Extruding with fillers|Plastics innovation

Fillers are contributed to polymers in order to attain a wide range of residential or commercial property modifications and enhancements. You can alter physical homes, decrease expenses, decrease weight, modification electrical conductivity and enhance thermal homes, among others. In practically all cases they likewise have an impact on the processing habits throughout extrusion.

It is typically asked whether filled polymers can be processed on a specific extrusion line. This concern can be responded to for inert fillers that do not alter chemically or enter into service after blending. Nevertheless, to discover the response, a referral point with the unfilled polymer is needed.

The majority of inert fillers have a greater particular gravity than polymers, which increases the particular gravity (SG) of the substance. Because the extruder screw is a volumetric gadget, a substance with a greater SG generally increases the particular power (pound/ h-rpm) in percentage to the density. This can cause an overload of the drive with greater fill amounts.

To examine this possibility, a couple of easy estimations supply a guide. The connected table includes a few of the information needed for such an estimation. Keep in mind that the fillers all have a greater particular gravity and lower particular heat (the quantity of energy needed to raise the temperature level of an offered compound by a specific quantity) than the polymers. For instance, the composite particular gravity of 40% calcium carbonate (CaCO3) filled PP can be determined utilizing the “formula for mixes” as follows:

1/[(% Polymer/S.G. Polymer) + (% filler/S.G. Filler)] = SG mix


Typical SG of the mix:
1/[(0.60/0.72) + (0.40/2.71)] = 1.019
( Note: the polymer melt density is utilized in this computation.)

In this case, the particular extruder power in pounds boosts by more than 40% (1.019/ 0.72 = 1.415) with the 40% filled polymer, considering that CaCO3 has 3 times the SG of PP and the screw has actually a reasonably repaired volumetric power per rev/ minutes.

We can utilize the very same formula for blends to get a great price quote of the average particular heat of a non-alloyed mix.


Typical particular heat of the mix: 1/[(0.60/0.5) + (0.40/0.1994)] = 0.312 (BTU/ pound- ° F).

Because about 90% of the drive power requirement of a single screw is because of the temperature level boost of the polymer from the strong to the melt, we can put the drive load requirements for likewise filled and unfilled polymers in relation to one another. The ratio of the power requirement for the pure PP and the mix can be estimated for both at the very same melt temperature level by increasing the SG with the particular heat, considering that the output volume is around the very same:

Pure PP: 0.72 × 0.5 = 0.36 Mix: 1.019 × 0.312 = 0.318 Ratio: 0.318/ 0.36 = 0.883 (ratio of drive load)

This suggests a decline in the energy requirement for the filled PP of 11% compared to the pure PP. This suggests a decline in the energy requirement for the filled PP of 11% compared to the pure PP. This implies that the filled PP with 40% CaCO3 would have a lower motor load and would not alter either the particular power of the screw or the torque capability. Nevertheless, if you were processing nylon 6 with 40% CaCO3, the drive load would be practically precisely the like with pure nylon 6, so it’s a mix of all the variables that identifies the load.

Because this is a streamlined computation, numerous variables can impact the precision. The most essential one is the modification in viscosity when 40% CaCO3 is included.

Inert fillers usually increase viscosity, which increases the pressure drop through the tool and can reduce efficiency. Nevertheless, the increased head pressure likewise increases the melt temperature level, so that the general impact on the power requirement typically follows the computation carefully. Bear in mind that PP with 40% by weight of CaCO3 is just about 15% by volume of filler, so the mix still includes 85% by volume of PP. In addition, inert fillers generally do not alter the shear level of sensitivity in the processing shear rate variety, so one would not anticipate the nozzle circulation to alter considerably with the filled polymer.

When processing filled polymers, a fast price quote can conserve lots of difficulties and anticipate possible devices modifications.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jim Frankland is a mechanical engineer who has actually been associated with all kinds of extrusion processing for more than 40 years. Today he is President of Frankland Plastics Consulting, LLC. Contact [email protected] or (724) 651-9196.


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