You may remember that I reported a ribbon of swarf coming out of the side of my extruder :-
It wasn't obvious to me how this was formed. When I stripped it down today I caught it in the act :-
It appears that when the threaded rod cuts into the plastic it displaces a corrugated ribbon of material sideways. This remains attached to the filament at the leeward side and the ridges formed by the thread remain joined to each other by very thin webs. As it progresses down the pump it gets separated from the filament, presumably where it enters the barrel, and finds its way out through the side. I think the root cause is that when polymers like HDPE are stretched the long molecules get aligned length ways and it becomes very strong even though it is very thin.