Archive for March, 2006

Dow Corning: “Evaluation of several processing parameters on the behavior of the silica/silane system in synthetic rubber”

Friday, March 10th, 2006

Manfred Gloeggler, technical service chemist of Dow Corning Germany, will present the paper, “Evaluation of several processing parameters on the behavior of the silica/silane system in synthetic rubber,” at the Tire Technology Expo 2006, March 7-9, in Stuttgart, Germany. Gloeggler’s presentation occurs in the Day 2 session on finding cost-effective future material possibilities.
The presentation will cover the effect processing variables have on rubber properties, as well as discuss the interphase of the silica-silane-polymer in the context of understanding this region of the rubber compound and how it will aid in further refinements of the silica/silane technology.
“Other ingredients in silica-filled high performance rubber compounds can impact the behavior of the silica/silane system,” Gloeggler said. “Most notably, zinc oxide can disrupt the in-situ silanization of the silica leading to sub-optimization of properties.”
Gloeggler has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the Fachhochschule in Reutlingen, Germany. He joined Dow Corning in 1995 where he has held roles in research and development, technical service and technical sales. He has held his current position as a technical service chemist in materials reinforcement since 2003.

Romar: Investment in more coex film capacity

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

Film producer Romar Packaging of Leeds has invested more than £500,000 in a CMG three-layer blown film line. The company, part of the Roberts Mart Group, expects to increase output by 1,750 tonnes a year. As well as providing additional production for current customer demand, Romar and Roberts Mart are planning to take the increased capacity into new sectors in collation shrink packaging, including bottled water and soft drinks, toilet tissue and kitchen rolls.
Much of the film will be converted by Roberts Mart where it can be printed with print repeats of up to 1,350 mm in up to 10 colours.
The new line is the third coex line to go into the factory, and Romar plans to develop new products as lower cost replacements for monolayer films.
The film line is part of a wider investment by Romar, which has also bought a new reclaim machine for handling the trim and machine waste, two high speed doors to control the production atmosphere and further ancillary equipment to improve production.

Battenfeld Gloucester: One of World’s Largest Blown Film Lines for Geomembranes

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

One of the largest blown film lines in the world has been built and installed by extrusion specialist Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co., Inc. The line is used to pro-duce three-layer coextruded geomembrane by a company in Latin America. High-lights include a 2,200 mm (78 inches) die weighing 40,000 kgs (88,000 lbs.) and a 25 meters (82-ft.) tower. The line produces 7,000 mm. wide (23 ft.) film in thicknesses of 500 to 2,500 microns (0.02 to 0.10 inches), at rates of more than 1,200 kg. (2,640 lb.) per hour.
Uses for the geomembrane, which are extruded of medium density and linear low-density polyethylene, include artificial ponds, landfill linings and caps, mining pollu-tion control liners, says Jorge G. Goldschmied, director of Latin American sales at Battenfeld Gloucester.

The design and construction of the blown film line posed numerous challenges. The die, one of the largest built by Battenfeld Gloucester, was engineered specifically for geomembrane, according to Goldschmied. The machining and assembly of the three-layer die was complex. Its channels optimize melt flow, eliminate dead spots and prevent overheating of the resin. Resin integrity is critical for film as wide and thick as that produced on the line. Since LLDPE was specified to increase the elas-ticity of the web, maintaining its properties as it leaves the die is vital.
The three extruders in the line are Battenfeld’s Contracool models, air-cooled units that are engineered for durability and low operating costs. The B extruder, used for the core of the web, has an 8 in. diameter (203 mm), 36:1 L/D screw. The A and C extruders, used for the inner and outer skins of the geomembrane, have screws that are 3.5 inches (89 mm) in diameter and 36 L/D. The relatively long screws increase the mixing efficiency and homogeneity of the melt and reduce process heat.
Because both skins in the multilayer web need texturing for greater traction when they are installed, Battenfeld Gloucester engineered a system that pumps nitrogen into the A and C extruders. Goldschmied says that when the nitrogen exits the die in the outer and inner layers, it disrupts the flow of resin and creates a controlled textur-ing of the skins. The line has included the ability to produce film with non-textured, extremely smooth edges. Goldschmied says this assures that the geomembrane can be easily welded to each other.
Process control is critical in a line this size. Battenfeld achieves this with its Extrol 6016 microprocessor with touchscreen control. The control in fact regulates process parameters so accurately that there is no thickness gauge on the line.
Other special components include the unfolder, secondary nip and winder, which incorporate the latest technologies and designs based on Battenfeld’s broad experi-ence in all aspects of blown film processing. The Model 196C winder, for example, is engineered for geomembrane. It features a 7.31 meter wide (24 feet) spindle and can be programmed to operate at speeds of 1 to 10 meter (3.3 to 33 feet) per min-ute. The largest roll that can be wound is 900 mm (35.4 in.) in diameter, though Goldschmied says the company generally winds rolls 400 to 500 mm (15.7 to 19.7 in.) in diameter.
Blown film is, of course, the process of choice for geomembrane, with about 80% of products extruded this way. Goldschmied says the ability of this Latin American company to produce geomembrane of consistent quality on such a large and spe-cialized line, demonstrates the engineering and manufacturing capabilities that Bat-tenfeld Gloucester provides.

