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Example 66

EXAMPLE 66
ADAPTIVE MESHING FOR MOVING PARTS (II):
TWIN SCREW EXTRUDER

DESCRIPTION

In this example, as in example 38, we want to determine the flow rate generated by a
conveying element in a co-rotating twin screw extruder. The dimensions and the boundary
conditions are the same as in example 38 (screw pitch = 40mm, center distance of screws =
33.9mm, barrel bore diameter = 42mm, flight depth = 7.3mm, and clearance = 1mm). To
summarise, the flow domain is limited to one pitch, small entry and exit sections are added to
surround the conveying element, the fluid is Newtonian and isothermal. In order to calculate
the "natural" flow produced by the rotation of the screws, we impose their angular velocity.
At inflow and outflow, we impose vanishing forces. Along the barrel wall, the velocity
vanishes.

The mesh superposition technique is used to simplify the mesh generation of the flow domain
(see fig. 1). Moreover, contrary to example 38, we start with a coarse mesh, and we will refine
it by using the adaptive meshing technique: we will divide elements in sub-elements in
elements close to or on the border of the moving parts. Eventually, we will compare the
solution of example 38, to the results obtained here without adaptive meshing and after one
step of refinement.

Fig. 1. Initial mesh of the flow domain and the two screws.

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KEYWORDS

mesh superposition technique, natural flow rate, twin screw extruder, adaptive meshing

FILENAMES

adtw.msh, adtw_1.dat, adtw_2.dat

NEW CONCEPT

Adaptive meshing

When we use the mesh superposition technique, we evaluate the current location of a moving
part, by determining for each node of the flow domain if it is inside a moving part or not.
This information is stored in a field, called 'INSIDE#I", I for the I -th moving part. Local value
of inside field is equal to zero if the current node is in the real fluid region, otherwise its value
is one. Therefore, if the flow domain mesh is coarse along the border of the moving parts, the
shape of the moving part is not well described, and the flow patterns will not be accurately
evaluated. A way to improve results is to add elements in regions overlapped by the moving
part border. This border is indeed the zone where we observe variation in the inside fields.
With adaptive meshing, elements where variation of inside fields is significant are divided in
smaller elements (recursive sub-division: a segment is divided in 2, a face in 4, a brick in 8).

If one wants that automatic refinement takes place in the clearance between cam and external
boundary, at least one element (in the initial mesh) must be placed in this area.

SYSTEM OF UNITS

Millimeter-gram-second.

MATERIAL PROPERTIES

Model: Gen. Newtonian isothermal flow problem.

- Viscosity: 50000 Pa.s


- Density, inertia and volume forces are neglected

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OPERATING CONDITIONS

Boundary conditions for the flow domain:


- BS1: normal and tangential forces vanish (exit)
- BS2: normal and tangential forces vanish (entry)
- BS3:  = 10 rpm, same angular velocity and axis than moving part #1
- BS4:  = 10 rpm, same angular velocity and axis than moving part #2
- BS5: normal and tangential velocities vanish (barrel wall)
Boundary conditions for the moving parts:
- Moving part #1: subdomain S2,
center of rotation = (0, 0, 0),
axis of rotation = (0, 0, 1),
angular velocity = 10 rpm.
- Moving part #2: subdomain S3,
center of rotation = (33.9, 0, 0),
axis of rotation = (0, 0, 1),
angular velocity = 10 rpm.

POLYDATA SESSION (ADTW_1.DAT: NO AUTOMATIC REFINEMENT)

- Read a mesh file: adtw.msh


- Create a new task: 3D, steady state
- Create a subtask: Generalized Newtonian isothermal flow problem
Domain: SD1
Material Data:
Viscosity:
Constant law: fac = 50000
no density, no inertia, no gravity.
Flow Boundary Conditions:
BS1: (fn, fs) = (0, 0)
BS2: (fn, fs) = (0, 0)
BS3: Cartesian Velocity imposed: Vxyz imposed
point 1 = (0, 0, 0)
point 2 = (0, 0, 1)
angular velocity,  = 1.0472 rad/s.
BS4: Cartesian Velocity imposed: Vxyz imposed
point 1 = (33.9, 0, 0)
point 2 = (33.9, 0, 1)
angular velocity,  = 1.0472 rad/s
BS5 : (vn,vs) = (0,0)
Define moving parts:
Moving part #1
Domain: SD2
Motion:

