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Influence of the scale and type of processing tool on plasticization of cellulose acetate

: Cousin, Thibault; Berto, Christophe; Budtova, Tatiana; Kurek, Joanna; Navard, Patrick


Polymer Engineering and Science 57 (2017), No.5, pp.563-569
ISSN: 0032-3888
ISSN: 1548-2634
Journal Article
Fraunhofer UMSICHT Oberhausen ()
plasticization; cellulose acetate; processing tool

Four processing tools (two twin-screw extruders, one being a mini-extruder, and two mixers) were used to prepare plasticized cellulose acetate with 20 wt% of glycerol triacetate. The goal was to deduce if the scale of the processing tool influences the dispersion of the plasticizer as estimated by the thermal, rheological, and mechanical properties of the obtained materials. The amount of polymer used ranged from 5 g for mini-extruder to a 10 kg/h for pilot-scale extruder. The specific mechanical energy was used to compare the thermal, rheological, and mechanical properties of cellulose acetate obtained with the four processing tools using different processing conditions. The measurement of the glass transition temperature was not able to discriminate the four tools used. Rheology shows differences, not as a function of small or large tools, but in terms of specific mechanical energy. The larger was the tool, the higher were the Young's moduli. This was ascribed to an overall better distribution and dispersion of the plasticizer. However, all variations were small, showing that small laboratory processing machines can prepare thermoplastic compounds with similar properties as pilot scale extruders, at least in what concerns cellulose acetate.