Mathematical analysis of film blowing

Bennett, J 2008, Mathematical analysis of film blowing, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Mathematical analysis of film blowing
Author(s) Bennett, J
Year 2008
Abstract Film blowing is a highly complex industrial process used to manufacture thin plastic films for uses in a wide range of applications; for example, plastic bags. The mathematical modelling of this process involves the analysis of highly nonlinear differential equations describing the complex phenomena arising in the film blowing process, and requires a sophisticated mathematical approach. This dissertation applies an innovative combination of tools, namely analytic, numerical and heuristic mathematical techniques to the analysis of the film blowing process.

The research undertaken examines, in particular, a two-point boundary value problem arising from the modelling of the radial profile of the polymer film. For even the simplest modelling of this process, namely the isothermal Newtonian model, the resulting differential equation is a highly nonlinear, second order one, with an extra degree of difficulty due to the presence of a small parameter multiplying the highest derivative. Thus, the problem falls into the category of a nonlinear singular perturbation problem.

Analytic techniques are applied to the isothermal Newtonian blown film model to obtain a closed form explicit approximation to the film bubble radius. This is then used as a base approximation for an iterative numerical scheme to obtain an improved numerical solution of the problem. The process is extended to include temperature variations, varying viscosity (Power law model) and viscoelastic effects (Maxwell model). As before, closed form approximations are constructed for these models which are used to launch numerical schemes, whose solutions display good accuracy. The results compare well with results obtained by purely numerical solutions in the literature.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences
Keyword(s) Plastic films
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