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Simulation of Liquid Crystal Polymer Directionality During Cast Film Extrusion

[+] Author Affiliations
Anthony Sullivan, Anil Saigal, Michael A. Zimmerman

Tufts University, Medford, MA

Paper No. IMECE2018-86855, pp. V012T11A040; 10 pages
  • ASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 12: Materials: Genetics to Structures
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, November 9–15, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5217-0
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


Liquid crystal polymers (LCP’s) comprise a class of melt-processable materials that derive specialized mechanical, chemical, and electrical properties from long-range molecular ordering. This unique microstructure gives rise to anisotropic bulk behavior that can be problematic for industrial applications, and thus the ability to model the orientation state in the polymer is necessary for the design of isotropic material manufacturing processes. Previous efforts to model LCP directionality have been primarily restricted to structured grids and simple geometries that demonstrate the underlying theory, but fall short of simulating realistic manufacturing geometries. In this investigation, a practical methodology is proposed to simulate the director field in full-scale melt-processing set-ups, specifically cast film extrusion, to predict the bulk material orientation state. The hybrid approach utilizes separate simulations for the polymer flow with commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, and the material directionality through a user-defined post-processing script. Wide-angle x-ray scattering (WAXS) is used to experimentally validate the simulated directionality during extrusion processing. It is shown that the model is capable of predicting both the direction and degree of orientation in the polymer resulting from processing, and the model produces strong agreement with experimental measurement of the polymer orientation state.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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