Archive for June, 2003

BASF: Price increase of nylon extrusion resins

Monday, June 30th, 2003

BASF Performance Polymers said in late May that it would raise prices of nylon extrusion resins, both Ultramid grades and the newly acquired Capron line, for wire, cable, color concentrates, and general compounding by 5% to 10% on July 1. As of early June, no other producer had followed suit. Nylon injection grades saw across, the-board increases in March and April.

Rehau: Compounds for extruders

Monday, June 30th, 2003

Rehau Inc. is taking its PVC compounds to the open market. Rehau uses a majority of the PVC compounds it makes internally in the parts it extrudes. About four years ago, Rehau began selling some of the material to a small group of customers. At NPE 2003, Rehau is stepping up that effort and making its various flexible and rigid PVC compounds open to a wider array of injection molders and extruders.

Aluplast: Purchase of Plus Plan

Friday, June 27th, 2003

The ownership of Plus Plan UK has switched to Germany¡¯s ambitious Aluplast group in a deal completed earlier this month. Plus Plan UK, which extrudes profile at its 18,000 sq metre premises in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, was previously owned by Germany¡¯s VGT group. The deal further strengthens the position of Aluplast, which stood in fifth place in the European PVC window rankings before the deal.
The firm processed 64,000 tonnes of PVC profile last year from more than 100 extruders at seven European sites and had compound output of more than 100,000 tonnes. Following the acquisition, Plus Plan will take the Aluplast UK name but retain the previous branding. Managing director Phil Duncombe welcomed Aluplast¡¯s success over a number of other bidders.

Davis-Standard: Woodtruder update

Friday, June 27th, 2003

The program for the Coast Guard involves the development of a new decking material and retaining wall system as a replacement for pressure treated wood. The AEWC Center recently developed a 5/4-inch by 6-inch decking product installed at one Coast Guard pier and is now working on the retaining wall. A project being funded by a USDA wood utilization research grant is evaluating post die process conditions to determine how cooling rates impact product development. A second USDA funded project deals with the formulation of nylon wood composites. This project is in its infancy with the intention of product development for automotive-type applications. Proprietary work for private companies involves development using a variety of non-wood composites, additives and formulations.
¡°Our clients have been very pleased with the Woodtruder¡¯s capabilities and performance,¡± said Doug Gardner, professor of wood science at the University of Maine. ¡°We¡¯ve had even more contracted research than we had originally anticipated, which has been beneficial. The machine has also been an excellent tool for expanding our curriculum and giving students hands-on experience with wood-fiber technology.¡±
The Woodtruder¡¯s processing range is made possible by its unique tandem extrusion arrangement consisting of a primary 28:1 parallel twin screw extruder and mounted single screw, side-injection extruder. The first section of the primary extruder utilizes a heating and vacuum venting system to eliminate moisture and volatiles from the wood fiber. The side-injection extruder, mounted midway through the primary extruder, separately heats and mixes the desired polymers. Depending on the wood fiber-to-polymer ratio, the polymers are then injected into the primary extruder homogenizing the mixture. Since the polymer joins the fiber in a molten state, it encapsulates the wood fibers, resulting in a thoroughly mixed, high quality composite of up to 60 percent wood fiber.
This set-up enables the AEWC Center to process a wide range of fibers including sawdust, wood (both hard and soft woods), sisal, rice husks, flax, peanut shells, recycled car tires and others, while eliminating expensive wood drying equipment. These materials can be combined with a variety of basic polymers including polypropylene, polystyrene, High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC), which are found in many consumer goods such as milk jugs, house siding and plumbing materials. The Center is also examining wood fiber processes using engineering thermoplastics.
¡°The expertise of our researchers, our modern facility, and the capabilities of the Woodtruder make it possible for us to investigate and determine the best fiber-polymer combinations for any given application,¡± added Gardner. ¡°Our Center is fully equipped for prototype development. Each new material produced by the Woodtruder undergoes strenuous evaluation, like being repeatedly stressed to evaluate durability and being exposed to the equivalent of years of ultraviolet radiation, moisture and freeze-thaw cycles.¡±
For more information about the research and development capabilities at the AEWC Center at the University of Maine, contact Doug Gardner at (207) 581-2846 or at [email protected] For more information about Davis-Standard¡¯s Woodtruder, contact Wendell Whipple at [email protected]