Wavin: New push fit system for metal plastic pipes

Friday, March 3rd, 2006

Wavin, a leading European innovator and producer of plastic pipe systems, has launched smartFIX, a unique push fit pipe connection system that combines a secure, reliable fitting solution with time and cost savings in the installation of sanitary and heating systems. Wavin smartFIX will have its first major showing at the Mostra Convegno Exhibition in Milan, February 28 – March 04, 2006.

Using the latest technology, design and fit-for-purpose material, Wavin smartFIX eliminates the risk of poor connections and leakage. With the new system the pipe is cut, any burr chamfered off, and the pipe pushed into the smartFIX connector, thus creating a secure, leak-free joint in 30-seconds without any special preparation. The new push fit system requires only standard tools and provides the professional plumber with a plumbing system that needs no remedial work or maintenance.

The first compact all plastic push fitting, Wavin smartFIX has been developed for the professional market as a complement to the Wavin Metal Plastic (MP) pipe systems that are rapidly gaining in popularity with plumbers and heating engineers throughout Europe. Light weight, flexible and safe, plastic piping simplifies the task of installers in new build residential housing. However, it is especially valuable in system renovation and replacement in older buildings in which pipework and pipe-ways are often difficult to access and require a simple, flexible solution. With the introduction of Wavin smartFIX, connecting all hot and cold water systems has now been made easier and more productive at lower installation cost.

Based on state-of-the-art design, Wavin smartFIX is a well designed, high-tech fitting. It utilises new dry-coated O-ring technology that considerably lowers the required push-in force, and eliminates the collection of the dust and dirt that can lead to failure. It also incorporates new spring-loaded grab-ring technology that removes the risk of damage to the pipe surface and, importantly, always ensures the pipe is correctly aligned thereby preventing errors and saving time.

Moreover, Wavin smartFIX construction allows the plumber to confirm visually that the pipe ends are correctly seated, eliminating the need for a secondary check for leakage, as well as call-backs to repair problems. This performance is supported by a 10-year warranty, although an actual working life of 50 years is confidently anticipated. Furthermore we expect to get recommendations and approvals by a number of European institutions (e.g. DVGW, KIWA/KOMO, COBRI INSTAL, VA, GNFS, IPP UNI)

With a body moulded in high performance PPSU, a material approved for use in medical, food contact and other strictly controlled applications, Wavin smartFIX gives the assurance that water quality is maintained and makes it a completely safe plumbing solution. Robust in construction, smartFIX is resistant to corrosion, high temperatures, high pressures and impacts, and satisfies all key European regulations governing pipework and accessories for potable water and hot water systems.

Because Wavin smartFIX has a comprehensive range of 48 different fittings is gives total application flexibility. With 16mm, 20mm and 25mm couplers, elbows, branch tees, reducers and metal insert transition fittings, Wavin smartFIX meets any configuration requirement for MP pipe systems. It can also provide a reliable connection for 15mm and 22mm copper pipework.

Rated for a maximum operating pressure of 10 bar at continuous use temperatures of 70°C and intermediate peak temperatures up to 95°C, the Wavin smartFIX push fit system is suitable for potable and heating water installations of all kinds.

With the addition of the new smartFIX push fit system to Wavin’s solutions portfolio, which includes the K1 press fitting system and complete range of MP pipes, Wavin can meet all the requirements of modern plumbing specifications, installation techniques and customer preferences.

