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Twin Screw Compounding

Adam Dreiblatt
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Our company uses twin-screw extruders to

make _____________________________.
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There is approximately __________lbs

of material inside the twin-screw
extruder while it is running.
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It takes approximately _________min
(sec) for the material to go from one end
of the twin-screw extruder to the other
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Our customers are _________________.
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Product Quality means______________

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This is a
Conveying Screw
Kneading Element
Dont know
Why Compound ?
Two or more ingredients combined in fixed
proportions, distinguished from a mixture in that
the constituents of a compound lose their
individual characteristics and the compound has
new characteristics:
Impact strength, flexural stiffness
Color, surface appearance, paintability
Dielectric strength, conductivity
Flame retardancy, etc.
What is Compounding ?
Optimize ingredients for improved properties
Compatibilizers (blends, alloys, etc.)
Reactive compounding (copolymerization, grafting)
Fillers (reinforcing, non-reinforcing)
Optimize process for combining ingredients
Screw configuration
Sequence of addition
Rate, speed, temperature profile, etc.
Process Model
Process System Structure Target
Parameters Parameters Parameters Parameters


Compounding Specific Product

Parameters Energy Input Properties

Extruder L/D Melt Temperature Blend Morphology Modulus

Screw Design Shear Profile Disperse Phase Size Elongation
Pressure Profile Distribution
Throughput Notched IZOD
Residence Time Mw, Mwd
Screw Speed
Temperature Profile
Why Twin-Screw Compounding ?
Precise Control
Low free volume = small mass
Controlled energy and mass transfer
Modular design = multi-product capability
Multiple unit operations on common shaft
Quality + yield + on-stream factor
Continuous process economics
Single Screw Extruder

Smooth Bore Extrusion

Metering Melting Zone Solids Conveying

Complete melting Apply Shear for melting Remove solids from
Uniform pumping Even solid bed formation hopper
Disperse particulate Consistent delivery to Preheat the solids
Distribute thermal meter Consistent delivery to
gradients Correct amount to meter melting zone
Adequate pressure Deliver correct amount
to melting zone
Characteristic Dimensions
Screw Diameter (Do)
Determines free volume per unit length together with
diameter ratio (Do/Di)
Determines shear rate regime together with diameter
ratio (Do/Di)
Primary factor for extruder capacity
Extruder Length (L/D)
Determines free volume (i.e. residence time)
Determined by process requirements
Diameter Ratio = Do/Di
Do = Doutside
Di = Dinside


Length / Diameter Ratio
Length = 2400 mm

Diameter = 60 mm

L/D = 40 (also referred to as 40D)

Worlds smallest
twin-screw extruder
Diameter = 7.5mm

Courtesy: MPR
Courtesy: Japan Steel Works
Parallel (Cylindrical) Screw

Constant screw diameter

Conical Screw Extruder

Decreasing screw diameter


Non-Intermeshing (Tangential)

Partially Intermeshing Fully Intermeshing

Direction of Rotation

Co-Rotating : Both screws turning in same direction

Counter-Rotating : Screws turn opposite direction (relative to each

Twin-Screw Extruder
Manufacturers, Intermeshing
Co-Rotating Twin-Screws Counter-Rotating Twin-Screws

Slow Speed High Speed Conical Cylindrical

Columbo APV/B&P Maris AGM Amut S.P.A.
Creusot-Loire Berstorff Mapimpianti SpA Anger Bandera
ICMA Betol Mapre S.A. Cin. Milacron Battenfeld
Ikegai Brabender Mitsubishi Eder Brabender
Buhler Nam Sung Haake Clextral
CPM Century Pomini Maplan Ermefa
Clextral Reifenhauser Weber Ikegai
Coperion Rockstedt JSW
Delaware Extruder Ruiya Kraus-Maffei
Egan Machinery Teledyne Readco Kurimoto
Ermefa Textruder Leistritz
Extruder Technologies Theysohn (Buhler) Maplan
Fudex Srl Togum S.A. Mapre S.A.
Ikegai Toshiba (NFM) Reifenhauser
JSW US Extrusion Togum
Kobe Steel Wayne Machine Toshiba
Kurimoto Wenger Weber
Keya WP
Manufacturers, Non-Intermeshing
Counter-Rotating Twin-Screws
Equal Screw Length Unequal Screw Length
Japan Steel Works Welding Engineers
Whats The Difference ?
Why The Difference ?
Definition: Lengthwise Open

Continuous, unrestricted path along machine axis

Opportunity for flow in axial direction
Flow possible both upstream and downstream
Definition: Lengthwise Closed

Axial pathway divided into isolated volumes

No opportunity for flow in axial direction
Volumes do not communicate with each other
What does it all mean ?
Co-rotating geometry is lengthwise open and
Crosswise open with kneading elements
Opportunity for distributive mixing at expense of
pressure generating capacity
Crosswise closed with conveying elements
Opportunity for distributive or dispersive mixing at
expense of pressure generating capacity
Co-Rotating Twin-Screw Extruder
Co-Rotating Twin-Screws are drag flow pumps with forced
displacement at intermesh

Figure 2 (a) Change of flow direction of the wedge volume (absolute movement)
(b) Change in direction of material flow as a function of screw crests.
Co-Rotating Twin-Screw Extruder
Kneading elements provide communication between
multiple melt channels

Figure 5.12 Arrangement of kneading paddles with screw-like characteristics:

a = square pitch bilobe screw
b = same pitch with D/16 thick paddles at 22.5 offset
c = same pitch with D/8 thick paddles at 45 offset
Distributive vs Dispersive Mixing
Definition: Distributive Mixing
Spatial rearrangement of species

Distribution of fillers & additives

Concentration of volatiles
Thermal homogeneity
Involves reorientation / generation of new surfaces
No reduction is size of domains
Definition: Dispersive Mixing
Reduction in size of domains

Overcome shear stress which binds domains

Shear stress = shear rate x viscosity
Pressure-driven flow through clearances
Spatial orientation not necessarily involved