Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 26, 2013

Polymer Processing Extrusion Instabilities and Methods for their Elimination or Minimisation

J.-F. Agassant, D. R. Arda, C. Combeaud, A. Merten, H. Münstedt, M. R. Mackley, L. Robert and B. Vergnes


This paper presents and reviews findings in relation to three key areas where polymer processing instabilities occur. The paper also describes methods that can be utilised to reduce, or eliminate, the particular instability. Using previously published results in each of the three areas and work presented in the paper, physical insight into the three mechanisms is reviewed and compared. Extrusion instabilities develop with increasing extrusion rate and the onset of extrusion instability is often a key limitation to the maximum output of an extrusion line. The sharkskin instability is an exit effect instability that can be modified by changing exit geometries and eliminated using certain additives. The stick-spurt instability is intimately related to wall boundary conditions which can be influenced by certain wall and polymer formulations. Finally volume instabilities occur in the entry region of a die and result in a highly distorted product. The instabilities are related to viscoelastic effects within the die and can be minimised by appropriate die and polymer modification. The paper provides sufficient experimental background to identify the key physical aspects associated with each of the instabilities and this in turn provides insight into the different way each instability occurs and how they can be minimised.

Mail address: B. Vergnes, CEMEF, Ecole des Mines de Paris, UMR CNRS 7635, B.P 207, 06904 Sophia Antipolis, France. E-mail:


1Petrie, J. C. S., Denn, M. M.: A.I.Ch.E. J. 22, p. 209 (1976)10.1002/aic.690220202Search in Google Scholar

2Denn, M. M.: Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 22, p. 13 (1990)10.1146/annurev.fl.22.010190.000305Search in Google Scholar

3Larson, R. G.: Rheol. Acta, 31, p. 213 (1992)10.1007/BF00366504Search in Google Scholar

4Wales, J. L. S.: The application of flow birefringence to rheological studies of polymer melts, Delft University Press, Delft (1976)10.1007/978-94-010-1556-1Search in Google Scholar

5Arda, R. D.: PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge (2003)Search in Google Scholar

6Venet, C., Vergnes, B.: J. Rheol. 41, p. 873 (1997)10.1122/1.550837Search in Google Scholar

7Arda, R. D., Mackley, M. R.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 126, p. 47 (2005)10.1016/j.jnnfm.2004.12.005Search in Google Scholar

8Keunings, R., in: Fundamentals of Computer Modeling for Polymer Processing. TuckerIII, C. L. (Ed.), Hanser, Munich (1989)Search in Google Scholar

9Denn, M. M., in: Theoretical and Applied Rheology. Moldenaers, P., Keunings, R. (Eds.) Proc. XIth Int. Cong. Rheology, Elsevier, New York (1992)Search in Google Scholar

10Cogswell, F. N.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 2, p. 37 (1977)10.1016/0377-0257(77)80031-1Search in Google Scholar

11El Kissi, N., Piau, J. M.: J. Rheol. 38, p. 1447 (1994)10.1122/1.550552Search in Google Scholar

12Rutgers, R. P. G., Mackley, M. R.: J. Rheol. 44, p. 1319 (2000)10.1122/1.1319176Search in Google Scholar

13Venet, C., Vergnes, B.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 93, p. 117 (2000)10.1016/S0377-0257(00)00105-1Search in Google Scholar

14Allal, A., Lavernhe, A., Vergnes, B., Marin, G.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 134, p. 127 (2006)10.1016/j.jnnfm.2005.12.010Search in Google Scholar

15Wang, S. Q., Drda, P. A., Inn, Y. W.: J. Rheol. 40, p. 875 (1996)10.1122/1.550766Search in Google Scholar

16Wang, S. Q., Drda, P. A.: Macromol. Chem. Phys. 198, p. 673 (1997)10.1002/macp.1997.021980302Search in Google Scholar

17Wang, S. Q., Drda, P. A.: Rheol. Acta36, p. 128 (1997)10.1007/BF00366818Search in Google Scholar

18Molenaar, J., Koopmans, R. J., den Doelder, C. F. J.: Phys. Rev. E. 58 (4), p. 4683 (1998)10.1103/PhysRevE.58.4683Search in Google Scholar

19Merten, A., Schwetz, M., Münstedt, H.: Int. J. Appl. Mech. Eng. 8, p. 283 (2003)Search in Google Scholar

20Merten, A.: Dissertation, Universität Erlangen–Nürnberg, (2005)Search in Google Scholar

