Adiabatic reactive viscometry for polyurethane reaction injection molding

J. W. Blake, W. P. Yang, R. D. Anderson, C. W. Macosko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Adiabatic reactive rheometry involves the simultaneous measurement of viscosity and temperature changes during adiabatic polymerization. Using the adiabatic reactor method to relate temperature to fractional conversion results in a useful rheokinetic tool ideally suited for fastreacting reaction injection molding (RIM) systems for which the mold‐filling step is nearly adiabatic. In this work, a small laboratory RIM machine is used to mix the reactants and deliver them to a constant stress rheometer retrofitted with a wide‐gap Couette geometry and two thermocouples. Measurements on two polyurethane systems are reported. A simple cross‐linking system is used to verify the adiabatic rheokinetic method through comparison to a known gel conversion. Subsequent measurements on a phase‐separating RIM system show that increases in catalyst level, hard segment content, and initial reactant temperature result in a decreased gel time and an increased gel conversion. The viscosity rise profiles aid our understanding of the onset and development of phase separation. They are also essential for mold‐filling models and establishing moldability criteria for these RIM systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1236-1242
Number of pages7
JournalPolymer Engineering & Science
Issue number16
StatePublished - Sep 1987


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