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Advances in Mechanical Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 236389, 12 pages
Research Article

Study of Dynamic Flow and Mixing Performances of Tri-Screw Extruders with Finite Element Method

School of Mechanical Engineering, Liaoning Shihua University, Fushun, Liaoning 113001, China

Received 13 September 2012; Revised 10 December 2012; Accepted 9 January 2013

Academic Editor: Rehan Ahmed

Copyright © 2013 X. Z. Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is a special circumfluence in the center region of cross-section for a tri-screw extruder. To study the effect of the dynamic center region on the flow and mixing mechanism of the tri-screw extruder, 2D finite element modeling was used to reduce the axial effects. Based on the particle tracking technology, the nonlinear dynamics of a typical particle motions in the center region was carried out and the mixing process in the tri-screw extruder was analyzed with Poincaré maps. Moreover, mixing evaluations of the tri-screw and twin-screw extruders were analyzed and compared. The results show that there are many multiple and fractional excitation frequencies in the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) spectrums, and it shows a chaotic motion in the center region. Poincaré section maps in the tri-screw show the better particles diffusive ability than those in the twin-screw extrude due to the excellent diffluent ability. Furthermore, the tri-screw extruder has the better dispersive, distributive mixing abilities and stretching mixing efficiency than the twin-screw extruder in the cross-section.