Finite element modeling of the flow of a rubber compound through an axisymmetric die using the CEF viscoelastic constitutive equation



This work is devoted to the simulation of the flow of a high viscosity NR/SBR rubber compound through the die of a single screw extruder with axisymmetric geometry. An in-house developed computer code based on the use of continuous penalty finite element method was employed. Three constitutive equations including two generalized Newtonian models namely; power-law and Carreau and an explicit viscoelastic model named CEF (Criminale-Ericksen-Fillbey) were used to reflect the rheological behavior of the material. Using the parameters of the rheological models determined by a slit die rheometry technique, the flow of the compound was simulated through the die and results were compared with experimentally measured mass flow rates. It is shown that for high viscosity rubber compounds the use of generalized Newtonian models which do not take the normal stress in simple shear flow into consideration gives rise to significant errors in prediction of mass flow rates. On the other hand, comparing the simulations results using the CEF equation with experimental data revealed that this model is the best compromise between generalized Newtonian and full viscoelastic models which need high computational costs and effort. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2012