E. Fel, V. Massardier, F. Mélis, B. Vergnes, P. Cassagnau
March 1, 2014
The residence time distributions (RTD) of a high shear twin screw extruder were measured by an on–line UV fluorescence device. First, by increasing throughput (Q) and screw speed (N), a decrease of the complex viscosity of the studied polypropylene (PP) was observed, revealing chain scissions. It was associated to high viscous dissipation taking place during extrusion, and more particularly under high shear conditions. Then the impact of these experimental conditions on the RTD was carried out. As expected, an increase of usual throughputs and screw speeds decrease mostly the RTD characteristic data. In this study industrial rate have been studied: throughput varied from 1.5 up to 22 kg h −1 and screw speed varied from 200 min −1 up to 1 200 min −1 . However, by increasing the screw speed over usual values (from 500 up to 1 200 min −1 ), the variation of some experimental RTD characteristics were unexpected. Indeed, the slope of the shape of the experimental RTD function E(t) changed significantly. This phenomenon will be called lag or delay time. This result was only observed at low throughputs and high screw rotation speeds. To finish, a modeling software of twin screw extrusion process was used to compare experimental and calculated results. For usual processing conditions (up to 700 min −1 ), the simulation predicts nicely the experimental RTDs. However, at high screw speed (N > 800 min −1 ) and moderate throughput (Q = 4 kg h −1 ), the simulation fails to predict the RDT delay time. Hence, some side effects apparently occurred during high shear extrusion at low throughputs.