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Laboratory And On Line Process Rheometers For The Polymer Processing Laboratory

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.388.1 - 3.388.6



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Paper Authors

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Gwan-Ywan Lai

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Laura L. Sullivan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1526


Gwan-Ywan Lai and Laura L. Sullivan Kettering University


Rheological (flow and deformation) properties are the most important factors affecting the microstructure of polymers, critical process parameters for production/processing, and subsequent product quality. To provide students with hands-on experiences in learning and evaluating the rheological properties of polymers, the Polymer Processing Laboratory at the Kettering University/GMI Engineering & Management Institute has acquired a set of computer- instrumented Laboratory Capillary Rheometer (LCR) and On-Line Process Rheometer (OLPR) manufactured by Goettfert through the support from the National Science Foundation (NSF ILI- IP program grant DUE-9650687) in 1996. LCR has long been used as a major tool to measure rheological properties of resins in the plastics industry [1-7], while an increasing number of resin manufacturers and processors are adding OLPR to their process to produce consistent materials and reduce manufacturing costs by monitoring and controlling rheological information during production and processing [8-11]. Through the addition of the LCR and OLPR to the Polymer Processing Laboratory at the Kettering/GMI our students not only can measure the rheological properties of polymer samples through laboratory testing but also monitor the rheological properties of polymer melts directly taken from the process stream of a production line. Both the LCR and OLPR are instrumented with state-of-the-art computer technology which enables them to achieve tasks such as controlling test procedures, collecting and analyzing rheological data, generating material functions, and performing statistical process control and statistical quality control [12,13].


The LCR has been installed and demonstrated to students from IMSE-101 Manufacturing Processes, IMSE-370 Engineering Materials, and IMSE-407 Polymer Processing since the fall of 1997. In addition to the NSF funding, two more capillary dies used with the LCR were purchased through a 1997/98 SME grant and a new extruder for the OLPR was purchased through a departmental capital fund. The OLPR is installed on the extruder through an adapter and a supporting frame designed and constructed on site. Laboratory experiments for both rheometers have been developed to allow students to experimentally investigate and observe the rheological phenomena of plastics through laboratory testing and on-line process monitoring. IMSE-499 Independent Study students in the winter and spring of 1998 have first investigated and run these experiments and provided feedback to improve/modify the experimental procedures. These experiments will then be used in the IMSE-370 and IMSE-407 starting from the summer of 1998. The rheological data will be collected and sent to a Polymer Process Optimization Center (see next page) for material characterization, mold flow analysis, process optimization, and quality control. The LCR and OLPR have been used in a continuing education

Lai, G., & Sullivan, L. L. (1998, June), Laboratory And On Line Process Rheometers For The Polymer Processing Laboratory Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7256

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