21Merten, A., Schwetz, M., Münstedt, H.: Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Rheology, p.147 (2002)Search in Google Scholar

22Kurtz, S. J.: Advances in Rheology, IX Intl. Congress on Rheology, Mexico, p. 399 (1984)Search in Google Scholar

23Piau, J. M., El Kissi, N., Toussaint, F., Mezghani, A.: Rheol. Acta34, p. 40 (1995)10.1007/BF00396053Search in Google Scholar

24Stewart, C. W.: J. Rheol. 37, p. 499 (1993)10.1122/1.550456Search in Google Scholar

25Ghanta, V. G., Riise, B. L., Denn, M. M.: J. Rheol. 43, p. 435 (1999)10.1122/1.550988Search in Google Scholar

26Kulikov, O., Hornung, K.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 124, p. 103 (2004)10.1016/j.jnnfm.2004.07.009Search in Google Scholar

27Yip, F., Hatzikiriakos, S. G., Clere, T. M.: J. Vinyl Add. Tech. 6, p. 113 (2000)10.1002/vnl.10234Search in Google Scholar

28Migler, K. B., Lavallee, C., Dillon, M. P., Woods, S. S., Gettinger, C. L.: J. Rheol. 45, p. 565 (2001)10.1122/1.1349136Search in Google Scholar

29Arda, D. R., Mackley, M. R.: Rheol. Acta44, p. 352 (2005)10.1007/s00397-004-0416-1Search in Google Scholar

30Bagley, E. B., Cabot, I. M., West, D. C.: J. Appl. Phys. 29, p. 109 (1958)10.1063/1.1722930Search in Google Scholar

31Bagley, E. B., Birks, A. M.: J. Appl. Phys. 31, p. 556 (1960)10.1063/1.1735627Search in Google Scholar

32El Kissi, N., Piau, J. M.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 37, p. 673 (1990)10.1016/0377-0257(90)80004-JSearch in Google Scholar

33Kalika, D. S., Denn, M. M.: J. Rheol. 31, p. 815 (1987)10.1122/1.549942Search in Google Scholar

34Hatzikiriakos, S. G., Dealy, J. M.: J. Rheol., 36, p. 845 (1992)10.1122/1.550320Search in Google Scholar

35Durand, V., Vergnes, B., Agassant, J. F., Benoit, E., Koopmans, R. J.: J. Rheol. 40, p. 383 (1996)10.1122/1.550749Search in Google Scholar

36den Doelder, C. F. J., Koopmans, R. J., Molenaar, J.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 79, p. 503 (1998)10.1016/S0377-0257(98)00117-7Search in Google Scholar

37Münstedt, H., Schmidt, M., Wassner, E.: J. Rheol. 44, p. 245 (2000)10.1122/1.551092Search in Google Scholar

38Robert, L.: PhD Thesis, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis (2001)Search in Google Scholar

39Robert, L., Vergnes, B., Demay, Y.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 112, p. 27 (2003)10.1016/S0377-0257(03)00059-4Search in Google Scholar

40Robert, L., Demay, Y., Vergnes, B.: Rheol. Acta43, p. 89 (2004)10.1007/s00397-003-0323-xSearch in Google Scholar

41Molenaar, J., Koopmans, R. J.: J. Rheol. 38, p. 99 (1994)10.1122/1.550603Search in Google Scholar

42Adewale, K. P., Leonov, A. I.: Rheol. Acta36, p. 110 (1997)10.1007/BF00366817Search in Google Scholar

43Georgiou, G. C., Crochet, M. S.: J. Rheol. 38, p. 639 (1994)10.1122/1.550479Search in Google Scholar

44Dubbeldam, J. L. A., Molenaar, J.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 112, p. 217 (2003)10.1016/S0377-0257(03)00101-0Search in Google Scholar

45Mehtar, V., Archer, L. A.: Macromol. 31, p. 8607 (1998)10.1021/ma980163wSearch in Google Scholar

46Yarin, A. L., Graham, M. D.: J. Rheol. 42, p. 1491 (1998)10.1122/1.550898Search in Google Scholar

47Tchesnokov, M. A., Molenaar, J., Slot, J. J. M.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 126, p. 71 (2005)10.1016/j.jnnfm.2004.02.013Search in Google Scholar

48Done, D. S., Baird, D. G., Average, A. E.: Chem. Eng. Comm.21, p. 293 (1998)10.1080/00986448308940293Search in Google Scholar

