C.-C. Liu, D. C. Bogue, J. E. Spruiell
May 28, 2013
The literature on tubular film blowing is contradictory, even on such basic matters as to whether increasing inflation pressure increases or decreases the bubble radius. To provide a solid experimental base for physical understanding and theoretical modelling, detailed on-line measurements were made using three polyethylenes (a low density, a linear low density and a high density material, all of melt index 1.0). The measurements included blow-up ratio as a function of inflation pressure and take-up ratio; the melt temperature and the air flow rate were also varied. On-line radius, velocity and temperature measurements along the film were made in some runs. For the most part the data showed an “intuitive” effect of inflation pressure on blow-up ratio; that is, increasing the pressure caused the final radius (the blow-up ratio) to increase. However, at high blow-up ratios (typically values of 2 to 3, depending on the material and processing conditions), regimes having a “counterintuitive” relationship were observed in some cases. There were not substantial differences among the three materials except that the low density material was less prone to instabilities at high blow-up ratios.