Objectives and content
Both petrochemical and polymer-processing companies have a great need for quantitative design tools. While offering a wide range of capabilities, current design tools are unable to take into account the effect of molecular architecture of the polymeric fluid on its processability and performance. As a consequence, the design of polymer processing equipment and product quality optimization demand on-line trial and error, time-consuming procedures.
In this project, a novel design approach (design tool) for polymer fluid processing will be developed that will allow prediction of:
- theological behaviour of polymeric fluids based on their molecular architecture
- the resulting microstructure of finished products and its effect on macroscopic properties such as mechanical properties, transport properties, interfacial properties, etc.
This project will incorporate state-of-the-art finite-element techniques coupled
- to stochastic methods and
- to traditional constitutive equations for the calculation of stresses and for the description of the polymeric fluid. The link to the molecular architecture of the polymer will be established via atomistic simulations. In order to be able to deal with problems of industrial relevance, a major effort will be put in the development of efficient numerical techniques and in the implementation on modern computer architectures (massively parallel and vector-parallel).
The new design tools will be validated for state-of-the-art polyolefins and for sedimentation in viscoelastic fluids.
The consortium comprises the research departments of two large petrochemical companies with a strong involvement in the polyolefin market (Dow, REPSOL), the research department of a company in oil exploration and production (Shell) and one SME (Argo) with first-rate industrial facilities. The university partners bring multidisciplinary and complementary skills on non-Newtonian flow calculations (U.C. Louvain-la-Neuve, T.U. Delft), on stochastic methods and kinetic theory (ETH Zürich, T.U. Delft), on micro/macro methods (ETSII Madrid) and on atomistic modelling (ICE/HT -FORTH Patras).
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
4530 AA Terneuzen
2288 GD Rijswijk
2628 CD Delft