Aflow - the Allrounder

A defining feature of Aflow is its high level of automation - easy cleaning and defined pre-compacting at the touch of a button, stepless test-load settings - Aflow adapts to your testing requirements. Aflow was developed specifically for laboratories with high testing volumes; this is reflected in its robust design and convenient operation. It supports all established worldwide standards, including ISO 1133 and ASTM D1238. Aflow can be used to determine melt mass flow rate (MFR) and melt volume flow rate (MVR) to Methods A, B, C and D.
Aflow_2

Key advantages and features

Advantages and features

The new generation Aflow

Optimum test sequence - time-saving and operator-friendly

The pneumatic pre-compaction feature allows the polymer to be defined and evenly pre-compacted at the press of a button—saving time and effort. To further accelerate the test procedure after the test, it is possible to eject the remaining material from the extrusion barrel with a force of up to 80 kg and then clean it with a pneumatic cleaning device at the press of a button.

Flexibility via stepless test load up to 50 kg

Test loads in Aflow can be adjusted steplessly from 0.325 kg to 50 kg. A multi-stage test can be performed effortlessly to Method D purely by means of presets in the software. This allows several tests with different weight stages to be carried out with a single barrel filling.

Range of application

Speed, operator-independence and high test-result reproducibility and repeatability – all these things matter in research and development and in 24-hour operation, as in production control.

A defining feature of Aflow is its high level of automation - easy cleaning and defined pre-compacting at the touch of a button, stepless test-load settings - Aflow adapts to your testing requirements.

Aflow can be operated in stand-alone mode via a modern touch display or on a PC with ZwickRoell testing software.

  • The basic version of the Aflow extrusion plastometer is designed to perform MFR and MVR tests in accordance with Methods A, B, C and D. This can be done using an automatic extrudate cutter and balance. Tests can be performed in accordance with the following standards:
  • ISO 1133, ASTM D1238, ASTM D3364, JIS K 7210.

Cleaning

Aflow's pneumatic cleaning device enables cleaning and pre-compacting to be performed at a preset pressure. The Clean and Pre-compact option allows variable adjustment of the cleaning and pre-compacting pressure, while a switch on the cleaning unit allows one of the two pressure steps to be selected.

Using touch

Intuitive, workflow-based touch operation

The new standardized operating philosophy allows the operator to move easily between instrument and PC and always feel at home.

All test-related settings are grouped logically and are separated from higher-level system settings. The operator is guided through test configuration step by step. The saved test configuration can easily be exported and transferred to other instruments.

Integrated user management allows the operator's input options to be reduced to a minimum. Users see only what is important to them, allowing them to focus on the task at hand right from the start.

The MVR is shown "live" in graphic form in stand-alone mode and in the ZwickRoell testing software. This allows both melting process and behavior to be followed precisely during measurement.

Saving space when testing with multiple instruments

In labs with multiple instruments, testXpert III makes it possible to configure and control up to six Aflow and/or Mflow extrusion plastometers with one PC. Central operation and saving of results at a single workplace increases efficiency and affords a quick overview of all tests currently in progress. For a clear overview of operations, we recommend using two monitors.

The benefits of operating an extrusion plastometer with testXpert III are:

  • Automatic bubble detection that prevents measurement errors caused by air inclusions by detecting them in the plastic melt
  • Live display of the melt volume rate that follows the progress of melting and the behavior during measurement and graphically or numerically displays the test piston speed when the test starts in cm³ per 10 min. or in g per 10 min. when the melt density is preselected

Aflow extrusion plastometer at a glance

4:42

Fully automated Aflow extrusion plastometer

The extrusion plastometer supports all globally common standards and procedures for melt flow testing, including ISO 1133 and ASTM D1238 according to Methods A, B, C and D.

Technical overview

The basic version of the Aflow extrusion plastometer is designed to perform MFR and MVR tests in accordance with Methods A, B, C and D. This can be done using an automatic extrudate cutter and balance. Tests can be performed in accordance with the following standards: ISO 1133, ASTM D1238, ASTM D3364, JIS K 7210.

Technical data for Aflow extrusion plastometer

Basic instruments

Please note:
requires dry, oiled air

Type

Aflow extrusion plastometer (230 V)

Aflow extrusion plastometer (110 V)

Item No.

