Micro molding has shown great commercial potential in recent years and determination of the rheological behavior of the polymer melt within micro structured geometry is vital for accurate simulation modeling of micro molding. The lack of commercial equipment is one of main hurdles in the investigation of micro melt rheology. In this study, a melt viscosity measurement system for low and high density polyethylene polymer melt flowing through micro-channels was established using a micro channel mold operated at a mold temperature as high as the melt temperature. For measured pressure drop and volumetric flow rate, capillary flow model was used for the calculation of viscosity utilizing Rabinowitsch correction. The calculated results of low crystallinity LDPE resin were also compared with those of high crystallinity HDPE resin to discuss the effect of degree of crystallinity on the viscosity characteristics of polymer within micro-channels. It was found that the measured LDPE and HDPE viscosity values in the test ranges are significantly lower (about 40∼56% and 22∼29% for LDPE and HDPE, respectively, flowing through a channel size of 150μm) than those obtained with a traditional capillary rheometer. Meanwhile, the percentage reduction in the viscosity value and the ratio of slip velocity relative to mean velocity all increase with decreasing micro-channel size. In the present study we emphasize that the rheological behavior of the high crystallinity HDPE and low crystallinity LDPE resins in microscopic scale are all different from that of macroscopic scale but HDPE displays a less significant lower. The reason can be attributed to for LDPE resin within the micro-channel can create the higher extra bonding force between the bulk chains than HDPE resin. Thus, it will have the lower adhesive force between the bulk chains with the micro-channel wall, resulting in higher degree of wall slip.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.