Using Hollow Microcapillaries to Explore the Extrusion Rheology of Polymer Films
- Conference date: 3–8 August 2008
- Location: Monterey (California)
It is possible to extrude a molten polymer film that contains a multitude of microcapillaries [1,2]; this has been termed a microcapillary film or MCF. The presence of the microcapillaries can act as passive markers in the MCF  and be used to identify the nature of post extrusion processing deformation; for example from the form of the deformed capillary shape it is possible to identify regions of uniaxial or biaxial deformation. In this paper we report experimental results and some matching modeling to show how external deformation and rheology can influence the final hole size and shape of the capillary array within the MCF. This paper also explores ways in which voidage and hole size can be controlled by manipulation of both processing parameters and polymer rheology. Typical capillary diameters that can be achieved range from 800 μm–5 μm with voidages ranging between 10% and 70%.
The melt rheology of the polymer was studied to provide rheological parameters that could be used both to gain an understanding of the character of the polymer and for modeling of the extrusion and drawing process. In particular, the temperature dependent nature of the rheology was investigated. Identifying the transition from viscous‐dominated behavior to elastic‐dominated behavior was important for the success of the hot drawing process by which capillary size reduction was achieved. X‐ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of both drawn and undrawn low‐voidage and high voidage MCFs was performed to get a qualitative measure of orientation in the final product.
- Biaxial deformation
- Polymer films
- X-ray diffraction
- Process monitoring and control
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