Archive for January, 2004

Battenfeld: Conical extruder series now complete

Tuesday, January 13th, 2004

In response to the extraordinary market success of its first conical extruder model, Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik GmbH, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany now offers a complete series of three conical extruders. To the BEX 2-54-C already proven on the production floor in the medium-performance range, a small co-extruder, the BEX 2-42 CC, and a larger model, the BEX 2-72-C, have been added.

“In co-operation with American Maplan, our sister company in the U.S., we have developed a conical extruder with an active conical screw flight and a convincing performance leading to higher output combined with excellent homogenization and melt properties. Our active conical extruders offer a genuine alternative solution for certain applications in the lower to medium quantity production range,” Wolfgang Studener, Managing Director of Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik, comments - who recently changed his previous motto of “Parallel is beautiful” into “To err is human - BEX is also capable of conical”.

The meaning of “active conical” - in terms of Battenfeld extruders compared to simply “conical”, conventional machines - is a special screw geometry with a reduced screw flight in the feed zone and an increased screw flight in the metering zone. The slightly reduced feeding volume, combined with a torque set sufficiently high, allows the machine to be operated from a full hopper. Negative thread angles in the feed zones provide an enlarged screw surface, which optimizes material pre-heating. The increased screw flight is of greatest benefit especially in the ejection zone, allowing for a higher transport volume without increasing the screw pitch. With this design, the same output can be reached at a lower screw speed, which lengthens the life of the screw. Thanks to reduced friction, considerably more precise melt temperature control inside the extruder is also possible.

Besides the BEX 2-54 C extruder, covering the 20 to 140 kg/h performance range, and already proven on the production floor, the BEX 2-72 C with a performance ranging from 50 to 250 kg/h is now also available. Without exception, all features of the well-tried model have been incorporated into the new, larger machine, making it suitable for a wide range of applications. Flexibility is one of the new, large, active conical extruder’s outstanding characteristics; for instance, it is also perfectly suited to producing window main profiles at an average line speed of 3m/min. The third model to complete the active conical series is the “small” co-extruder BEX 2-42 CC, designed for an output from 10 to 70 kg/h.

Polypipe: £800,000 Investment in corrugated extruder

Tuesday, January 13th, 2004

A UK pipe maker has invested £800,000 (E1.2m) in a corrugated extruder made by Italian firm ITIB Machinery to increase capacity. Polypipe Civils plans to increase production speed at its Lincolnshire site with the extrusion line’s vacuum assisted forming system. It will run the line 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make Ridgiduct and Ridgicoil twin-wall pipe. Ridgicoil is available in sizes from 50mm to 160mm; the extruder allows fast mould change without disconnecting the cooling water supply. The firm said it could produce up to 750 kg an hour of the pipe. The machine also runs an automatic coiler to deliver Ridgicoil in 50-metre units.

Spartech: Acquisition of three plastic sheet lines for US$ 2 million

Thursday, January 8th, 2004

Spartech Corp., USA, has acquired the sheet extrusion assets of Elkhart, Ind.-based Quality Plastic Sheet from Bank One for $2 million.
The company bought three extrusion lines that annually produce more than 15 million pounds of extruded sheet. In addition, Spartech entered into a long-term supply agreement with Quality Plastic’s largest customer for about 6 million pounds of material. No facilities or lease obligations were acquired. Bradley Buechler, chairman, president and chief executive of Spartech, said the company would move the acquired assets to existing Custom Sheet & Rollstack operations.
‘The purchase of these assets expands our capacity and enhances our equipment capabilities in our core extruded sheet business,’ Buechler said, in a statement. He also said the long-term supply agreement would generate new business for the company.
St. Louis-based Spartech Corp.produces engineered thermoplastic materials and molded and profile products.

Cincinnati: Improved co-extrusion dies

Thursday, January 8th, 2004

The new pipe dies from Cincinnati Extrusion, Vienna make it possible to produce co-extruded polyolefin pipes with any desired distribution of layers and virtually all conceivable material combinations. With its fourth generation of multi-layer spiral mandrel distributors, the machine manufacturer offers processors the chance to meet the ever-increasing competitive pressure with special products and maximum flexibility.

While thin, co-extruded layers of easy-flowing materials were frequently used in the past as coupling agents or barriers in pipe production, the trend today is moving towards layers that add value to the finished product. Such layers, for example, are flame-retardant, provide scratch-resistance or shielding against electro-magnetic waves. Plastic materials suitable for such purposes often come with high viscosity and difficult flow characteristics. Since these materials are also mostly expensive, it is necessary to ensure their economical use with minimum layer thickness tolerances as well as optimized processing characteristics and high end-product quality in pipe production. Cincinnati, a machine manufacturer who has been specializing in the production of customized pipe extrusion dies for many years, is continuously working towards further improvement of its pipe extrusion dies. With its fourth generation of 2- and 3-layer polyolefin pipe extrusion dies the machine manufacturer has taken another decisive step forward.

As the market is also showing a trend towards ever-increasing pipe dimensions, the new pipe dies are laid out for pipes with diameters from 16 to 630 mm, made from PP and PE 100. The outstanding features of this new pipe die generation are small outer dimensions, short, simple melt distributors and the new IRIS spiral mandrel geometry. IRIS spiral mandrel distributors are already well-known in the industry for their low pressure build-up and consequently gentle material processing, together with high throughput.

