Desenvolvimento de uma matriz de fenda instrumentada para o monitoramento reo-óptico do processo de extrusão
Santos, Adillys Marcelo da Cunha
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A novel slit-die flow cell is presented for the evaluation of extrusion thermo-mechanical history on the flow character of polymers. The rheo-optical concept is claimed once both flow-birefringence and rheological character of polystyrene are probed during the process. To accomplish this task, three pressure gauges are flush-mounted along the channel of the slit-die to determine the pressure drop of the flowing polymer. Moreover, borosilicate optical windows are adjusted into two different sites in-between the pressure transducers. Thus, one could assess the rheo-optical responses at two different entrance lengths. When studying polystyrene melt, the flow birefringence measurements showed different molecular orientation levels along the channel axial direction, being slightly lower in the second section next to the slit die outlet. The viscosity values measured in-process were lower at the second section of the slit-die. In addition, they were well below that calculated from rotational rheometry. By following the time-temperature superposition, the melt temperatures assessed in real time were found to be considerably higher than those chosen as the set points. This was ascribed to viscous dissipation generated mainly at the extrusion barrel boundaries. The real time assessment of polymer melt by the use of thermocouples agreed with estimated ones from reduced variables method. On the other hand, temperature increments were found to be a function of the mass flow. This is not taken into account on bench techniques due to isothermal flow assumption. Rheo-optical measurements carried out at both steady state and transient mass flow procedure showed that polystyrene behaves as a thermo-rheological material and, apparently, the stress optical rule holds for the processing conditions investigated given the independence of the flow-birefringence versus stress curve slopes with feed rate and temperature set-points.