Honeywell: Purchase of bi-ax films capacity

Thursday, June 26th, 2003

Honeywell is expanding its position in speciality films with an agreement to buy Kolon’s biaxally oriented nylon films plant in Dangjin, South Korea. The company is already a leading producer of biaxally oriented nylon film, which can be used to replace more traditional rigid methods of packaging such as jugs, jars, cans, and bottles. Biaxially oriented nylon film is a growth market and the capacity added in this transaction will make Honeywell more able to meet increased customer demand anywhere in the world.

Cincinnati : New Pipe Extrusion Downstream Equipment

Wednesday, June 25th, 2003

Extruder specialist Cincinnati Extrusion has invested its many years’ of extensive pipe extrusion experience into developing its own series of downstream equipment. The machine manufacturer is now offering a new range of vacuum baths and spray cooling baths as well as pipe haul-offs from in-house production, perfectly matching its own extruders and dies in terms of diameter and output range. VAKON is the name of the vacuum bath tanks that Cincinnati is initially introducing to the market in two different lengths: 6m and 9m. Depending on the application, the 6 m tank can be supplied in a one- or two-chamber version, while the 9 m tank comes with two vacuum chambers as standard. In line with the PH, PHPO and IRIS feedblock series, VAKON tanks are available for diameters of 63, 160, 250, 400 and 630 mm. The latest in vacuum control technology keeps the vacuum absolutely stable without any fluctuations — even during the exchange of cooling water — according to the company.

Makroform: New Thermoforming Sheet offers Undreamed-of Possibilities

Wednesday, June 25th, 2003

With Vivak® HT, Makroform is enhancing its established Vivak® series of polyester sheet with an innovative type featuring a convincing property profile. The attractions of the new material are its extraordinary high temperature resistance (HT = High Temperature) of up to 91 °C and its excellent rheological behaviour. Even for difficult tasks, it can be deep-drawn without pre-drying with no difficulty thus permitting the manufacture of complex moulded articles with low energy consumption. Like all products of the Vivak® series, the new type of sheet displays superior optic, mechanical and physical properties. Of no lesser importance are the excellent value for money and the fire prevention behaviour of the thermoforming sheet. Vivak® HT is particularly suitable for all deep draw applications and vacuum moulding. For example, it can be used for the manufacture of technical articles such as neon signs, displays or dispensing machines as well as being recommended for the glazing of ski-lift cabins.

Maguire: Super-high-capacity LPD ™ dryer cuts energy costs

Tuesday, June 24th, 2003

A new model of the Maguire (R) Low Pressure Dryer (TM) (LPD (TM)) with five times the maximum capacity of the next-largest LPD unit makes the substantial cost savings, reduced heat history, and other advantages of vacuum drying available to a vast new range of plastics processors, it was announced today by Maguire Products, Inc., which will introduce the model at NPE 2003 (Booth 9101).
The new Maguire LPD-1000 resin dryer accommodates processing machine throughputs up to 1000 lb/hr. (450 kg/hr). Like smaller LPD models, it requires one-sixth of the time and as little as 20% of the energy needed by conventional hot-air/desiccant dryers to properly dry resin. Until now, these advantages were unavailable for processing operations with hourly outputs in the range of 200 (90 kg) to 1000 lb.

Some examples of such operations are:

Polyester (PET) preforms and bottles. While throughputs of these parts typically exceed 500 lb. (225 kg) per hour, until now the highest-capacity LPD dryer was the LPD-200, for thgroughputs up to 200 lb. (90 kg) per hour.

