Polymer Flow in a Melt Pressure Regulator

[+] Author and Article Information
Bingfeng Fan

 Delphi Research Labs, 51786 Shelby Parkway, Shelby Township, MI 48315

Mahesh Munavalli

 Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Company, Blackburn Industrial Park, Gloucester, MA 01931

David O. Kazmer1

Department of Plastics Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell, One University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854david.kazmer@uml.edu


To whom correspondence should be addressed.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 128(3), 716-722 (Dec 07, 2005) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2193545 History: Received February 18, 2005; Revised December 07, 2005

A non-Newtonian, non-isothermal flow analysis has been developed to assist the design of a self-compensating polymer melt regulator, which is a device capable of regulating the melt pressure in polymer processing via an open loop control architecture. The governing mass and momentum equations for the two-dimensional, axisymmetric flow field are solved by a mixed finite element method, in which the velocity components are interpolated by quadratic functions, and the pressure is interpolated by a linear function. The temperature field is solved by the finite difference method. Results of the outlet pressure, valve pin position, bulk temperature rise, and flow rate as functions of the control force for Newtonian isothermal analyses and non-Newtonian non-isothermal analyses are provided. The simulation demonstrates the behavior of candidate regulator designs and provides the performance attributes such as outlet pressure, flow rate, temperature rise, etc., given the decision variables, such as valve parameters, process conditions, and polymer melt rheology. The results indicate that for a regulator design on the order of 20mm diameter, the regulator operates in a mostly closed condition with an aperture opening varying between 0.1 and 1mm. The results suggest that the bulk temperature increases with control force and flow rate and is largely attributable to the increases in viscous heating of the melt through the flow channels, rather than the pinch off between the valve pin and the valve body.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Annular melt regulator design

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Figure 2

Viscosity of Lexan 141

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Figure 3

Mesh and dimensions of the flow field

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Figure 4

Diagram of the solving sequence

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Figure 5

Vector plot of velocity for flow through nearly closed valve

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Figure 6

Velocity and valve opening as functions of time for a control force of 400N

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Figure 7

Forces as functions of time for a control force of 400N

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Figure 8

Outlet pressures as functions of control force for Newtonian and non-Newtonian/non-isothermal analyses

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Figure 9

Dynamic valve pin openings as functions of time for different control forces (non-Newtonian/non-isothermal analyses)

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Figure 10

Inlet and outlet pressures and functions of time for a control force of 2000N

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Figure 11

Steady state valve openings as functions of control force for Newtonian and Newtonian/Non-isothermal analyses

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Figure 12

Flow rate as a function of control force for non-Newtonian/non-isothermal analyses

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Figure 13

Bulk temperature rise as a function of time

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Figure 14

Outlet pressure and valve opening as functions of time for a fluctuating inlet pressure



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