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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 13, 2018

Modelling the Thermal Degradation and Stabilisation of PVC in a Torque Rheometer

Reinhard Heinrich Fechter, Carl Sandrock and Frederick Johannes Willem Jacobus Labuschagne ORCID logo

Abstract

A novel method for simulating the torque and temperature curves from a torque rheometer thermal stability test on poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) was developed. A mathematical model was proposed which combines the chemical kinetics involved in the thermal degradation and stabilisation process of PVC with heat transfer and viscosity relationships within the torque rheometer. The model coefficients were fitted to data obtained from previous experiments with a program written in the Python programming language using the Levenberg-Marquardt Algorithm (LMA) with multiple starts. The mathematical model fits the torque rheometer data successfully depending on the characteristics of the torque curve. The model fit is successful when the torque curve follows the expected behaviour. An unsuccessful model fit occurs when the torque curve deviates from the expected shape in a very specific way. In the degradation phase the torque curve increases to a local maximum, decreases to a local minimum and then increases again. The exact reason for the dip in torque is unknown.

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Received: 2017-06-08
Revised: 2018-02-12
Accepted: 2018-02-14
Published Online: 2018-04-13

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