Compounding and extrusion applications

Extruders and torque rheometers are standard tools for mixing, compounding, and processing of materials in a number of areas including polymers, pharmaceuticals, and food production. Thermo Fisher Scientific offers flexible laboratory extruders that can help you increase your efficiency.

Extruders for the development of new polymer compounds

The formulation of modern polymer compounds can be quite complex and include many ingredients. It can be challenging to disperse some of these additives and fillers homogeneously in the polymer matrix. Advanced extrusion equipment can optimize compounding, facilitating the production of these complex polymer materials.

Extruders for recycling plastics for a circular economy

The quality of recyclates vary depending on the polymer, origin, and quality of the plastic waste.  Recyclate quality influences process conditions from filling behavior to extrusion processing and the final material properties.


Laboratory scale extruders and measuring mixers are efficient tools for:

  • Material testing of different compositions under various conditions to optimize the properties of recyclates and blends
  • Flexible process development and simulation of production processes
  • Quality control to verify that materials meet the required standards
  • R&D and product design: evaluating new designs and materials on a small scale saves time and money

Polymer characterization

Optimizing the properties of a polymer and the corresponding manufacturing process requires a deep, fundamental understanding of the material. This includes critical properties such as melting behavior and viscosity, the influence of additives, as well as temperature and shear stability. Extrusion and rheometry equipment is ideally suited to accurately control and measure these parameters.

Extrusion for additive manufacturing

3D printing relies on unique polymer filaments. Twin-screw extruders provide a flexible approach for the compounding of multiple ingredients into the homogeneous blend that is best suited for the production of these filaments.

Reactive extrusion

Reactive extrusion combines the chemical synthesis or modification of polymers with a twin-screw extrusion process such as melting and molding in a single continuous process in an extruder. This method avoids the disadvantages of solvent-based reactions, such as low polymer concentration and costly separation steps, by carrying out the reactions in a solvent-free environment with a short residence time. The reactive extrusion process is also used in mechanochemistry to have an easy control of process condition, and high yield with high purity and on high throughput rates. 

Extruders for lithium-ion battery research and production

Battery slurry production typically uses batchwise compounding in stirred vessels to combine active materials, carbon black, solvents, binders, and additives. Twin-screw compounding offers a continuous production process with precisely controlled material shear and throughput, heat transfer, and residence time, leading to improved battery slurries. 

Pharmaceutical extruders for drug formulation and manufacturing

Pharmaceuticals face a number of critical challenges throughout the production process, from API solubility, to processing stability, to taste-masking, enterics, and specialized dosage forms. Thermo Scientific extruders and related analytical instrumentation are designed for drug formulation and manufacturing, shortening the path from feasibility studies to production.

Extrusion in food development.

Extrusion is a common aspect of food development and production while also serving a crucial supporting role in the creation of new functional foods. Carefully chosen processing parameters can control and enhance various aspects of food such as texture, shape, color, and flavor. Food extrusion is an established, versatile method for the production of meat analogs, pastas, cereals, snacks, flavorings, nutritional additives, and animal feed products.

Extrusion of cosmetics and personal care products

Continuously operating twin-screw extruders provide excellent mixing and compounding capabilities for many cosmetic and personal care products consisting of loose powders, compressed materials, etc. Extruders can generate homogeneous mixtures from different powder and liquid raw materials in just one step. Temperature can be controlled within the extruder across a wide range and in different zones, helping to regulate the viscosity of the entire mixture during processing.