This book is intended to fill a gap between the theoretical studies and the practical experience of the processor in the extrusion of thermoplastic polymers. The former have provided a basis for numerical design of extruders and their components, but generally give scant attention to the practical performance, especially to the conflict between production rate and product quality. In practice extruders are frequently purchased to perform a range of duties; even so, the operator may have to use a machine designed for another purpose and not necessarily suitable for the polymer, process or product in hand. The operator's experience enables him to make good product in unpromising circumstances, but a large number of variables and interactions often give apparently contradictory results. The hope is that this book will provide a logical background, based on both theory and experience, which will help the industrial processor to obtain the best performance from his equipment, to recognize its limitations, and to face new problems with confidence.Mathematics is used only to the extent that it clarifies effects which cannot easily be expressed in words; ifit is passed over, at least a qualitative understanding should remain. The approximate theory will not satisfy the purist, but this seems to the authors less important than a clear representation of the physical mechanisms on which so much of the polymer processing industry depends. M. J. STEVENS J. A.