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Modeling Polymer Melt Flow Using the Particle Finite Element Method



Kathryn M. Butler, E Onate, S R. Idelsohn, R Rossi


A new particle-based approach is applied to the modeling of experiments on the effects of the melt flow behavior of thermoplastics. The Particle Finite Element Method (PFEM) combines convection of particles by the flow field with a finite element solution of the equations of motion and energy, in a fully Lagrangian formulation that tracks large changes in shape and topology. The potential of this method to model thermoplastic melt flow is tested with a series of computational problems based on flow from an upright rectangular sample heated on one face. The quasi-steady flow rate under three levels of heat flux is about 25 % higher than experimental results, in line with previous modeling results. The addition of gasification to the PFEM model provides good agreement with a 1D analytical model when the gasification layer is well-resolved. A model that includes dripping of the sample onto a catch surface below conserves mass within 5 %.
Proceedings Title
Interflam Conference | 2007 |
Conference Dates
September 3-5, 2007
Conference Location
Conference Title


fire behavior, flame spread, numerical modeling, particle methods, thermoplastic materials


Butler, K. , Onate, E. , Idelsohn, S. and Rossi, R. (2007), Modeling Polymer Melt Flow Using the Particle Finite Element Method, Interflam Conference | 2007 |, London, -1, [online], (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created September 5, 2007, Updated June 2, 2021