Objectives and content
The EU plastics industry has a turnover of some 50
Billion ECUS per year (1995). The market is becoming
increasingly driven by the need for high performance,
application specific polymers, particularly in the
dominant packaging and buildings market. Production of
completely new polymers for every application is simply
not feasible, so the focus of development will be on the
modification of existing base polymers.
Such post polymer processing (PPP) usually requires
effective mixing of a low volume, low viscosity stream
into a high volume, high viscosity molten polymer stream,
usually with complex chemical reactions: a very exacting
There is a fundamental lack of understanding regarding
what actually takes place during these industrial
processes. This project will build on fundamental
modelling techniques, which are now emerging and offer a
real prospect of understanding and simulating the complex
physical and chemical processes taking place during PPP.
These include large scale macromixing (eg using CFD),
micromixing, polymer kinetics and their influence on
product distribution and fluid properties
('chemorheology'). If these can be realised, this might
open the possibility of replacing the rather crude
extrusion type devices by much cheaper and more reliable
static mixer reactors (SMRs) and widening the scope of
reactive post polymer processing from current niche
applications. This in turn will lead to highly novel,
clean technologies producing higher value polymers with
improved properties and increased functionality (Priority
Areas 1.2 and 2.1 of the Work Programme).
POSTPOL aims to develop appropriate models for the
concurrent physical and chemical processes taking place
in a SMR and integrate these into a single model with the
potential to predict SMR performance for a given process.
Component and integrated models will be validated against
laboratory and industrial reaction data, using a
combination of emerging physical and chemical techniques.
The deliverables from POSTPOL will form the fundamental
platform from which polymer producers can implement and
optimise static mixer/reactor technology in their
processes and for mixer manufacturers to develop and
specify appropriate equipment.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
6167 RA Geleen
1018 WV Amsterdam