Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer: Order for world-scale Polypropylene compounding plant
Yet another milestone in the development of Polypropylene (PP) compounding and pelletizing systems has been reached by Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart: this German company will soon be delivering a plant to the Near East with a guaranteed throughput rate of 72 tonnes/hour. Compared to the hitherto largest PP compounding and pelletizing plant, likewise built by Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer and giving service in Poland’s largest petrochemical site in Plock, this new plant will represent a further considerable increase in capacity. This contract represents yet another confirmation of Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer’s worldwide technology and market leadership in the manufacture of world-scale plants for Polyolefin compounding. The customer is a renowned engineering company serving mainly chemical and petrochemical companies in all parts of the world. As a leading contractor for polymerization plants for Polyolefins, this company has already delivered and installed over 70 Polypropylene compounding and pelletizing lines for operation in its customers’ plants.
The nucleus of the PP compounding and pelletizing plant is a ZSK 380 twin-screw compounder featuring 380 mm diameter screws. This compounder, which has already proved itself in numerous PP and PE applications, is equipped with a variable speed drive that has a total power output of 19 megawatts – a first in PP compounding. A Suprex superpositioning planetary gear unit combines the outputs of a 14 MW fixed speed motor and a 5 MW variable speed motor, making screw speeds of between 193 and 276 rpm possible. This gives the ZSK 380 MEGAcompounder a large operating window, permitting the compounding and pelletizing of PP
grades of varying viscosity at high throughput rates with a minimum possible energy input.
Considering the extremely high throughput rate requirement, Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer have also developed two new components of discharge equipment based on existing, service-proven systems:
Located immediately downstream of the compounding extruder is the enlarged SWZ 21000 screen changer, which removes all foreign bodies and impurities from the melt and permits a fully automatic screen change – 21,000 cm² effective filtration area – while the plant continues to operate.
The throughput rate of 72 tonnes/hour necessitated the development of the high-capacity UG 925 underwater pelletizer. Being used for the first time with PP, this pelletizing system is based on the UG 1000, a pelletizer that has already proved itself in PE applications, and is equipped with an intensively heated pelletizing die.

Delivery and commissioning of the compounding and pelletizing plant is planned for the second half of 2007.

XP Express™ Well-Received by Sheet and Film Processors
(Sep 27, 2006)

The pre-engineered XP Express™ roll stand system from Davis-Standard, LLC is gaining momentum in the sheet and packaging film markets. Davis-Standard has built and sold six XP Express systems over the past few months with dozens of inquiries in the works. The system, introduced in late 2005, is attractive to processors because of a competitive price, fast delivery and versatile design. The XP Express is equipped for the full range of sheet and packaging applications, including capabilities for lamination, solution coating, auxiliary cooling, slitting and trimming, embossing and protective film.
‘The interest level is very high for this system because of its ease of access and operating features such as dynamic nip force (PLI) control,’ explained Al ---bacher, business area manager for Davis-Standard’s sheet systems. ‘We’ve received very positive feedback from customers and anticipate that we’ll have several more of these systems in the field shortly.’
The first customer to purchase and install the XP Express, Solarium de Paris of Québec, Canada, is using the system to manufacture flexible PVC window film in widths up to 34 inches (860mm) in two colors and with a thickness of 0.020 mil. According to Jacques Hébert, Solarium de Paris project manager, the XP Express has enabled their company to improve control over cooling, polishing and thickness of the finished product. ‘Each roll on the system has individual pumps, heat transfer units, electric motors and compressed air control, which improves consistency and product quality,’ said Hebert. ‘We’ve also been pleased with the consistent throughput rates and operator safety features including the roll change mechanism and hands-free roll gap and load control system.’
The XP Express is equipped with high-speed features for thin gauge applications and has the capacity for temperatures up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be configured in an upstack, downstack, offset top or offset bottom arrangement with roll cooling for three, four or five rolls. The design meets or exceeds all current safety requirements. Custom models are available for both custom sheet applications (’CS’) and packaging applications (’PS’). Optional equipment includes hot melt laminating unwinds, protective film let-offs, sheet stress relief systems, post embossing assemblies, web solution applicators, thickness measurement systems, edge trim and multi-lane slitting devices, and auxiliary web cooling systems among others.