Diameters up to 630 mm are covered by the standard range of the new multi-layer spiral mandrel distributors. Of course, larger diameters can also be supplied upon request. With these dies pipe extrusion has become feasible with virtually all material combinations and layer thickness distribution concepts. Thanks to their special geometry, these extremely flexible dies also ensure excellent layer thickness distribution in pipe co-extrusion, regardless of the throughput rate.

Palram: Contract to supply roofing of the main Olympic Stadium

Wednesday, January 7th, 2004

Israeli thermoplastic sheet manufacturer Palram has won a contract to supply the roofing of the main Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece. The 24,000 sq metre roof will be constructed from 12mm-thick hard-coated polycarbonate sheet. The 90,000-seat stadium is being constructed in time for this year’s Olympic Games, which take place from 13 to 29 August. Palram said the Palsun UV2 Solar Olympic panels were specially developed for the stadium. The roof will reflect more than 50% of solar heat energy – an important consideration, the company said, for events taking place under the hot Greek sun. The sheets will be manufactured at Palram’s northern UK facility at Doncaster. Production will begin this month. Palram has three other manufacturing sites in Israel, the US and China. The company employs 550 staff worldwide and expected its 2003 sales to reach Euro 110m.

Teknor Apex: Flexible vinyl medical compounds with enhanced heat stability

Tuesday, January 6th, 2004

A new family of flexible vinyl compounds exhibits greater resistance to heat-generated discoloration or degradation than conventional medical-grade PVC, enabling device manufacturers to increase productivity and quality assurance, it was announced today by Teknor Apex. The company’s Vinyl Division introduced the compounds today at MD&M West (Booth 2430).
All vinyl compounds contain heat stabilizers to prevent degradation of the PVC polymer during processing, shipment, or storage. The enhanced-stability series in Teknor Apex’s Apex (R) product line incorporates stabilizers that are more efficient than those in conventional medical grades of vinyl, according to Peter M. Galland, industry manager.

‘Because they withstand the heat and shear of melt processing better than conventional medical-grade vinyl, our new compounds enable extrusion processors to run at higher rates and with fewer screen changes,’ Galland said. ‘Injection molders have greater assurance that vinyl will stand up to the shear forces developed when filling molds for complex or thin-wall parts.’

Quality also improves, and not just in products fresh from the processing machine, Galland added. ‘Medical devices can undergo high-heat conditions at many points in their post-production lifetimes. They can be shipped in hot trucks, stored in hot places, or autoclaved. We anticipate that the new formulations used by Teknor Apex will further extend shelf life.’

Teknor Apex is offering the new compounds as alternatives to conventional Apex formulations (which will continue to be available) in the same range of durometers. All are clear, Galland noted, but Teknor Apex expects to develop compounds for opaque applications. The new enhanced-stability products, also available from Teknor Apex’s Singapore Polymer Corporation subsidiary in Asia, include these series:

—CLEAR EXTRUSION: Apex 3700 compounds (alternatives to Apex 3300) for such tubing applications as blood transport and delivery, enteral feeding, oxygen delivery, dialysis, catheters, and drainage systems. Another new series for the same range of end uses, Apex 3701, incorporates plasticizer formulations that are alternatives to standard DEHP (like the conventional 3301 series).

—CLEAR INJECTION MOLDING: Apex 3800 compounds (alternatives to Apex 3200) for applications such as oxygen masks, mouthpieces, adapters, valves, connectors, drip chambers, and syringe bulbs. In addition, the new Apex 3801 series contains alternative plasticizers (like the conventional 3201 series).

Compounders have been unable to make use of the best available heat stabilizers in medical-grade vinyl formulations because of regulatory restrictions on ingredients in medical products, Galland said. ‘One of the most efficient families of heat stabilizers, for example, is that of barium-zincs, but such heavy metal-containing heat stabilizers are more highly regulated than the calcium-zinc formulations typically used in conventional medical-grade vinyl compounds. Calcium-zincs, on the other hand, exhibit substantially less capability than barium-zincs for retarding heat-degradation when PVC encounters ‘hang-ups,’ ‘dead spots,’ or high shear during processing or is stored under high-heat conditions.’

The innovative Apex medical compounds are heavy metal-free, Galland noted. ‘Our compounds utilizing the new stabilizer formulation provide early color and long-term heat stability similar to that obtainable with the most efficient non-medical stabilizers. In addition, they exhibit clarity and compatibility equivalent to or better than conventional medical vinyl.’

SMS: Weiss gains full control of SMS

Friday, January 2nd, 2004

German industrial conglomerate MAN is to sell its shareholding in machinery giant SMS to the Weiss family for an undisclosed sum. SMS will be leaving the MAN group with effect from 1 October. In future it will be consolidated as a member of the Siemag Weiss Group only. SMS will be changed from a public to a private limited company. MAN will then transfer 50% of its equity interest to a holding company belonging to the Weiss family. A mutual call and put option has been granted for the second half of the equity interest (25.5%).MAN and the Weiss family have jointly held SMS since 1973. It was agreed some time ago that MAN would dispose of its interest as soon as a suitable opportunity arose. SMS’s Plastics Technology division includes Battenfeld, SMS Extrusion and Cincinnati Extrusion.