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Cloud Based Optimisation Of An Extrusion Die

Executive Summary

EMO plans to improve their flat slit extrusion dies by numerical methods: The main challenge in plastic mold extrusion is to generate a uniform flow field across the exit plane of an extrusion die. The aim of the experiment is to analyse the structural interaction between the plastic melt and the shaping tool and to optimise the extrusion die design with a simulation and optimisation workflow running on HPC cloud computing resources.

Technical and economic impact

a. Process optimisation: improved production of sheets and plates
b. Product optimisation: improved quality of sheets and plates
c. Reduction of commissioning time and reduction of changes in die design
All objectives can be achieved with a die design based on a coupled simulation approach.
(a) The flat slit extrusion die design has a decisive influence on the production time and the tools’ service life. A bad flow channel design significantly increases the production time of the tool due to uncontrolled material deposition and re-suspension in the channel so that the production process itself is difficult to plan. The production costs are increased enormously by material waste and machine downtimes.
(b) A poor channel design causes “frozen” tensions in the sheet or plate. These tensions have a negative impact on the product quality, e.g. due to unwanted deformation or weak points.
The extrusion die can deform elastically due to the high pressures occurring during the production of plates and sheets. The change of the flow channel geometry will cause or intensify an incorrect polymer melt flow. The objective of the coupled optimisation is the anticipation of the flow channel geometry under consideration of all relevant forces acting upon the extrusion die body. With the knowledge of the resulting flow channel, the melt flow distribution can be predicted and controlled.
EMO wants to learn how optimised flat slit extrusion dies can be designed with the help of coupled simulations running on the CloudFlow infrastructure. INO wants to prove that a significant optimisation of the extrusion die can be done under consideration of the complex rheological aspects of the polymer flow behaviour. DHCAE would like to generate an in detail investigated and validated FSI case based on cloud solution technology which can be used as reference to demonstrate the solution capabilities, workflow and ease of use.