Melt Flow Rate of a polymer is simply a measure of the rate of flow of the polymer, when melted. It can be evaluated with the help of a Melt Flow index Tester.
The result obtained through a melt flow test is called the melt mass-flow rate (MFR) or melt volume-flow rate (MVR). In simple terms Melt Flow Rate can be defined as the amount of mass or volume of a polymer that flows through a small aperture at a specified temperature and pressure.
The Melt Flow Rate test is a simple test wherein a small amount of a thermoplastic sample (usually in granule or flake form) is heated in a barrel at a specified temperature. The melted, viscous fluid is then, forced out of a capillary die, and with the help of a piston loaded with dead weights. Once enough sample extrude has exited the die, it is removed and weighed, or the volume of the sample is measured by the machine.
Uses of Melt Flow Index Tester:
Evaluation of Melt Flow Rate is highly beneficial due to the following reasons:
1. A typical index value can be evaluated for verifying in-house material.
2. It can also be used to determine and conduct quality check of entrance materials.
3. Comparison of new materialscan be done easily while product development.
4. Melt Flow Index Tester results are an evaluation tool for new material suppliers.
5. It can also conduct quick comparisons of batches of material and check their compliance with the standard.
6. Estimation of flow properties for simple extrusion processes can be performed accurately.
7. Predictions of how a polymer will behave in a number of processing techniques can also made using this reliable equipment.
The Melt Flow Index Test can be performed across a range of temperatures and weights. Thus, test parameters are always need to be reported with MFR/MVR results. Numerically speaking, the MFR/MVR of a polymer is inversely proportional to its molecular weight.
Melt flow rate testing can be used not only for R&D purposes but also for quality control and process control laboratories. It is highly beneficial in compounding or manufacturing/converting facilities.
This evaluation based ranking is widely used in medical industry, food& drug evaluation and pharmaceutical packaging industry. Compliance is a basic requirement in these industries where set polymer melt flow rate testing is used as a clearance criteria for suppliers. Here, these test results are considered as benchmarks to ensure that the sample under test will match the intended behavior during its processing, extrusion or injection molding.
Thus, a very basic piece of equipment, the Melt Flow Index Tester appears can deliver highly accurate and analytic test results which are highly beneficial in evaluation of polymers and plastics.
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