SIGMA User-Meet­ing 2024

The simulation software SIGMA is a joint research project of leading industrial companies and Kunststofftechnik Paderborn. The program is used to simulate compounding and processing operations on co-rotating twin screw extruders. As in the previous year, the user meeting took place on February 27 as a hybrid event at which users could choose to participate either on-site in Paderborn or via Microsoft Teams. Here, Kunststofftechnik Paderborn presented the new SIGMA version 14.1 and the new features it contains to the project partners.

These include software improvements such as color assignments for steel grades, improvements to user-defined functions and the revision and expansion of the strand cooling simulation. Furthermore, a new model for calculating torque and energy input has been introduced. In addition, models for the molecular weight degradation of PP in twin-screw extruders and for the viscosity of gas-loaded polymer melts have been introduced. Another novelty, which has been worked towards in the last project phases, is the automatic process design with the help of swarm intelligence. Following the presentation of the particle tracking at last year's user meeting, the further new features of the SIGMA3D interface have now been presented, which enable an assessment of the disperse mixing quality based on the experienced shear stresses. Also new in SIGMA is the melt calculation within the flow simulation with Extrud3D, which was presented by IANUS Simulation GmbH.

The event concluded with a presentation of the work packages scheduled for SIGMA 15. The next SIGMA project is expected to include a method for assessing the distributive mixing quality of screw elements, the expansion of the automatic process optimization, the parallelization of the calculation of simulation processes and the expansion of the simulation of material mixtures. Additional suggestions for the further course of the project were gathered through the exchange with the participating project partners.

Company representatives from BASF, C.A.PICARD, Covestro Deutschland and KraussMaffei Extrusion were present on site, while Brückner Maschinenbau, Evonik Industries, Leistritz Extrusionstechnik, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation und Reifenhäuser Extrusion Systems took part in the user meeting online.