Investigation of the temperature homogeneity of die melt flows in polymer extrusion

Chamil Abeykoon, Peter J. Martin, Adrian L. Kelly, Kang Li, Elaine C. Brown, Phil D. Coates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Polymer extrusion is fundamental to the processing of polymeric materials and melt flow temperature homogeneity is a major factor which influences product quality. Undesirable thermal conditions can cause problems such as melt degradation, dimensional instability, weaknesses in mechanical/optical/geometrical properties, and so forth. It has been revealed that melt temperature varies with time and with radial position across the die. However, the majority of polymer processes use only single-point techniques whose thermal measurements are limited to the single point at which they are fixed. Therefore, it is impossible for such techniques to determine thermal homogeneity across the melt flow. In this work, an extensive investigation was carried out into melt flow thermal behavior of the output of a single extruder with different polymers and screw geometries over a wide range of processing conditions. Melt temperature profiles of the process output were observed using a thermocouple mesh placed in the flow and results confirmed that the melt flow thermal behavior is different at different radial positions. The uniformity of temperature across the melt flow deteriorated considerably with increase in screw rotational speed while it was also shown to be dependent on process settings, screw geometry, and material properties. Moreover, it appears that the effects of the material, machine, and process settings on the quantity and quality of the process output are heavily coupled with each other and this may cause the process to be difficult to predict and variable in nature
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2430-2440
Number of pages11
JournalPolymer Engineering & Science
Issue number10
Early online date25 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


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