Steady extrusion of viscoelastic materials from an annular die


Karapetsas G., Tsamopoulos J.


The steady extrusion of viscoelastic materials from a straight, annular die is studied theoretically. The viscoelastic behavior is modelled using the affine Phan-Thien and Tanner (PTT) constitutive equation of the exponential form. For the numerical solution of the governing equations the mixed finite element method is combined with a quasi-elliptic mesh generation scheme in order to capture the large deformations of the two free surfaces of the extrudate. The elastic-viscous stress splitting technique (EVSS-G) is used to separate the elastic and viscous contributions to the polymeric part of the stress tensor together with a streamline upwind Petrov-Galerkin (SUPG) weighting for the discretization of the constitutive equation. This combination of solution methods and constitutive model allows us (i) to compute accurate steady-state solutions up to very high Weissenberg numbers resulting in very high deformations of the free surfaces (ii) construct and store the Jacobian matrix, which is necessary to conduct linear stability analysis for this flow. First, results for the fully developed flow of a PTT liquid inside an annular die are presented. They reveal a complex interplay between material elasticity, shear thinning and solvent viscosity. Next, a complete parametric analysis of annular extrusion is performed. Such a complete study using the PTT model has not been reported before, even at much lower Wi numbers. It is found that swelling of the material increases sharply up to moderate Weissenberg numbers, whereas its rate of increase is reduced for higher values of Wi, as shear thinning becomes increasingly important. The latter generally plays a crucial role, in addition to elasticity, on the swelling of the extrudate. Moreover, as the contribution of the solvent viscosity increases, the contribution of elastic stresses decreases causing a decrease in the swelling of the material which approaches the Newtonian limit. The predicted swelling ratios, which characterize the geometry of the extrudate, are in satisfactory agreement with earlier experimental and theoretical data for three particular HDPE resins. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Annular flow, Free surface flows, Polymer extrusion, Viscoelastic fluids

DOI: 10.1016/j.jnnfm.2008.04.007