Bruckner: New BOPP Line with Excellent Start-up

Friday, March 3rd, 2006

Russian film producer Euromet Films and Brückner have successfully started a high speed 8.2m BOPP line, designed for the production of a wide range of speciality films. The quality of the initial trial films produced demonstrated that they were to a high standard, comparable with that produced by leading international film manufacturers.There was an excellent co-operation between Euromet Films’ personnel (assisted by Continental Polymers) and the professional Brückner commissioning Team. Brückner’s unique line design allowed a smooth and hassle-free film production from the start-up. In Euromet Films’ ultramodern factory building close to Moscow all necessary utilities have been foreseen for an extension of the plant for further production lines.

Bayer: Investment of E700m in polymers

Friday, March 3rd, 2006

Bayer MaterialScience has won main board approval for E700m of investments in polyurethane and polycarbonate, and extending from the US to China. The company will now go ahead with projects to expand MDI and polycarbonate resin in China as well as chlorine feedstock in the US. It will also refurbish its future headquarters at Leverkusen. The polycarbonate part of the programme covers a further 100 000 tpa of capacity in Caojing, near Shanghai, where an initial 100 000 tpa unit is nearing completion. The additional capacity is planned for completion by the end of 2007. The largest element in the investment is a 350 000tpa plant for PU intermediate diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI), also located at Caojing, due on line in 2008.

Autoload: New Model On-Spec Feeder OS-B Gravimetric Loss-in-Weight Feeder

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

Reduce waste, increase profits and product quality with the OS-B Gravimetric feeder from Autoload. This loss-in-weight feeder automatically compensates for any variation in the bulk density of the additive, delivering the exact amount of resin from shot to shot for injection molding or continuously for extrusion applications every time. Set-up takes a matter of minutes using a calibration weight. Then just set the % additive and the feeder will do the rest. The OS-B Gravimetric feeder provides excellent accuracy at a fraction of a typical loss-in-weight feeder price. Its unique design uses a stepper motor with a feed cylinder to deliver material reliably and consistently to the machine. No motor brushes to maintain and, as with all the OS Feeders, its modular design permits easy disassembly and cleaning of the feeder for quick material change requirements. Feeder throughput up to 55 lbs/hr.
Simple user friendly controller permits rapid calibration and operation of the feeder. The OS-B Gravimetric Feeder is easy to set up and install delivering a consistent and uniform flow of additive into the process. For the price you will not find a better loss-in weight-feeder being sold today.

EDI: New process to make films with 30+ layers

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

US flat film extrusion die maker Extrusion Dies is preparing to launch a new process technology for producing barrier packaging film constructions with 30 or more layers. The company’s Layer Multiplier Technology combines flat die, feedblock and multiplier unit that splits, realigns and then stacks the original multilayer melt stream to create structures with multiple repeat layers. It has already produced 32-layer film product in its development laboratory in the US. Multiple “stacked” layers improve barrier performance by dispersing thin areas or defects such as gels throughout the structure, eliminating permeation weak spots and maximising migration path.
EDI’s technology is based on Dow Chemical’s layer multiplier technology, which has been used by 3M to produce reflective films used in applications such as plasma screen displays. EDI is licensed to market the technology to producers of cast, oriented and coated film. The company has a 300mm wide development line operating in its US laboratory at Chippewa Falls, configured with a five layer feedblock and a 32-layer multiplier. EDI president Tim Callahan says a key element in the success of its system lies in the development of a short flow path multiplier unit, which minimises melt flow distance without compromising structure flexibility.

Multi-layer pipes made in a single step

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

Three Austrian companies have devised a process to make multi-layer pipes in a single operation. Multi-layer PP and HDPE pipes are usually made by extruding separate inner and outer layers, then joining them with injection moulded separators in a hand welding process. The new technique reduces this to a single stage. Austrian pipe producer Agru Kunststofftechnik says this will allow it to compete with producers of multi-layer pipes from lower wage countries. Agru has spent 10 months on the project with GS-Tech – and extrusion tooling consultancy – and toolmaker Puhl. The project partners – all members of the Kunststoff Cluster – say that the high degree of crystallinity of PP and HDPE compared with PVC meant that the calibration has to be optimised carefully in order to respect dimensional tolerance limits. The companies claim enhanced stiffness and endurance for pipes made with the new technique.