Melt viscosity is one of the main factors affecting product quality in extrusion processes particularly with regard to recycled polymers. However, due to wide variability in the physical properties of recycled feedstock, it is difficult to maintain the melt viscosity during extrusion of polymer blends and obtain good quality product without generating scrap. This research investigates the application of ultrasound and temperature control in an automatic extruder controller, which has ability to maintain constant melt viscosity from variable recycled polymer feedstock during extrusion processing. An ultrasonic modulation system has been developed and fitted to the extruder prior to the die to convey ultrasonic energy from a high power ultrasonic generator to the polymer melt. Two separate control loops have been developed to run simultaneously in one controller: the first loop controls the ultrasonic energy or temperature to maintain constant die pressure, the second loop is used to control extruder screw speed to maintain constant throughput at the extruder die. Time response and energy consumption of the control methods in real-time experiments are also investigated and reported this paper.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part E: Journal of Process Mechanical Engineering|
|Early online date||23 Sep 2014|
|Publication status||Early online date - 23 Sep 2014|
- Recycled polymers, extrusion, control systems, ultrasonic, melt viscosity