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Injection molding is one of the most important manufacturing process for polymers. Products have to be accurately shaped for functional or esthetic reasons, and changes in specific volume determine their final shape and dimensional stability. Therefore, a correct description of the specific volume as a function of processing conditions is of utmost importance when developing new polymers and for mold design and process optimization.
IME Technologies and the Polymer Technology group of the Dep. Mechanical Engineering of the TU/e have developed a unique dilatometer that makes it possible to accurately measure the specific volume of polymers as a function of pressure, temperature, cooling rate and shear rate. The heart of the machine consists of a pressure cell that combines a traditional "piston-die" type dilatometer with a Couette rheometer. The commercial version of this unique dilatometer is called the Pirouette PVT apparatus.
The Pirouette can measure the PVT behavior of polymers at realistic processing conditions like high pressure (1000 bar), high cooling rates (140 K/s) and large shear flows (180 1/s). The device is safe and easy-to-use, resulting in low setup times and fast experimentation. Furthermore, the Pirouette provides absolute PVT data so there is no need for additional reference measurements.
Other advantages are that the system uses very little material in the form of ring-shaped samples that can be easily made in a micro injection molding machine or custom mold. The system is equipped with fully automated control system and intuitive user-interface with extensive experiment programming functionality. Finally, the system has a small footprint and only requires standard power, pressurized air and tap water connections.
Download the full product presentation of the Pirouette PVT apparatus here.
Pirouette - dilatometry for processing