and kneading blocks in a co-rotating twin screw extruder was examined by drag and pressure flow experiments. These results are compared with existing computer models. Also the flow behavior of the different kneading blocks and the conveying elements are compared with each other. The results can guide when to decide which mixing elements to use and can help with future computer modeling.
Modeling of Polymer Drop Deformation and Breakup during Melting under Shear Flow Using Volume-Of-Fluid Method
Polyethylene (PE) or polycarbonate (PC) drop breakup process in PE melt under shear flow was investigated using volume-of-fluid method. Real properties of polymers, and temperature and shear rate dependent viscosity model were incorporated in the modeling. An erosion mechanism was found for both PE and PC drops. Local flow information, such as shear rate, viscosity and shear stress, was obtained from the simulation results. Highest shear stress was observed at the interface, which could explain the erosion breakup mechanism.
New Intermeshing Pin Mixer for Extrusion
It is well known that reorientation of interfaces is key to efficient distributive mixing. However, how to achieve reorientation is not well known. This paper describes how interfaces can be reoriented in screw extruders and which method leads to the most effective reorientation. A new mixing device was developed to achieve highly efficient reorientation by utilizing an intermeshing mixing action between the screw and a floating sleeve. Test results indicate that the intermeshing pin mixer can produce excellent mixing quality over a short axial length, as short as one diameter.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) Paste Preforming: The Effects of Viscosity and Surface Tension of Lubricants
Conventional processing methods are not applicable to PTFE due to its high melting point (342°C). Therefore, PTFE is processed by means of paste extrusion (extrusion of a mixture of PTFE powder with a lubricant). The physical properties of this new phase (lubricant) influence both the preforming stage as well as the rheology of the paste. In this paper, the effects of the physical properties of lubricant (viscosity and surface tension) on the preforming and extrusion pressure of PTFE paste are examined.
Extrusion Characteristics of HDPE-Wood Composites
Extrusion characteristics, such as output, pressure profiles and melting profiles, were investigated in a Brampton Engineering single screw extruder with two screw geometries. It was found that for the wood-HDPE1 composite, the channels were not fully filled until the melting process was completed in both screw geometries. The actual experimental results were compared to those simulated using a commercially available software program. It was found that the current extrusion theories do not predict the pressure profiles generated even for the virgin HDPE1 material for one of the screw geometries.
Temperature Gradients in the Channels of a Single-Screw Extruder
A novel fluorescence analytical technique was used to measure the polymer temperature inside an operating extruder. The method allowed the temperature measurement of the polymer without interference from the surrounding metal parts. This paper will show some temperature data for molten polycarbonate in a single-screw extruder under processing conditions.
Design of a Soft Sensor for Polymer Extrusion
The application of closed-loop viscosity control to polymer extrusion is desirable to achieve a consistent quality product. However, incorporation of such techniques is limited by the difficulties in obtaining an accurate, real-time indication of the melt viscosity. This paper outlines the design of an in-line viscosity sensor based on a capillary die and the use of software algorithms generated from off-line data. The use of data acquisition software to analyse and correct for errors is explored.
Kinematics of Solids Conveying
Solids conveying is typically calculated using friction factors. The friction factors depend on material and conditions, are difficult to measure, and the calculation is extremely sensitive to their value. Kinematic analysis of solids conveying is shown to yield the “solids lead angle” for the resin solids plug that does not require friction factors. Solids lead angle for different polymers are shown, and the data are used to make predictions of solids conveying performance without evaluation of friction factors.
Troubleshooting Mixing Problems in Single-Screw Extruders
Mixing processes are very important for plasticating, single-screw extrusion operations. Numerous mixing processes can occur including pre-blending prior to feeding to the hopper, during melting, trapping and melting of solid fragments, mixing of fully molten resins, and mixing downstream from the extruder. This paper focuses on the mixing processes that occur during melting and the handling of solid fragments. Troubleshooting guidelines are presented to mitigate these mixing problems.
Troubleshooting Underwater Pelletization Processes
The fundamental parameters governing the underwater pelletizing process are proposed and confirmed based upon actual observations during process and mechanical troubleshooting of high capacity pelletizing systems.
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