Abstract

Extruder Cooling Line

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Trine University’s School of Engineering and Technology offers a plastics minor with an assortment of machines and tools for the students to gain experience using in a lab environment. One machine is a plastic extruder that mixes polymer pellets and any filler the students wish to add and extrudes the hot material through a die forming a 2D profile part. The current setup has no cooling unit at the die end, so when the hot plastic is extruded it falls straight down into a five gallon plastic bucket where the material coils and sticks together while cooling. The time to cool fully is much longer than desired and makes achieving a standard sample difficult. The design team is tasked with designing a simple cooling system that catches the extruded plastic upon emerging from the die and cools it to a temperature which is safe to handle. A mechanism to pull and guide the plastic is also required and must match the speed of the extruder. With these requirements, the design team came up with the overall design of a liquid trough system supported by a frame with a mechanical puller device to guide the extruded polymer and provide sufficient cooling. The two main factors of the project were cost and overall size. Existing cooling lines are expensive and are designed more for manufacturing in a large scale industrial environment with constant use, while the department only uses the extruder a few times a year for laboratory activities. The device will allow students in the plastics minor to use the extruder and safely cool the plastic and achieve more uniform samples while saving the university money.

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This is for the student poster session - undergraduate

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(POSTER) Design of an Extruder Cooling Line

Extruder Cooling Line

Authors

Affiliations

Trine University’s School of Engineering and Technology offers a plastics minor with an assortment of machines and tools for the students to gain experience using in a lab environment. One machine is a plastic extruder that mixes polymer pellets and any filler the students wish to add and extrudes the hot material through a die forming a 2D profile part. The current setup has no cooling unit at the die end, so when the hot plastic is extruded it falls straight down into a five gallon plastic bucket where the material coils and sticks together while cooling. The time to cool fully is much longer than desired and makes achieving a standard sample difficult. The design team is tasked with designing a simple cooling system that catches the extruded plastic upon emerging from the die and cools it to a temperature which is safe to handle. A mechanism to pull and guide the plastic is also required and must match the speed of the extruder. With these requirements, the design team came up with the overall design of a liquid trough system supported by a frame with a mechanical puller device to guide the extruded polymer and provide sufficient cooling. The two main factors of the project were cost and overall size. Existing cooling lines are expensive and are designed more for manufacturing in a large scale industrial environment with constant use, while the department only uses the extruder a few times a year for laboratory activities. The device will allow students in the plastics minor to use the extruder and safely cool the plastic and achieve more uniform samples while saving the university money.