Archive for April, 2003

Deceuninck: Acquisition of Thyssen Polymer

Thursday, April 17th, 2003

Deceuninck, the Belgian PVC window profile company, is to acquire rival Thyssen Polymer, the extrusion business unit of Thyssen Krupp Technologies. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will give Deceuninck global market leadership in the sector. It currently claims number three slot, with Thyssen Polymer at number five in both Europe and the US. Thyssen Polymer has a total extrusion capacity of 86,000tpa and is active in injection moulding, tool construction, lamination and compounding. It employs 650 people in Germany and a further 250 elsewhere.

Deceuninck is an integrated worldwide player from compounding through development and extrusion to recycling of PVC windows and employs more than 1,750 people. According to Deceuninck, consolidation of the enlarged group will begin in June after the anti-trust review is completed. Based on 2002 figures, the new unit will have a combined turnover of E549m, of which Deceuninck will contribute 66%.

Eval Europe: World’s largest EVOH plant

Thursday, April 17th, 2003

Eval Europe has begun work on an EURO 80m expansion of its EVOH plant in Belgium. The expansion, which will double EVOH output to 24,000tpa, will make the facility the largest EVOH plant in the world. The firm currently employs 80 people at the site, and plans to recruit another 10 when the expansion is complete. A company spokesman said the firm mostly supplied the food packaging industry and was increasingly supplying customers making fuel systems for the automotive industry and underfloor heating. The plant makes Eval Resins – the brand name of a copolymer of vinyl and ethylene – that have good oxygen barrier properties. They were developed by the company’s Japanese parent company, Kuraray.

Vanguard Piping Systems: PEX Chlorine Resistance Listings

Wednesday, April 16th, 2003

The recent addition of a new ‘minimum chlorine resistance requirement’ within ASTM F-876 is a positive step forward within the PEX community. However, some companies have misused and misrepresented the data developed through ASTM standard F-2023 (Standard Test Method for Evaluating and Oxidative Resistance of Crosslinked Polyethylene (PEX) Tubing and Systems to Hot Chlorinated Water).

In a nutshell, here’s how ASTM F 2023/F 876 and NSF P-171 differ: First, there are two chlorine resistance testing methods. NSF P-171 defines both the testing methodology and two distinct ‘end use’ conditions. ASTM standard F-2023 defines testing methodology but does not define any ‘end use’ conditions. The only ‘end use’ condition that has now been defined is in ASTM F-876. In P-171, tubing which receives a ‘domestic continuous recirculation’ listing has been thoroughly tested in chlorinated water and is projected to have a minimum chlorine resistance service lifetime of more than 40 years operating continuously in water temperatures of 140°F. Tubing which receives the ‘traditional domestic’ listing under P-171 is projected to have a chlorine resistance service lifetime of greater than 40 years, but with different operating temperature limitations. In the ‘traditional domestic’ application, end use conditions would include 75% usage at ambient temperature (73° F) and 25% usage at 140° F.

The only ASTM minimum ‘end use’ condition adopted into F-876 is identical to those of the ‘traditional domestic’ listing requirements of NSF P-171. Both pass/fail criteria are based on estimated ‘end use’ operating conditions of 75% usage at ambient temperature (73 degrees F) and 25% usage at 140 degrees F. The minimum chlorine resistance service life, according to F-876, shall be 50 years.

At first glance (50 years vs. 40 years), it would appear the ASTM minimum requirement is more stringent than P-171. Actually, the opposite is true. In NSF’s P-171, the minimum service lifetime is actually the extrapolated test lifetime (min. 80 years) multiplied by a design factor of 0.5 ! In ASTM F-876, the extrapolated test lifetime is equal to service lifetime. There is no safety factor applied.

In short, NSF protocol require 80 years, ASTM only 50 years. And, nothing is yet established in ASTM F-876 which even addresses the rigorous ‘end use’ conditions (100% @ 140°F) required to receive a ‘domestic continuous recirculation’ rating.

