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Theoretical prediction and experimental measurement of isothermal extrudate swell of monodisperse and bidisperse polystyrenes.

Robertson, Ben and Thompson, Richard L. and McLeish, Tom C. B. and Robinson, Ian (2017) 'Theoretical prediction and experimental measurement of isothermal extrudate swell of monodisperse and bidisperse polystyrenes.', Journal of rheology., 61 (5). pp. 931-945.


This paper describes the theoretical prediction, finite element simulation, and experimental studies of extrudate swell in monodisperse and bidisperse polystyrenes. We present a molecular approach to understanding extrudate swell using the tube-model-based Rolie-Poly constitutive equation within a Lagrangian finite element solver. This yields theoretical predictions of swelling which show a close universality: The molecular weight dependence of the swelling can be removed when the flow speed is scaled by the Rouse Weissenberg number. The roles that both chain orientation and stretch play in determining extrudate swell are clearly identifiable from plots of swelling ratio against each Weissenberg number. We also present isothermal extrusion experiments on the same polymers and can obtain good predictions well into the strong chain stretching regime. The predictions for swelling ratios match those from experiments up to Rouse Weissenberg numbers of ∼7, above which swelling is overpredicted by the Rolie-Poly equation.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2017 The Society of Rheology. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Journal of rheology, 61(5): 935-945 and may be found at
Date accepted:26 July 2017
Date deposited:31 July 2017
Date of first online publication:26 July 2017
Date first made open access:26 July 2018

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