Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

First Advisor

Richard G. Griskey

Second Advisor

Hung T. Chen

Third Advisor

Deran Hanesian


The object of this investigation is to develop and test an apparatus to predict temperature profiles of polymer melts in laminar flow in a heat exchanger, with non-isothermal wall conditions.

A commercial polyethylene melt is pumped at various flow rates through a smooth 0.957 in. I.D. pipe. The entrance temperature of polymer is maintained uniform.

Radially distributed six thermocouples (0.062 in. 0.D.) are placed at 2.5 ft. intervals from the entrance of heat exchanger. Immersion of these probes parallel to the flow direction, reduced the errors due to the conduction of heat from the tube wall to the thermocouple stems.

The experimental data, calculated viscous heating factors and obtained Nusselt-Graetz data are compared with previous works.

The results agreed with those theoretical studies which consider the viscous heating of polymer melts as a significant flow character. This study revealed that the viscous heating effects are too important to neglect and that the heat transfer phenomena is strongly dependent on viscous heating and the expansion-cooling of the polymer melt. The viscoelastic behavior, that is attributed to polymer melts, is the major cause of viscous heating.

The literature review has shown that there is no experimental work accomplished to investigate the temperature profile development of polymer melts.



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