Vanguard supports the tougher NSF P-171 testing and pass/fail criteria because of the potential for water conditions or other external environmental factors which may present a significant risk in years ahead. PEX producers have no assurance that normal chlorine levels seen today will be the same 10 or 20 years from now.

Vanguard will support an NSF decision to withdraw its voluntary testing protocol (P-171) only when ASTM, through the consensus process, establishes both a reasonable safety factor for each ‘end use’ application and when equivalent pass/fail criteria are established for continuous high-temperature end use applications.

Lindplast: Printable mono-layer film

Wednesday, April 16th, 2003

Danish extruded film producer Lindplast has introduced an alternative to laminated film for decorated food packaging. General sales manager Hans ---tian Madsen said its mono-layer LDPE film is very glossy due to its special formulation with additives. He added that high-quality printing is possible due to the application of a lacquer to the film. “Laminates are usually over-sold for this type of application and are really used just for the glossiness rather than the image quality. I wouldn’t our solution will replace laminates, but it is an alternative that is cheaper and easier to recycle.” Although Lindplast has recently introduced co-extruded film, it has traditionally been a producer of mono-layer film. “We have taken mono technology and developed it to perfection,” Madsen added. Lindplast unveiled the technology at this week’s Anuga Foodtec fair in Cologne, Germany.

Thong Guan: Set-up of two new lines

Tuesday, April 15th, 2003

Thong Guan Industries Bhd, a KLSE main board specialising in stretch film and plastic packaging manufacture, is allocating about RM19mil to set up two new stretch film production lines this year.Its group managing director Ang Poon Chuan said that since December last year, the group’s main facility in Sungai Petani, Kedah, had been operating at full capacity, generating some 2,000 tonnes of stretch film per month. He said the group’s order book for stretch film was filled until next month.
“We expect more orders to come in April as there are indications from our customers that they want to stockpile their stretch film supply in anticipation of war in the Middle East, which is expected to jack up the prices of plastic products. The prices are already rising and are expected to shoot up further if war breaks out in the Middle-East. We also expect orders to come from our customers in new markets such as India, the Middle East and Africa,” he said. Ang said that the group was now trying to source the machinery from either Europe or the United States.
“We hope to install the machinery by the 3rd quarter of 2003 and begin commercial production in the 4th quarter. The new machinery should increase our monthly output to 3,000 tonnes, making Thong Guan one of the largest stretch film manufacturers in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

