Turbidimetric method for the determination of particle sizes in polypropylene/clay-composites during extrusion
Nanocomposites with polypropylene as matrix material and nanoclay as filler were produced in a double twin screw extruder. The extrusion was monitored with a spectrometer in the visible and near-infrared spectral region with a diode array spectrometer. Two probes were installed at the end at the extruder die and the transmission spectra were measured during the extrusion. After measuring the transmission spectra and converting into turbidity units, the particle distribution density was calculated via numerical linear equation system. The distribution density function shows either a bimodal or mono modal shape in dependence of the processing parameters like screw speed, dosage, and concentration of the nanoclays. The method was verified with SEM measurements which yield comparable results. The method is suitable for industrial in-line processing monitoring of particle radii and dispersion process, respectively.