Archive for January, 2007

Borealis: Introduction of All-round Siliconisable PP Film

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Borealis, a leading innovative plastics provider, is opening up new opportunities for the cost-effective production of film to be used in adhesives and packaging applications with the development of a unique polypropylene (PP) film grade. New BA110CF provides films with superior performance compared to standard products. A pioneering product design offers an industry first with a one-film solution for all siliconisation processes. This reduces production costs for converters by eliminating the need for different sealing films depending on the siliconisation process required for a particular end product.
Applications requiring release properties include carrier sheets for storing tapes and labels prior to application. For this, a layer of silicone is applied to the film carrier sheet to provide release behaviour between the film and the tapes or labels. For meat packaging, a silicone layer is added to the packaging film to ensure that as little meat as possible sticks to the film. With BA110CF consumers can more easily remove all of the packaging contents at the time of use.
In addition to its all-round siliconisation benefit, BA110CF also offers good processing on blown film lines. Its high curing ability, when the silicone layer is applied in a liquid state, can further increase processing efficiency for converters.
The ideal combination of additives and product conditions ensures good long-term adhesion between the silicone layer and the film. This helps to maintain a film’s performance over a longer lifetime and avoids traditional adhesion issues experienced with standard products.
The key characteristics of BA110CF allow converters to produce films with a range of performance advantages compared to paper. Its high stiffness/good toughness ratio ensures greater mechanical strength.. This makes the film more suitable as a carrier sheet for industrial applications where extra force needs to be applied to release tapes and labels, for example. This improved performance reduces the potential for waste and production run interruptions at the converter.
The higher water vapour barrier of PP film reduces water absorption, which, in combination with the high heat resistance characteristic of BA110CF, increases its suitability over paper for medical applications requiring sterilisation treatment. The film offers greater microbe resistance than paper, making it an attractive choice not only for medical applications but also other high-end sectors, such as the semiconductor industry.
Peter Niedersub, Product Development Engineer for Borealis’ film business, comments: ‘BA110CF offers film converters a unique combination of cost-saving and performance advantages over standard film materials. This benefits converters and improves the quality of the adhesive and packaging products they can offer to the various end markets. Its all-round siliconisation suitability delivers an exciting step forward in expanding the use of PP film by the adhesive and packaging industries.’ Borealis has more than 40 years experience in providing advanced polyolefin solutions for industries using film, coating and thermoforming products. With foresight throughout the value chain and a focus on customer needs, Borealis continues to provide innovative, value creating PP and PE solutions for the film industry.
Borealis is a leading provider of innovative, value creating plastics solutions. With more than 40 years of experience in the polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) business, we focus on pipe systems, energy and communications cables, automotive and advanced packaging markets. We are strong in Europe and growing in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific through Borouge, our joint venture with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). Our technology makes an essential contribution to the society in which we live. We are committed to lead the way in ‘Shaping the Future with Plastics’.

American Maplan: High Performance Sheet Extrusion Systems

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

The space saving and more energy efficient high speed sheet systems from American Maplan utilizing Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik technology are also proving to have other benefits including easier operation of the machine, low maintenance requirements, short dwell times for better polymer quality and quick compound changeover/low exchange volume. All of these benefits are peaking interest of the system in the market.
Two extruders, the AMC/BEX 1-75-34 and AMC/BEX 1-45-30 are the power behind production of PS, PP and other standard thermoplastic materials. The system design provides output for PS and PP up to 1400 kg/hr and 1100 kg/hr respectively. The system features the BMCtouch control with central control panel, multiple memory function for line settings and a modem for remote diagnostics and monitoring.
According to Chuck Szoke, Sheet Systems Sales at American Maplan, ‘the output of these machines, is equivalent to a conventional 150 mm or larger extruder. High output combined with the energy efficiency of the motor and gear box technology, the initial payback will be 25-40% sooner than that of a typical system.’
The high speed/high output system includes the main and co-extruders, melt pump, screen changer, sheet die, roll stack with cooling unit, sheet guiding and inspection frame, haul-off, sheet accumulator, edge trim unit and dual station winder.
Potential applications for the high performance sheet line include packaging for fresh vegetables and bakery items, food display platters and party dishes, lids for packaging, medical packaging and packaging of hardware items.
American Maplan Corporation, Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik GmbH (Germany) and Battenfeld Extrusion Systems Ltd. (PR China) utilize their synergies to develop process machineries, dies, screws and downstream equipment that provide a Total Extrusion Solution for the price and performance needs of the customer.

