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Molecular physics of a polymer engineering instability: Experiments and computation

Hassell, DG; Mackley, MR; Sahin, M; Wilson, HJ; Harlen, OG; McLeish, TCB; (2008) Molecular physics of a polymer engineering instability: Experiments and computation. Physical Review E , 77 (5) , Article 050801. 10.1103/PhysRevE.77.050801. Green open access

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Abstract

Entangled polymer melts exhibit a variety of flow instabilities that limit production rates in industrial applications. We present both experimental and computational findings, using flow of monodisperse linear polystyrenes in a contraction-expansion geometry, which illustrate the formation and development of one such flow instability. This viscoelastic disturbance is observed at the slit outlet and subsequently produces large-scale fluid motions upstream. A numerical linear stability study using the molecular structure based Rolie-Poly model confirms the instability and identifies important parameters within the model, which gives physical insight into the underlying mechanism. Chain stretch was found to play a critical role in the instability mechanism, which partially explains the effectiveness of introducing a low-molecular weight tail into a polymer blend to increase its processability.

Type: Article
Title: Molecular physics of a polymer engineering instability: Experiments and computation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.77.050801
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.77.050801
Language: English
Additional information: ©2008 The American Physical Society
Keywords: LINEAR ENTANGLED POLYMERS, MULTIPASS RHEOMETER, FLOW VISUALIZATION, MONODISPERSE, CONTRACTIONS, EXTRUSION, DYNAMICS, DEFECTS, MELTS, MODEL
UCL classification: UCL > Office of the President and Provost
UCL > School of BEAMS
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/177424
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