Closely Intermeshing Counter-Rotating Twin Screw Extrusion of Polymers

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1 Closely Intermeshing Counter-Rotating Twin Screw Extrusion of Polymers Adrian Lewandowski Polymer Processing Institute, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Narbutta 85, Poland, The state-of-the-art is presented for composite modeling of counter-rotating twin screw extrusion of polymeric materials. The closely intermeshing screw configuration is considered. A new approach for composite modeling of counter-rotating twin screw extrusion is discussed. This approach is based on the three dimensional nonnewtonian FEM simulation of flow in an intermeshing modular counter-rotating twin screw extruder. Some experimental and theoretical results of the study are presented. The polymer melting behaviour and degree of filling of the screw channel during the process, as well as the pressure and temperature developments are discussed. Keywords and phrases: Polymeric Materials, Counter-Rotating Twin Screw Extrusion, Composite Modeling, Closely Intermeshing Screw Configuration, FEM Computation. Introduction Screw extruders are generally divided into single screw and twin screw extruders. The single screw extruders have been used in the industry for about 80 years. Twin screw extruders have become an important processing machines over the past 30 years. Main areas of application for twin screw extruders are profile extrusion with counter-rotating machines (especially of thermally sensitive plastics), and specialty operations with co-rotating machines which are used for compounding, blending, polymerization, devolatilization etc. These applications result from the distribution of the stress and deformation which are generated in the machine (Figs. 1 2). In the industry there is a growing need for computer models of polymer processing technologies to predict the process course, and to improve design strategy. For engineering design of extrusion machines a composite approach to modeling is of great importance, and predictions of melting, filling, pressure and temperature profiles are fundamental. There are some composite models for co-rotating twin screw extrusion. Taking counter-rotating twin screw extrusion into account there is little literature available on the modeling [1 3], especially for the solid conveying section and polymer melting in the intermeshing section. Very recently first composite model of metering, melting and solid conveying in a closely intermeshing counterrotating twin screw extruder has been developed by White et al. [4]. The model is based on the White- -Wilczyński melting description [5, 6] and on the White-Hong melt flow computation [7, 8], where two- -dimensional FAN analysis was used (Fig. 3). In this research a new composite model is proposed. This model is based on the White-Wilczyński melting process description, and on the new three dimensional nonnewtonian FEM flow computation (Fig. 4). Experimental A Leistritz ZSE 27HP modular intermeshing counterrotating twin screw extruder was used for experimentation (Figs. 5 6). Various polymeric materials were investigated, e.g. Polystyrene (BASF PS 158K) has been used in the study. It was fed at different rates and screw speeds. To investigate a polymer behavior along the screws Screw Pulling-out Technique was used. Pressure and torque measurements were also done. Some results of experiments are shown in Figs According to the screws observations, it was approved that the fully filled section of the screws increases with the flow rate at a fixed screw speed, and this section decreases with the 36

2 Closely Intermeshing Counter-Rotating Twin Screw Extrusion of Polymers Fig. 1. Co-rotating twin screw extrusion. Fig. 2. Counter-rotating twin screw extrusion. Mechanics, Automation and Robotics Fig. 3. Akro-Counter-Twin composite model for counterrotating twin screw extrusion. Fig. 4. A new approach for modeling of melt flow in the counter-rotating machine. screw speed at a fixed flow rate. It was also observed that polymer pellets form some kind of a pellet bed which decreases in length along the screws. These observations are consistent with our previous study [9, 10]. In Fig. 9 a sample of the material stripped off from screws which were removed from the machine is presented. It is obviously seen that the sample resembles some kind of christmess tree with branches of decreasing length along the screws. This observation is consistent with experiments done by White and Wilczynski fpr polypropylene and low density polyethylene [5, 6]. In Figs some results of pressure and torque measurements are presented. An effect of the flow rate and screw speed is obviously seen. When flow rate increases, pressure and torque also increase. An effect of screw speed is less clear, and we have to distinguish the starve mode of feeding and flood mode of feeding. For flood feeding, an increase of pressure and torque may be observed with an increase of screw speed. For starve feeding, some decrease of pressure and torque is observed. These experimental results will be used for validation of the composite computer model of the counter-rotating 37