1043954

1043955

Test load

0.325 ... 50 (step by step or stepless)

0.325 ... 50 (step by step or stepless)

kg

Compressed air, oiled, dry

5 ... 10

5 ... 10

bar

Dimensions:

Height

1021

1021

mm

Width

580

580

mm

Depth

596

596

mm

Weight, approx.

114

114

kg

Test temperature

+50 ... +450

+50 ... +450

°C

Display

Capacitive touch display

Capacitive touch display

Resolution of the temperature display

< 0.001

<0.001

K

Number of savable parameter sets

> 100

> 100

Interfaces

  • Ethernet port to connect a PC
  • 2 x USB port to connect a printer or USB stick
  • RS-232 port for raw data export, data output: serial number, specimen number, number of extrudates, density (user specifications) density at test temperature, overall weight of the extrudates, MFR average value, MVR average value, MFR and MVR individual values
  • RS-232 port for connecting the analytical scale (from the ZwickRoell product range)

Temperature accuracy in the range of 0 ... 75 mm above the die, in the temperature range of 50 °C ... 450 °C

< 0.3[1]

< 0.3[1]

K

Time measurement:

Error limit (Method A)

±0.02 (with automated extrudate cutter)

±0.02 (with automated extrudate cutter)

s

Error limit (Method B)

±0.01

±0.01

s

Travel measurement:

Error limit (Method B)

±0.02 mm (ISO 1133) / ±0.4% of 6.25 mm (ASTM D1238)

±0.02 mm (ISO 1133) / ±0.4% of 6.25 mm (ASTM D1238)

Resolution

< 0.0005

< 0.0005

mm

Piston speed, max.

2000[2]

2000[2]

mm/min

Multi-instrument operation on one PC:

Available main memory, min.

1.54

1.54

GB

Clock frequency

3

3

GHz

Connectible Aflow extrusion plastometer per PC

6

6

Included in the scope of delivery:

  • Ethernet cable
  • Cleaning accessories (cleaning piston, cleaning brush, cleaning pads (500 pieces)) for barrel
  • Test granulate and filling chute for granulate

Power input specifications

Power supply

220 to 240 V, 1L/PE/N

100 to 127 V, 1L/PE/N

Power consumption (full load), approx.

0.6

0.6

kVA

Power frequency

50/60

50/60

Hz

  1. Spatial and temporal, to ISO 1133-2
  1. To ensure proper force control, the piston speed cannot exceed 75% of this value

Suitable accessories

Piston

Piston (1 x required)

At least one piston must be selected, in accordance with the materials to be tested. Various plastics (e.g. PTFE and PFA) which contain fluorine release hydrofluoric acid, which attacks the extrusion barrel material. For these plastics pistons made of a special steel alloy are used. These pistons have only limited suitability for filled plastics. For these the wear-resistant version is recommended. For tests to ISO 1133-1997, a piston with non-rounded edges (sharp-edged) is required.

Test material

Standard

Properties

Item no.

Plastic, fluorine free

ISO 1133

Wear resistant

032298

Plastic, containing fluorine

ISO 1133

Resistant to acid

032299

Plastic, fluorine free

ISO 1133-1997

sharp-edged, wear resistant

032300

Plastic, fluorine free

ASTM D1238

Wear resistant

1015333

Extrusion barrels

Extrusion barrel (1 x required)

An extrusion barrel must be chosen to suit the materials to be tested. Different plastics containing fluoride, such as PTFE and PFA, release hydrofluoric acid, which corrodes the material of the extrusion barrel. For these types of plastics, extrusion barrels made from a special type of steel alloy are used.

Test material

Inner diameter
[mm]

Hole

Properties

Item No.

Plastic, fluorine free

9.55

Finely honed

Wear resistant

050888

Plastic, containing fluorine / fluorine free

9.55

Finely honed

Acid-resistant, wear-resistant

1069372

Extrudate cutter

Extrudate cutter and die plug

The manual extrudate cutter is recommended for cutting intervals greater than one minute. For short cutting intervals use of the automatic extrudate cutter is recommended in order to obtain precisely timed cuts. The die plug prevents premature outflow of the material when plastics with high flow-rates (>  10 cm3/10 min at load 0.375 kg) are being tested. When the die plug is used an extrudate cutter is required in order to eject the die plug automatically when the test begins. 
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