Smithers Rapra

Exploring Plastics Extrusion


Participants will gain an appreciation of the whole extrusion process enabling them to optimize their processes, troubleshoot and avoid problems. Please note: This course will concentrate on the single screw extrusion process, both within the extruder and downstream. Areas such as compounding (single and twin screw) rheology; pipe extrusion, film; sheet; cable and PVC profiles will be addressed in short modules.

Who Will Benefit?
Process/production engineers; technical managers; personnel involved in quality control; customer/technical services.
Those responsible for selling or purchasing extrusion equipment.

Course objectives and learning outcomes:

As a result of attending this course delegates will be able to:

  • Understand the basic extrusion process
  • recognise the different extrusion techniques
  • Identify the most common faults to be found in extrusion
  • Design improved laboratory (R&D) projects with a view to scaling up to production
  • Understand why different polymers perform differently during extrusion.
  • Make informed choices when purchasing equipment

Benefits will be:

  • better product quality
  • improved efficiency of production
  • quicker resolution of process problems
  • wider understanding of extrusion processes
  • more informed choices when purchasing equipment
  • improved communications with suppliers and customer companies.

Attendees will learn:

  • The Basic Extrusion Process - What are we aiming to achieve?
  • The various elements of the extrusion process
  • The theory behind feeding, melting and pumping
  • Critical aspects of design, choice and purchase of equipment
  • The essential differences between single and twin screw extrusion
  • Important elements of mixing in theory and practice
  • How to scale up both single and twin screw extrusion processes
  • How different end products are produced
  • An approach to trouble shooting with solutions to common problems

Course Content

  • The Basic Extrusion Process - What are we trying to achieve? Densification, Mixing, Compounding, Reinforcement, Reactive Processing, or the production of a particular shape.
  • Extrusion Theory - Feeding, Melting, and Pumping processes in single and twin screw machines, and the energy balance of the process.
  • Rheology- its influence on the extrusion process.
  • Extrusion Design - Aspects of design, choice and purchase of equipment.
  • Twin Screw Extrusion - Different types of twin screw, their uses and compounding optimisation
  • Mixing - Various mixing techniques exist, add on mixing heads, barrier screws and modular kneading elements.
  • Scale-up - Sizing of a machine from laboratory trials, scale-up, and choice of equipment.
  • Downstream- Compound, pipe, film, sheet, cable sheathing, profiles.
  • Trouble shooting - Fault finding, practical solutions to common problems, i.e. probable causes of surging, melt fracture, etc., difficulties encountered in handling rework
  • Materials, feeding systems,etc.
  • Practical Demonstration Practical demonstrations will be used to illustrate aspects of the course.

Course Presenters

Jon Lea- Consultant, Smithers Rapra, Colin Chilles, Process Technologist, Smithers Rapra, Mat Cox, Process Technologist, Smithers Rapra

Discounts given for multiple registrations:

  • 10% discount for 2 delegates registering
  • 15% discount for 3 or more delegates registering

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