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point of rotation axis: (0, 0, 0)


orientation of axis: (0, 0, 1)
angular velocity: 10 rpm.
Superposition technique:
default values are OK !
Flow boundary condition:
Stick condition
Moving part #2:
Domain: SD3
Motion:
point of rotation axis: (33.9, 0, 0)
orientation of axis: (0, 0, 1)
angular velocity: 10 rpm.
Superposition technique:
default values are OK !
Flow boundary condition:
Stick condition
Interpolation:
Coordinates: linear
Velocities: linear
Pressure: constant
- Create a subtask: Post-processor:
type: local shear rate
domain: SD1
- Ouputs:
- Default output : CFD-Post
- System of units for CFD-POST: metric_mm/g/s/mA+Celsius
- Max. listing
- Filename syntax:
prefix = adtw_1
- Save and Exit:
- Polyflow datafile: adtw_1.dat
- Polyflow resultfile: adtw_1.res
- CFD-Post: adtw_1.cfx.res

POLYDATA SESSION (ADTW_2.DAT: WITH AUTOMATIC REFINEMENT)

- Read a mesh file: adtw.msh


- Read an old data file: adtw_1.dat
- FEM Task 1
- Numerical parameters
Adaptive meshing see note 1
Activate adaptive meshing for moving parts
Enable all the local criteria (default values are OK)
Nstep = 1

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Maxdiv = 1
- Ouputs:
- Default output : CFD-Post
- System of units for CFD-POST: metric_mm/g/s/mA+Celsius
- Max. listing
- Filename syntax:
- prefix = adtw_2
- Save and Exit:
- Polyflow datafile: adtw_2.dat
- Polyflow resultfile: adtw_2.res
- CFD-Post: adtw_2.cfx.res

Note 1

In the "adaptive meshing" menu, one must activate adaptive meshing by enabling specific
criteria. In this case, adaptive meshing for moving parts is activated, i.e. criteria based on
variation of inside fields are available. In particular, we want to refine close to the border of
the moving parts, i.e. in regions where the variation of the inside field is large ("S_up = 0.05"
means that we refine elements where variation of inside field through these elements is
higher than 0.05). Also, we wish to coarsen mesh in area of low gradient ("S_do = 0.01" means
that we remove subdivided elements where variation of inside field through these elements is
lower than 0.01).

In general, adaptive meshing for moving parts can be defined with respect to several parts.
When several parts are involved, the definition of criteria can be made globally for all parts or
locally for each part. Also, criteria can be enabled/disabled for a given part or for all parts.
In the present case, “Global Criteria” mode is selected, and all local criteria will be enabled.

As the mesh superposition technique modifies locally the velocity field, the mass conservation
principle can not be satisfied exactly. Moreover, pressure peaks and velocity perturbations
can appear. The adaptive meshing technique will improve this situation. However, the
number or steps of refinement is limited ; after one step, a brick can be divided in 8, but after
two steps some initial bricks can be divided in up to 64 smaller bricks. So, the number of
elements will increase very rapidly. That is why in this example, we refine only one time.

POLYFLOW RUN

polyflow < adtw_1.dat > adtw_1.lst &

polyflow < adtw_2.dat > adtw_2.lst &

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GRAPHIC POST-PROCESSING

In the next table we compare flow rates, torque along the screws and number of elements for
three solutions: a) solution with no refinement, b) solution with one step of refinement and c)
the solution previously obtained in example 38.

Example 66 Example 38
No refin. 1 step of refin. No refin.
Number of Elements 2660 18823 24120
Flow rate [mm3/s] 1993 2677 2855
Torque Tz [Nm] -43 -49 -49

We observe convergence of the results as the number of elements increases. We observe also
that after one step of refinement, the number of bricks is multiplied by 7: almost 90 % of the
bricks of the initial mesh of the flow domain have been subdivided. A second step of
refinement would be very expensive.

In fig. 2, we present the screws as they are discretized by the 'INSIDE fields': after one step of
refinement, they reproduce very well the exact geometry of the screws. In figs. 3, 4 and 5, we
observe very well the positive effect of refinement: after one step of refinement, we are very
close to results obtained in example 38: this is demonstrated for pressure and for local shear
rate.

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a) b)

c)

Fig. 2. - Effect of refinement: a) isovalue (I=0.6) of Inside fields on initial mesh, b) isovalue
(I=0.6) of Inside fields after one step of refinement, c) exact geometry of the screws.

Fig. 3. - Pressure field along line starting at point (0, -20, -5) and ending at point (0, -20, 45).
The fluid is entering the flow domain in cross section Z=45mm and leaves in cross section
Z=-5mm.

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a)

b)

Fig. 4. - Pressure field (in Pa) in plane Y=16: a) initial mesh, b) after one step of refinement.

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a)

b)
Fig. 5. - Local shear rate (in s-1) along barrel wall: a) initial mesh, b) after one step of
refinement.

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