Gaspar-Cunha, A.; Covas, J.A.; Sikora, J. Optimization of Polymer Processing: A Review (Part I—Extrusion). Materials2022, 15, 384.
Gaspar-Cunha, A.; Covas, J.A.; Sikora, J. Optimization of Polymer Processing: A Review (Part I—Extrusion). Materials 2022, 15, 384.
Given the global economic and societal importance of the polymer industry, the continuous search for improvements in the various processing techniques is of practical primordial importance. This review evaluates the application of optimization methodologies to the main polymer processing operations. The most important characteristics related with the usage of optimization techniques, such as the nature of the objective function, the type of optimization algorithm, the modelling approach used to evaluate the solutions, and the parameters to optimize, are discussed. The aim is to identify the most important features of an optimization system for polymer processing problems, and define the best procedure for each particular practical situation. For this purpose, a state-of-the-art of the optimization methodologies usually employed is first presented, followed by an extensive review of the literature dealing with the major processing techniques, the discussion being completed by considering both the characteristics identified and the available optimization methodologies. This first part of the review focus on extrusion, namely extruders, extrusion dies and calibrators. It is concluded that there is a set of methodologies that can be confidently applied in polymer processing, with a very good performance and without the need of demanding computation requirements.
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