CAPCE Center for Advanced Polymer and Composite Engineering EXTRUSION LABORATORY OVERVIEW 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.