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Thermal Analysis of Extrusion Process in Plastic Making

Authors: S. K. Fasogbon, T. M. Oladosu, O. S. Osasuyi


Plastic extrusion has been an important process of plastic production since 19th century. Meanwhile, in plastic extrusion process, wide variation in temperature along the extrudate usually leads to scraps formation on the side of finished products. To avoid this situation, there is a need to deeply understand temperature distribution along the extrudate in plastic extrusion process. This work developed an analytical model that predicts the temperature distribution over the billet (the polymers melt) along the extrudate during extrusion process with the limitation that the polymer in question does not cover biopolymer such as DNA. The model was solved and simulated. Results for two different plastic materials (polyvinylchloride and polycarbonate) using self-developed MATLAB code and a commercially developed software (ANSYS) were generated and ultimately compared. It was observed that there is a thermodynamic heat transfer from the entry level of the billet into the die down to the end of it. The graph plots indicate a natural exponential decay of temperature with time and along the die length, with the temperature being 413 K and 474 K for polyvinylchloride and polycarbonate respectively at the entry level and 299.3 K and 328.8 K at the exit when the temperature of the surrounding was 298 K. The extrusion model was validated by comparison of MATLAB code simulation with a commercially available ANSYS simulation and the results favourably agree. This work concludes that the developed mathematical model and the self-generated MATLAB code are reliable tools in predicting temperature distribution along the extrudate in plastic extrusion process.

Keywords: Thermal analysis, MATLAB, ANSYS, extrusion process, plastic making

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