Battenfeld Gloucester: Blown-film line at NPE

Tuesday, April 15th, 2003

The Battenfeld Gloucester Three-Layer Blown Film Line that will be in operation at NPE 2003 combines the latest technology innovations from one end to the other, all aimed at lowering the cost of providing high-clarity film for packaging applications such as bread bags and similar items. The system lets a processor use lower cost LLDPE to make high clarity film, and further lowers production costs by cutting downtime to a minimum and eliminating trim scrap. The NPE line will run without trim scrap.
The main extruder on this line is an 80-mm/3-in (30:1 L/D) Grooved Feed Contracool® Extruder processing a blend of LDPE for the center layer. In addition, there are two 63-mm/2.5-in Smooth Bore Contracool units for the outside layers of LLDPE. All material feeding and blending is done using Gloucester’s ultra-precise AcuraBlend® Gravimetric Throughput Control, and the resulting extrudate is well homogenized and consistent. AcuraBlend technology has been carefully thought out for simple yet accurate operation, low maintenance, and expandability.
The precision of the AcuraBlend feeding and blending is enhanced by Battenfeld Gloucester’s highly developed Extrol Control System, which has been developed from the ground up for plastic extrusion processing. The company will be showing a significant upgrade to the Extrol technology at NPE 2003, details of which will be available at the show.
Autoprofile® Air Ring and Die assure clarity
Packaging companies increasingly are asking processors for higher levels of clarity in extruded film. Processors are most often constrained to use LDPE to achieve that clarity. Battenfeld Gloucester has developed the technology that allows processors to use linear LDPE, achieve the desired high clarity, increase other performance properties, and enjoy the lower price of LLDPE. Gloucester’s Autoprofile technology provides the key.
The Autoprofile Air Ring system is based on closely spaced heating elements around the complete die perimeter. Using advanced sensor technology in an online thickness gauge linked directly to Gloucester’s high speed Extrol Control, Autoprofile will direct temperature controlled air to the exact point on the film bubble where it is needed to control gauge variation before it can happen. With Autoprofile, there is no thermal or mechanical manipulation of the die itself.
Gloucester designed the Autoprofile system to be very operator-friendly. It is very easy to make highly precise adjustments, and even easier to repeat the proven process on subsequent startups. Battenfeld Gloucester also offers an Autoprofile system for the die. The optional average thickness control with target management lets the processor control film thickness based on a minimum value to save material costs.
As a result of these and other technological improvements including the new UltraCool Air Ring, the film bubble on such a Battenfeld Gloucester line will often be self-healing. That is, a hole or other flaw that previously would have been enough to stop the line and require a new string-up, will now frequently repair itself as the web continues to run. Monitoring is continuous, process changes are very fast, and the Extrol Controls provide detailed SPC reporting and documentation for quality assurance.
The 16-in/406-mm three-layer Optiflow™ LP (low profile) Die on the line at NPE 2003 incorporates the Autoprofile Die feature, which further improves the quality of the bubble while still allowing high throughput levels. The Optiflow die, based on exacting computer modeling and super-tight tolerance machining, uses nickel plating on all polymer flow surfaces to ensure smooth passage of the melt. The die’s low profile and resulting easy access make it a favorite of operators. Its high shear rates, low residence times, and insensitivity to rheological changes help assure optimum melt quality.
Between the die and the top of the tower, a number of Battenfeld Gloucester technologies maintain the optimized quality of the film exiting the die. These include Digisonic™ IBC (internal bubble control), an oscillating capacitance gauge, a bubble cage with fully Teflon surfaced rollers, composite roller collapsers, and at the top of the 35-ft/10.7-m tower, an 84-in/2133-mm Battenfeld Gloucester Horizontal Oscillating Hauloff.
The field-proven Horizontal Oscillating Hauloff is able to randomize even the most microscopic die, air ring, and tower effects, thus giving further assurance that the wound rolls will be of optimum converter quality. There is zero film contact on the turning bars and the film enters, wraps, and exits as a flat web, thereby eliminating any tendency to form stretch wrinkles. Added to this hauloff’s performance features are the facts that thread-ups can be done single-handed and ease of access and working space saves valuable time during startup and maintenance.
Before actual winding, the film tube on the NPE line is slit by the Battenfeld Gloucester Trimless Edge Slitter Station and is precisely positioned by an E&L web centering guide. In light of the lack of edge trim, and the material savings that brings, the quality of the finished rolls is self-evident. They are smooth, compact, tight from end to end, and ready for high speed printing and converting. The precision, and in particular the stability, of the Model 1008 phantom axis dual turret winder on this line is the final assurance of perfect edges and tight smooth rolls. Specifically designed to meet the demand for converter quality rolls, the Model 1008D also features a touchscreen-driven control that simplifies every operation, particularly diagnostics, and is software-based for easy customization. The Model 1008D can wind multiple rolls up to 30-in/762-mm and, thanks to a “floating” layon roll, will handle even soft film without problems.

Plastics Pipe Institute: Corrugated HDPE pipe design manual on CD

Monday, April 14th, 2003

The CD version of the Plastics Pipe Institute’s corrugated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe Design Manual has been released.The manual is organized into eight chapters and covers the uses,structural design and integrity, installation, and durability of corrugated
HDPE pipe. Also included is information on storm water flow conveyances, soil issues and other pertinent field information.The manual is written for use by civil engineers, contractors and state and county highway officials who design and install drainage systems.The CD has search capabilities to direct the user to areas of the manual where key search words appear.
To order a copy, call LaShawn Smith at PPI at 1-888-314-6774, ext. 17.

