Simulation of the film blowing process using a continuum model for crystallization in polymers

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In this paper we simulate the film blowing process using a model developed to study crystallization in polymers (see Rao (1999), Rao and Rajagopal (2000b)). The framework was developed to generate mathematical models in a consistent manner that are capable of simulating the crystallization process in polymers. During crystallization the polymer transitions from a fluid like state to a solid like state. This transformation usually takes place while the polymer undergoes simultaneous cooling and deformation, as in film blowing. Specific models are generated by choosing forms for the internal energy, entropy and the rate of dissipation. The second law of thermodynamics along with the assumption of maximization of dissipation is used to determine constitutive forms for the stress tensor and the rate of crystallization. The polymer melt is modeled as a rate type viscoelastic fluid and the crystalline solid polymer is modeled as an anisotropic elastic solid. The mixture region, where in the material transitions from a melt to a semi-crystalline solid, is modeled as a mixture of a viscoelastic fluid and an elastic solid. The anisotropy of the crystalline phase and consequently that of the final solid depends on the deformation in the melt during crystallization, a fact that has been known for a long time and has been exploited in polymer processing. The film blowing process is simulated using a generalized Maxwell model for the melt and an anisotropic elastic solid for the crystalline phase. The results of the simulation agree qualitatively with experimental observations and the methodology described provides a framework in which the film blowing problem can be analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-68
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Applied Mechanics Division, AMD
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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