3 Adrian Lewandowski twin screw extrusion process. This new model is currently being developed in this research. FEM Modeling Ansys Polyflow software was used for modeling [9 11]. Simulations were carried out for two types of screw elements: FD and ZSS (Fig. 6). The problem set-up consists in the special definition of boundary conditions [11]. The results of simulations were qualitatively consistent with the computations of Hong and White [7, 8]. Regions of pressure decrease in the C-chamber followed by regions of pressure increase over the flight were clearly visible on the axial pressure profile for conveying element. Based on these simulations screw pumping characteristics may be developed. These characteristics can be implemented into the composite computer model of the counter-rotating twin screw extrusion process. Fig. 5. Counter-rotating twin screw extrusion experimental stand. Conclusions Some results of theoretical and experimental study for the counter-rotating twin screw extrusion process have been presented. A three-dimensional nonnewtonian FEM approach for modeling of the melt flow in the counter-rotating twin screw machine have been discussed. It was concluded that the FEM simulations might be implemented in a special form of the screw pumping characteristics into the composite model of the Fig. 6. Modular counter-rotating twin screw configuration. Fig. 7. Extrusion of PS: G = 4 kg/h, N = 80 rpm. Fig. 8. Extrusion of PS: G = 12 kg/h, N = 40 rpm (Flood Fed). 38

4 Closely Intermeshing Counter-Rotating Twin Screw Extrusion of Polymers counter--rotating process. Then, the model might predict: melting behaviour of the polymer, fill factor, and pressure as well as temperature profiles. And, high accuracy of simulations might be obtained at a reasonable time of computation. Experimental observations will be used for validation of the model. Fig. 9. Polymer sample stripped off from screws removed from the machine. References [1] Tadmor, Z., and C. Gogos. Principles of Polymer Processing. New York: Wiley, Fig. 10. Pressure measurement an effect of flow rate. Fig. 12. Pressure measurement an effect of screw speed. Fig. 11. Torque measurement an effect of flow rate. Fig. 13. Torque measurement an effect of screw spee. Mechanics, Automation and Robotics Fig. 14. Effect of the screw speed on the pressure profile for thick flighted element. Fig. 15. Effect of the screw speed on the pressure profile for shearing element. 39

5 Adrian Lewandowski [2] Oswald, T.A., and J.P. Hernandez-Ortiz. Polymer Processing. Modeling and Simulation. Munich: Hanser, [3] Manas-Zloczower, I., ed. Mixing and Compounding of Polymers. Theory and Practice. Munich: Hanser, [4] Wilczynski, K., Q. Jiang, and J.L. White. A Composite Model for Melting, Pressure and Fill Factor Profiles in a Metered Fed Closely Intermeshing Counter-Rotating Twin Screw Extruder. International Polymer Processing 22 (2007): 198. [5] Wilczyński, K., and J.L. White. Experimental Study of Melting in an Intermeshing Counter-Rotating Twin Screw. International Polymer Processing 16 (2001): 257. [6] Wilczynski, K., and J.L. White. Melting Model for Intermeshing Counter-Rotating Twin Screw Extruders. Polymer Engineering and Science 43 (2003): [7] Hong, M.H., and J.L. White. Fluid Mechanics of Intermeshing Counter-Rotating Twin Screw Extruders. International Polymer Processing 13 (1998): 342. [8] Hong, M.H., and J.L. White. Simulation of Flow in an Intermeshing Modular Counter-Rotating Twin Screw Extruder: Non-Newtonian and Non-Isothermal Behavior. International Polymer Processing 14 (1999): 136. [9] Wilczynski, K., A. Nastaj, and A. Lewandowski. A Composite Computer Model for Counter-Rotating Twin Screw Extrusion. Proceedings of the Polymer Processing Society 24th Annual Meeting. Salerno, 2008: CD. [10] Wilczyński, K., et al. Study for Counter-Rotating Twin Screw Extrusion. Proceedings of the Polymer Processing Society 25th Annual Meeting. Goa, 2009: CD. [11] Avalosse, Th., Y. Rubin, and L. Fondin. Non-Isothermal Modeling of Co-Rotating and Contra-Rotating Twin Screw Extruders. Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites 21 (2002):

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