High-volume extrusion of sheet, film, and other products.
‘The availability of a high-capacity vacuum dryer is a real breakthrough for producers of PET performs and bottles because vacuum drying subjects resin to 85% less exposure to elevated temperatures than conventional hot air/desiccant dryers,’ said B. Patrick Smith, vice president of sales and marketing. ‘This means substantially less property degradation as measured by falloff in intrinsic viscosity and by discoloration.’
Dimensional Scale-Up with Capacity Increase Is Less than for Desiccant Dryers
While the increase in throughput between the LPD-200 and the LPD-1000 is five-fold, the scale-up in dimensions is proportionally less. The new dryer is 58 in. wide, 58 deep, and 80 high (147 by 147 by 203 cm), compared with 31 by 32 by 70 in. (79 by 81 by 178 cm) for the LPD-200. The LPD-1000 can be deployed as a beside-the-press dryer, be mezzanine-mounted above the processing machine, or serve as a central unit equipped with multiple take-away ports for multiple processing lines.
‘The lowest-capacity LPD dryer is smaller to start with than a conventional dryer of equivalent throughput rating, and the difference becomes greater as capacity increases,’ said Smith. ‘Because of its simpler design, smaller batch size, and shorter drying cycle, the LPD can be scaled up without the substantial increases in the size and weight required for a desiccant dryer. There are no drying hoppers or desiccant bends, and the blowers required are much smaller. The massive hardware of a large-capacity desiccant dryer and the size of the structural components required to support it make this conventional equipment far more expensive than an equivalent LPD machine.’
Unique Technology Is Key to Energy Savings, Speed of Drying, and Speed of Color Change
The LPD dryer differs radically from conventional hot-air/desiccant dryers in two ways: 1) instead of flowing hot, dry air over the pellets to slowly draw the moisture out, the patented LPD dryer uses vacuum to reduce the boiling point of water, quickly turn the moisture into water vapor, and literally pull the water vapor from within the pellets; and 2) the LPD dryer carries out heating and vacuum drying simultaneously in separate stations, making possible small batches while in effect transforming a batch process into a continuous one that keeps pace with the throughput of the plastics processing machine.
The small batch size and short drying cycle of the LPD dryer make it possible to shorten Monday morning cold startups from several hours to less than an hour, adding that much more to weekly production time. Also increasing productivity is the three-station indexing system of the dryer, which makes possible color and material changes on the fly, eliminating downtime.
Another source of cost savings is the elimination of desiccant, which, in a conventional dryer, becomes saturated and must be regenerated by a heating and cooling process so it will
again be able to absorb moisture. The energy used in this process is lost to the ambient environment. In addition, desiccant degrades over time and must be replaced on a regular basis.
Besides the LPD-1000 and LPD-200 models, Maguire also offers the LPD-100 (which accommodates processing-machine throughputs of up to 100 lb/hr. or 45 kg/hr) and the LPD-30 (30 lb/hr. or 13.6 kg/hr).

SML: Spinning lines

Tuesday, June 24th, 2003

SML Extrusion Technology, Austria, is a leading manufacturer of spinning lines for the production of filaments out of polypropylene. The various fields of application of filament yarns require specific production processes and spinning lines. SML not only offers spinning lines for industrial yarns, like HT and MT, but also the necessary equipment for textile and carpet yarns. The well-established multifilament spinning line Austrofil FDY has recently been improved and is now available with a redesigned extruder screw allowing an increased output of up to 160 kg/h. Recently, a new machine type was designed for the production of medium tenacity yarns with a high number of single filaments and has a maximum output of 120 kg/h. Textile yarns out of polypropylene are used in garments such as sports and function wear, socks and stockings. Currently new fields of applications for PP-textile yarns are being developed, for example in the automotive industry. Yarns produced on SML multifilament spinning lines are distinguished by their good texturisation characteristics and excellent uniformity.

Plastics pipe market in Europe

Monday, June 23rd, 2003

The Western European plastics pipe market topped the E2bn mark last year.
The total market in 15 leading countries amounted to E2.1bn – 2.5 million tonnes – in 2002, according to a report from IAL Consultants.

The report gives Germany 20% of the market, followed by Italy (18%), the UK & Ireland (14%) and France (13%). Although this is a mature market, it is expected to grow at 1-3% annual over the next five years. Cross-linked PE pipes are expected to grow in industrial applications, since their performance can compete with steel pipes. Conduit pipes is also a strong growth area, due to the expansion of the telecoms industry.

PVC is still the dominant material, taking a 56% share, with various types of PE accounting for 36%. The leading market segment is sewage and drainage, with 49%. The next important area is drinking water (21%).