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Title: Modeling of the sheet-molding process for poly(methyl methacrylate)
Authors: Zhou, F.
Guptam, S.K.
Ray, A.K. 
Keywords: Modeling
Poly(methyl methacrylate)
Polymer reactor
Issue Date: 22-Aug-2001
Citation: Zhou, F., Guptam, S.K., Ray, A.K. (2001-08-22). Modeling of the sheet-molding process for poly(methyl methacrylate). Journal of Applied Polymer Science 81 (8) : 1951-1971. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The sheet-molding process for the production of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) involves an isothermal batch reactor followed by polymerization in a mold (the latter is referred to as a "sheet reactor"). The temperature at the outer walls of the mold varies with time. In addition, due to finite rates of heat transfer in the viscous reaction mass, spatial temperature gradients are present inside the mold. Further, the volume of the reaction mass also decreases with polymerization. These several physicochemical phenomena are incorporated into the model developed for this process. It was found that the monomer conversion attains high values of near-unity in most of the inner region in the mold. This is because of the high temperatures there, since the heat generated due to the exothermicity of the polymerization cannot be removed fast enough. However, the temperature of the mold walls has to be increased in the later stages of polymerization so that the material near the outer edges can also attain high conversions of about 98%. This would give PMMA sheets having excellent mechanical strength. The effects of important operating (decision) variables were studied and it was observed that the heat-transfer resistance in the mold influences the spatial distribution of the temperature, which, in turn, influences the various properties (e.g., monomer conversion, number-average molecular weight, and polydispersity index) of the product significantly © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 81.
Source Title: Journal of Applied Polymer Science
ISSN: 00218995
DOI: 10.1002/app.1627
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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