AMI Conference: Plastic Pipes Under Pressure
9/14/2006 Düsseldorf, Germany - AMI recently announced a new international conference for the plastic pipes industry. Pressure Pipes 2007 will be held at the Renaissance Hotel, Düsseldorf, Germany, 25-27 June 2007. The conference aims to cover developments in materials, processing technology and applications of Pressure Pipes. http://www.amiplastics.com/ami/AMIConference.asp?EventID=97
Pressure Pipes are used in many areas from gas, potable water, sprinkler systems and sewage transport to high-end applications such as the chemical industry and oilfield. Plastics are generally lighter, more flexible and less susceptible to corrosion than traditional materials. New grades of plastics are being developed and tested for pressure pipe use and new designs and manufacturing technologies are arising at the same time. Some pipes are single layer; others are multilayer sometimes with the same plastic in different forms to reinforce the pipes. For example, an HDPE core might be wound with an HDPE fibre and coated.
The environment for pipes can vary from domestic interior to exterior, to burial in soil and underwater pipelines. The pressures that pipes are subjected to cover different ranges and may be constant or cyclic. In the case of buried and undersea pipes the pressures are external as well as internal. Drinking water pipes must not contaminate the water supply and there are additional regulations in this area.
Hydrostatic pressure testing is used to predict the safe performance window for new pressure pipes. Testing during pipe development has shown that failure occurs in a variety of ways: ductile failure (ballooning through the weakest point in the pipe wall), brittle mechanical failure (slow crack propagation), and chemical degradation of the pipe material that makes the material brittle and liable to split, often accompanied by discoloration. Specific standards cover critical pipe properties such as creep rupture strength and resistance to stress cracking and rapid crack propagation. (Due to the pressures, cracks in pressure pipes can grow very quickly – rates of propagation of hundreds of meters per second have been recorded.) The standards and testing requirements for pressure pipes are very extensive and ensure safety of pressure pipes in use.
Pipe extruders aim for uniform wall thickness and select cooling methods that minimize residual stresses. New developments by the machinery manufacturers and expert companies working in this field.
Polyethylene (PE) is the dominant material in this market (including HDPE, MDPE, crosslinked PE (PEX), and raised temperature resistant PE (PE-RT)). Historically the density of PE was used as an indication of its strength. Now there are International Standards that give more precise indications of hydrostatic strength, thus PE100 has a minimum required strength (MRS) of 10 MPa and PE80 of 8 MPa. A variety of other plastics are also used in pressure pipes including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polypropylene (PP). Higher performance polymers are found in harsher environments, such as polyamide 11, PVDF, ABS and glass-reinforced plastic (GRP).
Additives are used in pipe compounds for a variety of reasons. Colorants are used to code pipes by their contents. Antioxidants are used to slow degradation. Anti-UV agents are needed for above ground exposure. Heat stabilizers are used in high-temperature environments and to stabilize materials during processing. Process aids can assist the flow of viscous plastics and improve efficiency.

Turbo-Screws® Technology Successfully Foams Semi-Crystalline Biodegradable Polymer

Plastic Engineering Associates Licensing, Inc. (PEA-Licensing) of Boca Raton, Florida
is pleased to report the continued success of its commercial biodegradable foam development
efforts with polylactic acid (PLA) resins. Working with NatureWorks LLC’s foam technical team
and using the latest generation of Turbo-Screws® technology foam feed screws developed
specifically for PLA, PEA-Licensing successfully foamed semi-crystalline PLA.
Jim Fogarty, Chairman of PEA-Licensing and the inventor of the Turbo-Screws® technology,
commented on the semi-crystalline development trials, and said ‘I’m particuarly pleased with the
latest generation of Turbo-Screws® technology feed screws for the PLA. We have now had great
success foaming the amorphous and semi-crystalline PLA resins. Biodegradable polymers are the
future of this industry and Turbo-Screws® technology will get you there successfully. The next step
in the commercial development trials with PLA is high heat grade crystalline PLA for applications
requiring 300 degrees Fahrenheit, which we will continue development on through year end.’
Plastic Engineering Associates Licensing, Inc. is a Florida corporation which owns the exclusive
patent rights to 7 U.S. and 50 foreign patents on the Turbo-Screws® technology. For more information
visit www.turboscrews.com
NatureWorks LLC is a stand-alone company owned by Cargill. NatureWorks is the first company
to offer commercially available polymers derived from 100% annually renewable resources with cost and
performance that compete with petroleum based packaging materials and fibers. The company applies its
unique technology to the processing of natural plant sugars to create a proprietary polylactide polymer,
which is marketed under the NatureWorks PLA and Ingeo fibers brand names. For more information
visit www.natureworksllc.com

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