Online Rheometry Investigation of Flow/Slip Behavior of Powder Injection Molding Feedstocks

Polymers (Basel). 2019 Mar 6;11(3):432. doi: 10.3390/polym11030432.


Wall slip in the flow of powder injection molding (PIM) compounds can be the cause of unrealistically low viscosity values, and can lead to a failure of flow simulation approaches. Regardless of its importance, it has been considered only scarcely in the rheological models applied to PIM materials. In this paper, an online extrusion rheometer equipped with rectangular slit dies was used to evaluate the slip velocity of commercial as well as in-house-prepared PIM feedstocks based on metallic and ceramic powders at close-to-processing conditions. The tested slit dies varied in their dimensions and surface roughness. The wall-slip effect was quantified using the Mooney analysis of slip velocities. The smaller gap height (1 mm) supported the wall-slip effect. It was shown that both the binder composition and the powder characteristic affect slip velocity. Slip velocity can be reduced by tailoring a powder particle size distribution towards smaller particle fractions. The thickness of the polymer layer formed at the channel wall is higher for water-soluble feedstocks, while in the case of the catalytic polyacetal feedstocks the effect of surface roughness was manifested through lower viscosity at smooth surfaces.

Keywords: feedstock; online rheometer; powder injection molding; slit die; surface roughness; wall slip.