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Title: A novel laboratory dispersive and distributive minimixer and applications : development of a new minimixer that can duplicate mixing which occurs in a large twin screw extruder
Author: Butterfield, Craig
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 9095
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2009
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The mixing of additives into a plastic is an extremely important step in the plastics industry, necessary for the manufacture of almost every conceivable product. Therefore the costs in developing new products can prove very expensive as the testing is usually carried out using full scale machines, usually using twin screw extruders because they are able to provide good dispersive and distributive mixing. This is particularly important when compounding difficult to disperse additives and nano-additives. What is required is a machine that can replicate the mixing abilities of a twin-screw extruder but on a laboratory scale. There have been attempts by industry to develop smaller machines, such as the Thermo Scientific HAAKE Minilab II Micro Compounder which processes on the scale of 7 cm3 of material volume. This can be too small for some needs and therefore a machine is required to produce material on the 10g to 100g scale. To this end a laboratory mixer of novel design was devised and its mixing performance was assessed using conductive carbon black and compared against the Thermo Scientific HAAKE Minilab II Micro Compounder, a 19 mm co-rotating twin-screw extruder and a 40 mm co-rotating twin-screw extruder. Carbon black was used because mixing performance can be assessed by measuring the minimum carbon loading necessary to induce electrical conductivity. It was found that the minimixer was able to induce electrical conductivity at loading of 5.75% but the comparison with the other machines proved difficult as the achievement of the threshold at which semi-conductivity occurred appeared independent of shear rate and mixing duration.
Supervisor: Benkreira, Hadj ; Patel, Rajnikant Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Polymers ; Twin screw ; Dispersive mixing ; Distributive mixing ; Carbon black ; Resistivity ; Blown film ; Plastics ; Plastic product production ; Plastic product development