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|Title:||Dynamic Behaviour of Solids in a Single Screw Extruder: Aspects of Heat Transfer|
|Advisor:||Thompson, M. R.|
|Abstract:||Effective heat transfer through a bed of particulate solid largely affects the production rate and the process stability in an extrusion process. Most classical models in single screw extrusion treat the solids bed as a continuum behaving as an elastic plug or fluid while neglecting the discrete nature of the particles and the presences of the fluid. The heat transfer within the solids bed in these models is calculated based on thermophysical properties of the bulk system without consideration for the presence of the interstitial fluid. From a practical point of view, experimental measurements of solids bed heat transfer within a rotating screw, particularly cross channel, as the bed moves down the length of the solids conveying zone are impossible to perform. A new device was designed to model the radial compressive stresses and shear stresses on a solids bed of plastics, similar to the environment within the screw channel of a single screw extruder. This device enables the user to visualize the nature of the solids bed under different experimental conditions through a transparent wall. Also, the device provides ways to explore the heat transfer in a solids bed under different conditions by embedded thermocouples on the top or through the front wall of the containing chamber. The results reported in this study have shown that the discrete nature of the solid bed has a strong affect on the heat transfer within the bed. The rate of heat transfer within the different beds of polymer did not appear dominated by the thermophysical properties of the materials. Rather, the evidence supports that conduction through the pseudo-static interstitial fluid (i.e. air) dominated the rate at which a polymer bed heats up; a finding similarly found for the sintering of powdered metals and ceramics in the literature. This finding would imply that differences in melting rates found in extruders are not related to the heat transfer in the solids bed; however, this statement only holds true so long as the granules making up the bed remain static (i.e. plug-like) and do not circulate within the screw channel. Quite interestingly, pellet circulation within the solid bed was observed in LLDPE over a range of test conditions. This pellet circulation resulted in enhanced heat transfer within the bed of LLDPE (a raise of 10°C) compared to PS and PP. PP exhibited pellet circulation but only over a small window of operation. Different ways to improve heat transfer within solid bed were subsequently tested in this project, such as starve feed, forced convection and spherical particle. From this work, improved understanding of heat transfer in the solids conveying zone of a single screw extruder was gained.|
|Appears in Collections:||Digitized Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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