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Power-law polymer solution flow in a converging annular spinneret: Analytical approximation and numerical computation



A simplified analytical solution for the flow of power-law liquids through a conical annulus was derived to estimate the flow profile, wall shear rate, and elongation rate in the spinneret during the spinning of hollow fiber membranes. The velocity profiles and shear and elongation rates of the power-law fluid showed good agreement with those obtained from computational fluid dynamic simulations. Although the actual spinneret is characterized by an annulus with a converging cross section, most studies to date have used a geometrical concentric annulus for the sake of simplicity. The results of the current work indicate that neglecting the converging characteristics of the actual spinneret can lead to significant underestimation of the wall shear rate. Using the equations derived in our work, we were able to predict not only the velocity profile but also the wall shear rate and the elongation rate; the influence of the spinneret design on the membrane morphology and properties were also examined. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2012