The goal of the proposed project is the development of an instrument for the measurement of inhomogeneities in highly viscous media at temperatures up to 180 degrees celsius. The work will be concentrated on polymer melts, where the homogeneity of the raw material plays an important role for the customers. The need for such an instrument is especially useful in the field of polyolefins. The blending process of polyethylene and polypropylene in extruder machines needs continuously be controlled in order to avoid gels leading to weak points in all kind of different applications ranging from fibres up to piping products. Also the production of films needs polymer granulates, which are absolutely free of contaminations and gels in the melted stage.
Commercial instruments for measurements in polymer melts have been developed mainly for chemical analysis of the polymer material. As a result a lack for process instruments able to detect inomogeneities has been formed.
The partnership for this project consists of two chemical companies, producing together most of all polyolefins in Europe, and two research institutes having a long experience in the field of polymer science, one of them being a technical university. Since, it is at the beginning of the project not clear what kind of optical principle should be used in the process instrument, we need the input of all the research partners to find the best solution to the problem, rather then fixing oneself to useful existing developments being made in the individual organisations. Appart from the most promising imaging techniques, there will also put effort in measuring the micro rheology and (Raman) spectroscopic properties of the polymer.
The project will be strongly directed towards the development of an instrument that can be used directly in production. There is plenty of possibility to do production tests within the partnership. The availability of the final prototype of the instrument for European polymer producers will be assured by making a licence agreement with a potential manufacturer. The actual formation of large joint venture structures among the European producers of polyolefins will only facilitate a wide exploitation.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
100 44 Stockholm