49Piau, J. M., Nigen, S., El Kissi, N.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 91, p. 37 (2000)10.1016/S0377-0257(99)00083-XSearch in Google Scholar

50Goutille, Y., Majesté, J. C., Tassin, J. F., Guillet, J.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 111, p. 175 (2003)10.1016/S0377-0257(03)00054-5Search in Google Scholar

51Ramamurthy, A. V.: J. Rheol. 30, p. 337 (1986)10.1122/1.549852Search in Google Scholar

52Koran, F., Dealy, J.: J. Rheol. 43, p. 1291 (1999)10.1122/1.551025Search in Google Scholar

53Combeaud, C., Demay, Y., Vergnes, B.: Rhéologie4, p. 50 (2003)Search in Google Scholar

54Tordella, J. P.: J. Appl. Phys. 27, p. 454 (1956)10.1063/1.1722401Search in Google Scholar

55Benbow, J. J., Lamb, P.: S.P.E. Trans. 3, p. 7 (1963)Search in Google Scholar

56Piau, J. M., El Kissi, N., Tremblay, B.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 34, p. 145 (1990)10.1016/0377-0257(90)80016-SSearch in Google Scholar

57Ballenger, T. F., Chen, I. J., Crowder, J. W., Hagler, G. E., Bogue, D. C., White, J. L.: Trans. Soc. Rheol. 15, p. 195 (1971)10.1122/1.549207Search in Google Scholar

58Muller, R., Vergnes, B., in: Rheology for Polymer Processing. Piau, J. M., Agassant, J. F. (Eds.) Elsevier, New York (1996)Search in Google Scholar

59Tordella, J. P.: Trans. Soc. Rheol., 1 pp.203 (1957)10.1122/1.548816Search in Google Scholar

60Oyanagi, Y.: Appl. Polym. Symp. 20 p. 123 (1973)Search in Google Scholar

61Nakamura, K., Ituaki, S., Nishimura, T., Horikawa, A.: J. Text. Eng. 36, p. 49 (1987)10.4188/jte1955.36.49Search in Google Scholar

62Rothstein, J. R., McKinley, G. H.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 98, p. 33 (2001)10.1016/S0377-0257(01)00094-5Search in Google Scholar

63Nigen, S., El Kissi, N., Piau, J. M., Sadun, S.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 112, p. 177 (2003)10.1016/S0377-0257(03)00097-1Search in Google Scholar

64Kim, S., Dealy, J. M.: Polym. Eng. Sci. 42, p. 482 (2002)10.1002/pen.10965Search in Google Scholar

65Kim, S., Dealy, J. M.: Polym. Eng. Sci. 42, p. 495 (2002)10.1002/pen.10966Search in Google Scholar

66Den Otter, J. L.: Plast. Polym. 38, p. 155 (1970)Search in Google Scholar

67Tordella, J. P., in: Rheology, Eidrich, F. R. (Ed.). Academic Press, New York (1969)Search in Google Scholar

68Combeaud, C.: PhD Thesis, Ecole des Mines de Paris (2004)Search in Google Scholar

69Bergem, N.: Proceeding of 7th Congress in Rheology, Göteborg, p.50 (1976)Search in Google Scholar

70Baik, J. J., Tzoganakis, C.: Polym. Eng. Sci. 38, p. 274 (1998)10.1002/pen.10188Search in Google Scholar

71Agassant, J. F., Avenas, P., Sergent, J. Ph., Vergnes, B., Vincent, M.: La mise en forme des matières plastiques, Lavoisier, Tec et Doc, Paris (1996)Search in Google Scholar

72Combeaud, C., Demay, Y., Vergnes, B.: J. Non-Newt. Fluid Mech. 21, p. 175 (2004)10.1016/j.jnnfm.2004.06.007Search in Google Scholar

73Combeaud, C., Vergnes, B., Merten, A., Münstedt, H.: submitted to J. Rheol. (2006)Search in Google Scholar

74Spencer, R. S., Dillon, R. E.: J. Colloid Sci. 3, p. 163 (1948)10.1016/0095-8522(48)90066-XSearch in Google Scholar

75Bagley, E. B., Schreiber, H. P.: Trans. Soc. Rheol. 5, p. 341 (1961)10.1122/1.548904Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2005-7-4
Accepted: 2006-1-10
Published Online: 2013-03-26
Published in Print: 2006-07-01

© 2006, Hanser Publishers, Munich