In viscous melts, turbulence often does not arise. Consequently, opportunities exist for controllably organizing melt components into functional structures that can have very small feature sizes. In this paper, concepts and results of smart blending are described. Smart blending entails the controllable development in situ of a variety of fine-scale structures in the melt by intelligent agitations. Once formed, structures may be useful in the melt or may be captured in applicable products by extrusion and solidification. Chaotic advection is an enabling recent sub-field of fluid mechanics for smart blending since it provides a means to stretch and fold melt domains and evolve a multi-layer structure leading to derivative arrangements, or indirectly manipulate solid additives. Applications include the production of plastics with enhanced mechanical properties, electrically conducting plastics and glasses, low permeation films, membranes, and nano- and molecular-scale composites.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.