EDI: Patent for Flat Die that Minimizes Downtime for Extrusion Job

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Extrusion Dies Industries, LLC (EDI) has been granted US. Patent No. 7,056,112 B2 for a flat-die design that reduces the downtime for lip adjustment required with each new product run, enhances gauge profiles, and yields a uniform layer structure in coextrusion, the company announced. Tradenamed Contour Die™, the innovative system is now in commercial film and sheet production worldwide.
The Contour Die solves a longstanding problem caused by the pressure of the molten polymer in the manifold or flow channel between the bodies, or halves, of any flat die. This pressure (in the range of 1,000 to 3,000 p.s.i., or 70 to 200 BAR) is great enough to deflect the heavy steel bodies. In conventional dies, because the surface area that is ‘wetted,’ or in contact with molten polymer, is greater at the center than at the ends, the result is non-uniform deflection; this in turn causes a product distortion commonly called ‘clamshelling.’ While it is possible to correct the problem with the lip-adjustment systems that are standard on flat dies, the frequent adjustments required when there are many small-run jobs cause a substantial loss in productivity. The problem is even more serious in coextrusion, since lip adjusters cannot correct the distortions at the interface between layers.
‘Understanding the phenomenon of die deflection enabled us to address both of these issues,’ said Contour Die inventor John A. Ulcej, EDI’s executive vice president of engineering and technology. ‘Ultimately we solved the problem of non-uniform deflection by designing a die that is very different in appearance from the block-like conventional die.’
The Contour Die has a unique tapered or ’sculpted’ shape: thicker in the center, where the bending force is greater, than at the ends (see photo). This design enables EDI to retain the triangle-shaped ‘coat hanger’ manifold that is widely used in the industry because it promotes a streamlined flow of molten polymer through the die (see schematic).
‘Previous ‘constant-deflection’ dies built by EDI and others dispensed with the coat hanger manifold in favor of a ‘broad shoulders’ manifold with a straight back wall parallel to the die exit,’ said Ulcej. ‘This produced uniform die body deflection, but with a sacrifice in streamlining. The corners at either end of the back wall constituted dead spots where low-velocity flow or polymer hang-up could cause degradation, manifested in the finished product as gels, pinholes, and other defects.’
Another benefit of streamlined flow is a reduction in the time needed to purge the die for color or resin changes. At the same time, Ulcej noted, the combination of uniform die body deflection and streamlined flow provides greater leeway for increasing extruder throughput without compromising product quality.

Krauss-Maffei: Manufacturing High-quality PVC Pipe with 36D Twin-crew Extruders

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Manufacturers can significantly reduce feedstock costs for PVC pipe by increasing filler content. The engineering challenge is to guarantee a stable process and consistently good product quality even for highly filled pipe. Krauss-Maffei’s 36D twin-screw extruders have proved outstandingly successful in processing highly-filled formulations. For PVC wastewater pipe, filler content of up to 65 parts (approx. 40%) chalk (CaCO3) is feasible. The highly filled pipes with diameters between 50 to 500 mm are used for transporting wastewater.
To facilitate processing of highly filled formulations, the extruders have special material feed, weighing and metering systems. The PVC dryblend and the CaCO3 are transported from the storage container to the hopper of the gravimetric metering unit with the help of a spiral feed screw. The hopper is fitted with shakers and agitators to prevent bridging. In addition, all metering unit surfaces in contact with the material have a special coating to guarantee unimpeded material flow. From the metering unit, the material is transported via an agitator and a special twin-screw feed into the stuffing unit above the extruder feed throat.
The parallel twin-screw extruders in Krauss-Maffei’s 36D range are designed for optimal processing of PVC. They are capable of combining very high output with maximum protection for the mechanical properties of the product. In addition, these extruders deliver constant high pipe quality. The 36D extruders have internally heated screws and air-cooled barrels. Krauss-Maffei offers these extruders in four sizes: KMD 75-36, KMD 90-36, KMD 114-36 and KMD 133-36. The rheological design of Krauss-Maffei’s spider-type pipeheads ensures an extremely homogenous melt and ensures perfect fusing of the melt downstream of the spider legs.
Hakan Plastik A.S. in Turkey specializes in manufacturing highly-filled PVC pipe and already operates five Krauss-Maffei extrusion lines for this application. Satisfied with the outstanding pipe quality, Hakan Plastik has now ordered two more lines for highly filled pipe. The systems are due to go into operation between March and June 2007.

