My "New Year" extruder, which is the one on HydraRaptor that I use to build things, stopped working while building the first layer of an object. That is the lowest temperature layer, so the plastic is at its most viscous.
I couldn't get it to work again, so I removed the drive and tried pushing the filament by hand. I couldn't shift it. I measured the temperature of the molten plastic with a thermocouple and it was correct, so I deduced that the nozzle must be blocked. I removed the nozzle and when I pushed the filament this came out: -
It is dark and glassy looking. No idea what caused it, but it seemed to have blocked the nozzle. I cleared it out with a drill and reassembled it. I took the opportunity to measure its performance with my "lead kebab" test jig.
Even though this extruder has a 0.3mm nozzle and no taper in the PEEK insulator, it works better than the tapered PEEK extruder with a 0.5mm nozzle.
The most notable difference is that this one has a much bigger heater chamber, so perhaps a smaller heater bore melts the plastic quicker.
I got this interesting graph of flow against force, averaging over five runs of 20mm : -
I think the steep part of the curve is where the flow through the nozzle dominates the force required and the first part is where the plug friction dominates. The point where I operate it is right on the knee of the curve. I suspect adding a taper would straighten it out, but I don't want to strip down my only working extruder to prove that.
So I don't know what caused the blockage, but it is the second time I have had an extruder block, so it goes to show that a detachable nozzle is advisable.