Flow Optimisation

Good flow is essential in any moulding or extrusion process. Smithers Rapra can assist by measuring flow, advising on the effect of flow and helping to reduce flow induced problems.

Smithers Rapra employs a range of techniques to assist companies optimise flow for production. Our technologists provide comprehensive support to meet a variety of differing needs and problems.

Rheological Analysis
Our initial assessment will include measuring the rheological properties of a problem polymer or rubber, and we have a range of rheometers to carry out this task. At this stage, a comparative analysis can be undertaken with a polymer or rubber that has been shown to work with process. Any major differences will be noted for further investigation.

However, there are still a number of considerations when comparing performance:

  • Two polymers with a similar melt flow index will not necessarily have similar viscosities in the process.
  • The use of filled compounds and any additive substitution can significantly change flow properties
  • The use of the same compound on two different moulds or extrusion dies can also lead to problems

Flow Simulation
The flow of polymers can also be modelled by flow simulation software for both injection moulding and extrusion. Smithers Rapra has experts in both Sigmasoft for modelling of the injection moulding process and Compuplast for modelling of an extrusion process.

Formulation Development and Additives
Additionally, Smithers Rapra can also advise on formulation development and additives that can be used to improve flow.

Support for Thermosetting Materials
Flow can also be important for mould filling with thermosetting materials.  Smithers Rapra can carry out quantitative comparative measurements on many types of thermosetting materials.

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For guidance with flow optimisation please get in touch with our featured expert.