Automatic extruder for processing recycled polymers with ultrasound and temperature control system

Bao Kha Nguyen, Gerard McNally, Alan Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part E: Journal of Process Mechanical Engineering
Early online date23 Sep 2014
Publication statusEarly online date - 23 Sep 2014


  • Recycled polymers, extrusion, control systems, ultrasonic, melt viscosity


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