Finite Element Modelling For Optimizing A Hyphenated Rheometer/Calorimeter

C. Block[1], B. Van Mele[1], and V. Janssens[2], P. Van Puyvelde[2], and G. Van Assche[1]
[1]Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Physical Chemistry and Polymer Science, Brussels, Belgium
[2]Catholic University of Leuven, Lab of Applied Rheology and Polymer Technology, Heverlee, Belgium

COMSOL is used for optimization of the design of a novel analytical technique, RheoDSC, which combines a rheological and a calorimetric measurement on one sample. A rheological experiment is performed on a sample positioned on a DSC sensor in a DSC instrument. DSC is used to study transition enthalpies and heat capacity in isothermal and non-isothermal conditions. The working principle of a heat-flux DSC is based on measuring small temperature differences between sample and reference sensor. As design and material properties greatly influence the performance of this combined technique, several designs were evaluated using simulated experiments. COMSOL is used to look at the quality of the instrument response, e.g., its linearity for different measurement conditions. The heat transfer simulations were performed using COMSOL, with a heat source, coupled with a disappearing species model in Transport of diluted species without flux or diffusion including the reaction and accounting for the heat released.