Right: Leistritz’s Elongation Rheometer can be used in

standalone and in-line applications

used to optimise manufacturing. Big data can also be used to predict material properties and aid development of new materials and compounds. The widespread use of advanced analytics and even AI is not far off, predicts Haake, but for now the task is to collect relevant data that can later be used to feed mathematical models. Goettfert has also recently introduced

the off-line Melt Index Machine mi-Robo 89.16. This is a fully automated melt indexer that can run pellets, powders, or be fed directly with material from the process itself. Automation improves accuracy by eliminating the “human factor” that can create variability. The instrument’s electric drive technology is also significantly quieter than the previous version’s pneumatic motor. Austria’s iVON offers an online rheometer designed to measure the intrinsic viscosity (iV) of PET. A key benefit of the system is the ability to optimise input material mix and pre-drying times using a feedback control loop based on iV meas- urement. In addition, the system provides full traceability for documenting quality parameters. The “plug & play” system can be operated as an independent unit or connected with the extruder control system.

DMA for the lab Anton Paar’s new MCR 702 MultiDrive for dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) combines a new linear motor with the EC drive technology from its MCR rheometers, enabling users to perform DMA in tension, bending, compression, and torsion, as well as thermomechanical analysis (TMA) and rheologi- cal characterisation, in one instrument. The motor design, unique to the MCR 702 MultiDrive, has low magnetic hysteresis that enables precise measure- ments over a broad force range up to 40N. This range enables characteri-

sation of all types of materials ranging from soft to stiff. The large displace- ment range of the linear motor from 10nm up to 9.4mm is suitable for all kinds of DMA in tension, bending and compression; thermomechanical analysis; and static procedures such as tensile testing. The MultiDrive can also be used for

DMA in torsion or as a research-grade rheometer to characterise polymer melts or polymer solutions by using the top EC motor and keeping the bottom linear motor fixed. As an extra feature for rheological measurement, the two drives can work in counter- movement mode and also in separate motor-transducer mode when com- bined with an additional EC motor instead of the linear motor. In this configuration, the device enables

combined characterisation methods (for example, rheology and microstructural analysis with a microscope), rheological tests at high rotational speed, steady and transient rotational tests, and oscillatory tests. The instrument provides automatic recognition

of measuring systems using an RFID chip in each accessory, which reduces operator error. The system’s temperature-controlled chamber (offering a temperature range from -160 to +600°C) has been optimised using computational fluid dynam- ics to avoid internal temperature gradients, ensuring a uniform temperature across the sample. The measuring system also includes an integrated temperature sensor, which increases the reproduc- ibility of the measurement of the sample tempera- ture.

An existing Anton Paar MCR 702 TwinDrive rheometer can be upgraded to a MultiDrive DMA system by substituting the lower rotational motor with the new Linear Drive and installing a new com- puter processing unit and firmware. “A user’s current setup can easily be adapted to this func- tionality. This set-up saves space in the lab as well as the cost of two different instruments,” says Anton Paar USA Sales Manager, Norbert Ponweiser.

Left: The Goettfert mi-Robo 89.16 is a fully automated melt indexer

38 COMPOUNDING WORLD | January 2019

Multivariate analysis Polymer scientists have developed considerable understanding of how molecular structure and morphology, combined with processing variables, affect the properties of polymers and their end-use performance. Univariate (one variable) analysis is of some use, but since the relationships between



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