Polymer Devolatization And Reaction

Problem: Efficiently removing solvents or monomers to low residual levels from shear and/or heat sensitive polymers. Typically,vent extruders accomplish this process task. However, extruders have limited heat transfer area per unit volume and rely on mechanical means, i.e. shear, to transfer energy into the material. In many instances, the high shear rates required lead to polymer degradation. In addition, the reduced area for vapor disengagement can lead to significant entrainment. Therefore, the initial solvent concentration in the feed is limited. To solve the vapor disengagement problem, equipment with smaller length to diameter ratios has been used. However, this technology is typically very inefficient at transferring heat and requires extended residence time for a given devolatilization, causing degradation in some heat sensitive polymers.

Solution: The Artisan horizontal thin film processor provides a unique combination of efficient heat transfer, short residence time and mechanical robustness to handle high viscosity polymers. The result is efficient processing of viscous materials without product degradation.

Example: Continuous polymerization reaction (finishing step),
producing 2,000,000 CP polyester film.