M. Ansari, A. Alabbas, S. G. Hatzikiriakos, E. Mitsoulis
April 6, 2013
The excess pressure losses due to end effects (mainly entrance) in the capillary flow of several types of polyethylenes were studied both experimentally and numerically under slip and no-slip conditions. These losses were first measured as a function of the contraction angle ranging from 15° to 90°. It was found that the excess pressure loss attains a local minimum at a contraction angle of about 30° for all types of polyethylenes examined. This was found to be independent of the apparent shear rate. This minimum becomes more dominant under slip conditions that were imposed by adding a significant amount of fluoropolymer into the polymer. Numerical simulations using a multimode K-BKZ viscoelastic model have shown that the entrance pressure drops can be predicted fairly well for all cases either under slip or no-slip boundary conditions. The clear experimental minimum at about 30° can only slightly be seen in numerical simulations, and at this point its origin is unknown. Further simulations with a viscous (Cross) model have shown that they severely under-predict the entrance pressure by an order of magnitude for the more elastic melts. Thus, the viscoelastic spectrum together with the extensional viscosity play a significant role in predicting the pressure drop in contraction flows, as no viscous model could. The larger the average relaxation time and the extensional viscosity are, the higher the differences in the predictions between the K-KBZ and Cross models are.