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Monitoring of Polymer Plastication in the Injection Moulding Process

[+] Author Affiliations
Thuy Linh Pham, Yves Bereaux, Jean-Yves Charmeau

INSA de Lyon, Lyon, Rhône, France

Jean Balcaen, Sambor Chhay

INSA de Lyon, Bellignat, Ain, France

Paper No. IMECE2013-64859, pp. V08CT09A078; 8 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 8C: Heat Transfer and Thermal Engineering
  • San Diego, California, USA, November 15–21, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5636-9
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


In injection moulding or in extrusion, plastication is the step during which polymer pellets are melted by the means of mechanical dissipation provided by a rotating screw and by thermal conduction coming from a heated metallic barrel. This step is crucial for melt thermal homogeneity, charge dispersion and fibre length preservation. Although there have been a large number of theoretical and experimental studies of plastication during the past decades, mostly on extrusion and mostly using the screw extraction technique, extremely few of them have dealt with trying to visualise plastication, let alone measuring the plastication profile in real-time. As a matter of fact, designing such an equipment is an arduous task. We designed an industry-sized metallic barrel, featuring 3 optical glass windows; each window possessing 3 plane faces itself to allow for visualisation and record by synchronised cameras and lightening by lasers. The images recorded can be further analysed by digital image processing. Preliminary results confirm the plastication theory and show a compacted solid bed and a melt pool side by side. The total plastication length is a direct function of screw rotation frequency as it is obvious from results on the melt pool width, which increases when the screw rotation frequency decreases. However, some evidence of solid bed breakage has been recorded, whereby the solid bed does not diminish continuously along the screw but is fractured in the compression zone.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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