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Center for Advanced Polymer and Composite Engineering


This facility's primary focus is
extrusion technology of thermoplastic
polymers. It has several machines for
the investigation of conventional
extrusion, polymer/composite
blending, film blowing, microcellular
foaming, and rheological studies of
polymer melts.

                                                           Leistritz ZSE-27 Twin Screw Extruder

                                        RESEARCH FOCUS

The Extrusion Laboratory focuses on applications concerning thermoplastic polymer extrusion. Current
research is conducted in a variety of areas. Polymer blending is performed in the twin screw extrusion
process. The addition of supercritical fluids, particularly carbon dioxide, to the extrusion process can
enhance blending and processing characteristics. This is particularly useful for applications where
blend morphology determines end use properties. By combining supercritical fluids, extrusion of
polymer melts, and flexibility of screw design, polymer blend morphology can be controlled to fit various
needs. Die and screw design offer processors the flexibility of controlling operating conditions to fit
specific needs. This flexibility is important in reactive compounding as well. Multiple injection ports can
lead to highly controllable reaction kinetics and product specifications.

Film blowing of polymer blends is another capability of the extruders. Extrusion of microcellular foams
is also performed in the facility's extruders.

 Polymer melt rheology can be studied on the single and twin screw extruders using slit die and
capillary die rheometers.

Another research topic is to analyze the de-airing process in laminated safety glass manufacturing.
The goal of this project is to establish the relationship between material properties, processing
conditions, and pre-press quality. The behavior of polymer sheeting with different rheology and surface
roughness can be studied under various de-airing conditions.