Polymer Processing / Rheology
With hundreds of extruders, injection molding, and blow molding machines dominating the production floors of plastic molding plants, a significant payback can be realized through research programs aimed at material processability as related to machine design parameters and processing variables. Here, expertise in rheology and in polymer processing technology is applied to the development of new and improved manufacturing systems, either in the original project stages or on a troubleshooting basis. The evaluation of extrusion screw designs and the analysis and optimization of die configurations are examples. In order to assist in carrying out this function, the Institute operates a Polymer Processing Laboratory with emphasis on :
(1) pilot scale extrusion, blow molding, thermoforming and parison design,
(2) instrumentation for the characterization of the viscoelastic properties of polymers in the molten state, and
(3) characterization of the stretchability of polymers in the molecular orientation temperature range.
These capabilities are complimented by our computational methods which have been successfully applied to areas such as multilayer die design, extruder screw design and analysis of the reheat-and-blow process.
Areas of expertise in Rheology and Process Development include:
- Polymer processing
- Polymer rheology
- Process characterization and modeling
- Die design
- Screw design