Dynamic modelling of die melt temperature profile in polymer extrusion: Effects of process settings, screw geometry and material

Chamil Abeykoon, Peter J. Martin, Kang Li, Adrian L. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Extrusion is one of the major methods for processing polymeric materials and the thermal homogeneity of the process output is a major concern for manufacture of high quality extruded products. Therefore, accurate process thermal monitoring and control are important for product quality control. However, most industrial extruders use single point thermocouples for the temperature monitoring/control although their measurements are highly affected by the barrel metal wall temperature. Currently, no industrially established thermal profile measurement technique is available. Furthermore, it has been shown that the melt temperature changes considerably with the die radial position and hence point/bulk measurements are not sufficient for monitoring and control of the temperature across the melt flow. The majority of process thermal control methods are based on linear models which are not capable of dealing with process nonlinearities. In this work, the die melt temperature profile of a single screw extruder was monitored by a thermocouple mesh technique. The data obtained was used to develop a novel approach of modelling the extruder die melt temperature profile under dynamic conditions (i.e. for predicting the die melt temperature profile in real-time). These newly proposed models were in good agreement with the measured unseen data. They were then used to explore the effects of process settings, material and screw geometry on the die melt temperature profile. The results showed that the process thermal homogeneity was affected in a complex manner by changing the process settings, screw geometry and material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-1236
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Mathematical Modelling
Issue number4
Early online date20 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2014


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