On-line shear and extensional rheometry of polymer melts in the extrusion process.
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KeywordsOn-line rheometerCapillary rheometryIn-line rheometerIn-process rheometeryExtrusionProcess monitoringShear flowsEntry pressurePolyethylenePolypropylene
Permissions© 1997 Kelly, A. L. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/uk).
InstitutionUniversity of Bradford
DepartmentInterdisciplinary Research Centre for Polymer Science and Technology, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.
A novel on-line capillary rheometer (OLR) was used to examine the shear and extensional characteristics of polyolefin melts during twin screw extrusion (TSE). Comparisons with off-line rheometry were made using a twin-bore capillary rheometer and a modular in-line slit die rheometer (ILR) provided in-line rheometry comparisons. Both capillary rheometers were controlled via PCs running dedicated software, and the extrusion line and ELR were fully instrumented allowing real-time process monitoring to be carried out by IBM compatible PCs via data acquisition hardware and software. The prototype OLR was developed by the re-design of several key features including an instrumented transfer section and capillary die block which facilitated the use of various die geometries. Shear and extensional on-line rheometry of three polyethylenes (linear and branched), and four molecular weight grades of polypropylene were examined, and a direct comparison with off-line capillary rheometry showed a good correlation. The effect of a high loading of filler on two of the polyethylenes was investigated. In-line shear stress and entry pressure measurements showed a reasonable correlation with on-line rheometry. A study of entry flows in the OLR using capillary dies approaching orifice showed non-linearities occurred at very low capillary length to diameter(L:D) ratios, and this was repeatable using off-line rheometry. Predicted zero length entry pressures (Po) were used to estimate apparent extensional viscosity using a number of standard models. Melt instability and capillary wall slip were also investigated using on-line rheometry. Melt pressure and temperature in the twin screw extruder and OLR were monitored at various process conditions to examine the ability of the OLR to condition melt during testing, and the effect of OLR testing on extrusion conditions. Pressure variation in the extruder, OLR and off-line rheometer were compared in order to quantify process noise. The effect of OLR testing on melt rheology and polymer molecular weight were examined using off-line rheometry and gel permeation chromatography(GPC).