ARTIS has a selection of equipment to evaluate the processability of materials, particularly rubbers. These range from the conventional Mooney and MDR rheometers, through capillary rheometry, to some unique equipment specifically designed for looking at the flow properties of viscous fluids and the interaction of rubber and metal during cure. Dynamic Mechanical analysis can also be used to study the curing and viscoelastic flow properties of fluids.
Other advanced material characterisation techniques, such as thermal property measurement, allow the use of sophisticated process simulation software such as Moldflow. This allows design of the feed and cavity geometry and setting of the process conditions to optimise the mould design before metal has been cut for tooling, in the injection moulding process.
These same materials characterisation techniques can be used to assess the effect of the process on the material and to look at the efficacy of mixing cycles.
By using the techniques of statistical experimental design and process capability - applying optimisation methodology, processes can be fully optimised to maximise performance.
Follow the case study link for details of work carried out on TPE / Thermoset co-extrusion process as part of the development of Cleanline dairy hose product.