Fibagroup: Fibre reinforced pipe solutions at Achema 2003

Monday, April 14th, 2003

In its presentation at Achema 2003, Frankfurt am Main, 19-24 May, Hall 3.1 Stand: O32-O34, Fibagroup will demonstrate fluid transmission systems based on economic, environmentally sound solutions for a broad range of process industry applications.
Fibagroup is a dedicated pipe system designer and manufacturer, and the Number One expert in fibre reinforced pipe (FRP) systems and associated products for the chemical, petrochemical, and chemical processing industries. Fibagroup’s pipe systems are designed to match combinations of chemical industry specifications, such as resistance to aggressive media, to heat, to pressure and to explosion, as well as suitability for above or below ground or maritime installations. Additionally FRP pipe systems offer a more cost effective solution than conventional metal pipe systems because they deliver a number of additional benefits. These include corrosion resistance, longer life span, low weight and faster and easier installation, as well as variety in joints and the possibilities of prefabrication, thereby enabling made-to-measure pipe systems.
Fibagroup’s main product group Fiberdur® pipe systems, filament wound or cast, are based on vinyl ester or epoxy resin and can be produced in diameters ranging from 25mm to 2300mm in up to 10 meter sections. Fibagroup produces, under the second main brand name Fibaflo® a range of special filament wound products such as pressure vessels, flue systems and storage tanks, that complement the company’s principal pipe systems. Fibaflo® systems are filament reinforced pipes also using polyester, vinyl ester or epoxy resin but delivered with either glass fibre or carbon fibre reinforcement. They are available in over 200 internal diameter sizes from 20mm to 5000mm.
Fibagroup’s portfolio also includes a number of operation-dedicated brands, NAVICON® pipe systems, which have a cross-filament construction incorporating a conductive filler for application in zones of high ignition risk, THERMOTHAN® pipes, pre-insulated, corrosion free GRP pipe systems for the transmission of hot liquid or condensate over long distances and FIBASCREEN®, a composite filter that provides a low maintenance alternative to metallic screen filters designed for applications in the oil and chemical industries.
A global supplier of fibre reinforced liquid transmission systems, Fibagroup brings almost 40 years of proven success, based on qualified, industry accredited workmanship, to every customer project. The group’s expertise resides in its ability to develop creative, economic piping solutions that meet all safety criteria and give the highest levels of long-term performance value.

B&H Tool: First competitive-style spiral production crossheads

Friday, April 11th, 2003

B&H Tool Co. is pleased to announce that the first run of competitive-style spiral crossheads have shipped and were received by two prominant Medical Device Manufacturers. According to Paul Hendess of Streamline Extrusion, Inc., who assisted in these implementations, the crossheads far exceeded customer expectations. Says Hendess, ‘One customer was extremely pleased with the ST46010 and ST46026 spiral crossheads. He had never seen such quality from the original manufacturer. B&H is certainly making an impact with their excellence and attention to detail.’
Hendess also quipped that the other customer who received the ST46018 spiral manifold didn’t want to send the part on to the manufacturing floor because he wanted keep it on his desk since it ‘looks so good!’

Ashland Distribution: European partnership with Multibase

Friday, April 11th, 2003

Ashland Distribution Company (ADC) has reached an agreement to expand its relationship with Multibase to distribute its Multi-Flex®, Multibatch® and Multi-Pro® product lines in Sweden and Norway. Multibase is a Dow Corning Company.
“Adding these products to the ADC roster further solidifies our Pan-European presence and enhances the relationship ADC has built with Dow Corning,” said Stephen P. Fazakas, vice president, international, Ashland Distribution.
Multi-Flex thermoplastic elastomers, Multibatch masterbatches and Multi Pro compounds are product lines, which cover all conventional markets for plastics and several automotive applications.