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# Residence Time Distribution

## Without disturbing the steady-state ow, insert a dye marker uniformly

across the cross sectional area of the input, at time t = 0.
What is the concentration of dye exiting the ow as a function of time?
Dye Concentration at Exit f(t) (amount per unit time)
Residence Time t (time dye takes to exit)
Mean Residence Time

t =
_

0
tf(t)dt
Example: Newtonian ow in a circular pipe
P
1
> P
2
v
r
= v

= 0 v
z
=
P
4L
_
R
2
r
2

## Residence time depends on radial position because velocity depends on radial

position.
t =
L
v
z
=
4L
2
P[R
2
r
2
]
Shortest residence time at centerline of pipe because the maximum velocity
is there.
t
0
=
L
v
max
=
4L
2
PR
2
(t at r = 0)
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Residence Time Distribution
Range of residence times t
0
t
(note: some dye is at the wall and never exits)
Distribution: f(t)dt =
2rv
z
dr
Q
Volumetric ow rate: Q =
_
R
0
2rv
z
dr =
PR
4
8L
f(t)dt =
P
2L
[R
2
r
2
]rdr
PR
4
8L
f(t)dt = 4
_
r
R
2

r
3
R
4
_
dr
t
0
t
=
4L
2
/(PR
2
)
4L
2
/(P[R
2
r
2
])
=
R
2
r
2
R
2
= 1 (r/R)
2
(r/R)
2
= 1
t
0
t
r = R
_
1
t
0
t
_
1/2
dr =
R
2t
2
t
0
dt
_
1
t
0
t
_
1/2
f(t)dt = 4
_
_
1
t
0
t
_
1/2
R

_
1
t
0
t
_
3/2
R
_
Rt
0
dt
2t
2
_
1
t
0
t
_
1/2
= 2
_
1
_
1
t
0
t
__
t
0
dt
t
2
=
2t
2
0
dt
t
3
for t t
0
= 0 for t < t
0
2
Residence Time Distribution
Mean residence time:

t =
_

0
tf(t)dt =
_

t
0
2t
2
0
dt
t
2
=
2t
2
0
t

t
0

t = 2t
0
Comparison of residence time distributions
For pipe ow:

tf(t) = 4(t
0
/t)
3
= (

t/t)
3
/2
Figure 1: Extruder ow has a narrower residence time distribution than pipe
ow because the extruder has cross-channel ows and thus improved mixing.
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TWIN-SCREW EXTRUSION
Figure 2: Dierent kinds of twin screw extruders: a) counter-rotating, inter-
meshing; b) co-rotating, intermeshing; c) counter-rotating, non-intermeshing;
d) co-rotating, non-intermeshing.
Figure 3: Various leakage ows in the extruder.
Get better axial mixing with a twin-screw than with a single-screw ex-
truder. Important for 2-phase blends.
4
Residence Time Distribution
Figure 4: Pressure build up in a co-rotating twin-screw extruder.
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THE BREAKER PLATE
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PELLETIZING
The multistrand die and slotted pulley keep hot strands from adhering
to each other.
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VARIANTS OF PELLETIZING
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Heat Transfer
C
p
dT
dt
= k
2
T (a diusion equation)
= density C
p
= specic heat k = thermal conductivity
(analogous to Ficks Law
dC
dt
= D
d
2
C
dx
2
)
Thermal diusivity
k
C
p
(m
2
/s)
dT
dt
=
2
T
Example: Cooling a cylindrical extrudate
T = T(r, t)
Where t/R
2
is dimensionless; T is the temperature at r;
T
0
is the extrudate melt temperature; T
1
is the bath temperature
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Heat Transfer
Example: Pelletizing polystyrene
Thermal diusivity = 7 10
4
cm
2
/s
Extrudate T
0
= 200

C Bath T
1
= 40

C
When will the center of a 1mm radius extrudate reach T
g
= 100

C?
Center means r = 0
T T
0
T
1
T
0
=
100
150
=
2
3
From graph,
t
R
2

= 0.3
t =
0.3R
2

=
0.3(0.1cm)
2
7 10
4
cm
2
/s
= 4s
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