For polymer processors seeking to cut development time and cost, the combination of advanced simulation software from Compuplast (Zlin, Czech Republic) and powerful capillary rheometers from Malvern Instruments (Malvern, UK) offers a compelling solution. Malvern's Rosand bench top and floor-standing rheometers measure the flow properties of polymers with market-leading precision, providing a sound basis for the construction of truly representative process models.
Compuplast software makes it easy to use the data to simulate extrusion, and other polymer processing operations, cutting the requirement for expensive, time-consuming pilot scale trials.
'Evaluating different operating regimes with a process model is quicker and less expensive than with an equivalent laboratory or pilot programme,' remarks John Perdikoulias, Vice President, Compuplast, 'but the quality of the simulation is key. Malvern rheometers can provide the material data that Compuplast software requires to develop a simulation that accurately reflects process behaviour. Simulating alternative operating strategies, equipment designs or materials identifies an optimal operating condition.'
As research costs spiral upwards the replacement of experimental work with simulation studies becomes increasingly lucrative, however, constructing an appropriate model can be seen as a major hurdle. Within this context, tools that provide accurate input data and simplify simulation are increasingly sought after, producing savings that more than off-set the upfront costs of model development.
The Rosand range of capillary rheometers includes the RH2000 bench-top series and the RH-7 and 10 advanced floor-standing units for higher loading studies. A new digital drive gives all these instruments unsurpassed performance in terms of speed control, accuracy and dynamic operating range. Combined with twin bore configurations, these features allow the simultaneous determination of shear and extensional viscosity under processing conditions. The rheometer hardware is supported by the latest Windows based Flowmaster software, offering an extended range of rheological test types and experimental possibilities.
Compuplast solutions allow accurate representation of the complete die or screw extrusion process, including cooling, a suite of module options simplifying plant specific model development. An automatic checking feature builds in expert experience, highlighting to the user operating regimes that may be unsuccessful. The resulting models are valuable both for process development and full-scale optimisation.