Davis-Standard: Basic Extrusion Seminar

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Davis-Standard, LLC will host a workshop on “The Basics of Plastics Extrusion” on April 3 and 4 at its headquarters in Pawcatuck, Connecticut. The two-day class will cover the fundamentals of plastics extrusion as well as the composition and properties of various polymers and the mechanics of essential downstream processes. Topics include extruder components, temperature control, maintenance and screw design.
In addition to instruction, course participants will tour Davis-Standard’s laboratory and manufacturing facilities and will have access to polymer process engineers and technical specialists. The fee is $750 per person with a 10 percent discount given for groups of three or more. Course books and materials are included, and class size is limited to promote student/teacher interaction.
For enrollment or more information about Davis-Standard’s seminars and on-site extrusion training, contact Wendy Smith at (860) 599-6119 or at [email protected]

Limesplast: STS Compounder for high-quality reclaim pellets

Friday, January 26th, 2007

For the processing of pure regrind material into high-quality reclaim pellets, Limesplast Kunststoffaufbereitung, Welzheim/Germany, recently put its second STS Compounder from Coperion, Stuttgart/Germany, into service. The reason for Limesplast’s choice
in favour of a second machine from Coperion was not least its excellent experience with the first machine, a Standard Twin Screw STS 50, and its resultant enormous increase in business: Limesplast’s customers, mainly suppliers to the automotive industry, were so impressed by the high quality and relatively low price of the reclaim pellets that the demand grew rapidly – so rapidly, in fact, that Limesplast ordered the larger STS 65, which has a capacity of 4,000 tonnes/year, in the summer of 2006. In both cases, the STS Compounders were competing against machines from low-cost manufacturers and against used twin-screw extruders in particular. What clinched Limesplast’s decision in favour of Coperion was the favourable price-performance ratio, the 18 months’ warranty and the machine’s comprehensive standard equipment. By means of a high-performance, side-feeding multi-component metering system, Limesplast can add colour and/or additive masterbatches, mineral fillers, chopped strands or impact modifiers to meet customer-specific requirements.
The starting material for the production of reclaim pellets is pure regrind material from polyamide (PA), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer (ABS), polyacetal (POM) or ABS/PC blend, which Limesplast produces in its own granulators from clean injection moulding scrap. The dedusted, completely metal-free regrind material is first plasticized – extremely efficiently – in the STS Compounder, a co-rotating twin-screw extruder. The melt is then homogenized and, if necessary, degassed. The material is processed so gently that the resulting reclaim pellets display mechanical properties that are virtually just as good those of the respective starting material. Thanks to the efficient self-cleaning action of the twin screws, changeovers from one colour or
material to another can be carried out extremely quickly. With the two cost-effective, highly efficient STS Compounders from Coperion, Limesplast has rapidly succeeded in effecting the transition from a manufacturer of regrind to a manufacturer of
reclaim pellets for a wide variety of applications. A modern bagging unit with upstream mixers ensures absolute homogeneity of the product. The company’s own laboratory checks and documents the quality of both the raw materials and the finished products. In achieving a greater degree of integrated production, Limesplast has created a broader and economically more successful basis for its future business, for the production and distribution of high-quality reclaim pellets and customized compounds are much more lucrative than is the case just with reground scrap.
For further information on Limesplast, please visit: www.limesplast.de

Degussa: Plastics films and surfaces project

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Degussa, a subsidiary of specialty chemicals group RAG, has launched a Functional Films and Surfaces research group to be based in Hanau-Wolfgang, Germany. The 20-strong team will work for three years on applications for polymer films and surface coatings. Dr Alfred Oberholz, deputy chairman of Degussa’s Management Board, is responsible for R&D and said: “The Functional Films & Surfaces Project House will focus on markets that are commercially very attractive.” Oberholz said the markets for flat screens and photovoltaics are growing, and that Degussa wants to develop these markets with its polymer products. “The new functional plastic films and semifinished products should, among other things, make it easier and more cost effective to manufacture solar cells and improve light efficiency and picture quality of flat screens…”, he continued. By way of objectives, Degussa plans to have prototypes by the end of 2009, which its business units can then bring to market.

Borealis: EUR 90 million investment to further develop its polypropylene business

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Borealis, a leading provider of innovative, value creating plastics solutions, will invest EUR 25 million to expand the capacity of its PP
plant in Porvoo, Finland, by 65,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to 220,000 tpa by the end of 2008. The increased capacity will meet rapidly growing customer demand for innovative plastics solutions in the pipe and advanced packaging markets and better supply the developing Russian market.
Borealis will also invest EUR 35 million to create a four-reactor configuration at its Borstar® PP plant in Schwechat, Austria, to support
the production of superior materials that meet the needs of the automotive, pipe and advanced packaging industries. The plant is well
positioned to take advantage of the expanding automotive markets in Central and Eastern Europe. The additional gas phase reactor will be operational during 2009.
In addition, Borealis will invest EUR 30 million in a four-reactor Borstar PP pilot plant at Schwechat that will strengthen the company’s ability to readily develop innovative, advanced multimodal PP solutions. The pilot plant will be completed in 2009.

Plastic Engineering Associates Licensing: U.S. Registration of Trademark for Turbo-Screws®

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Plastic Engineering Associates Licensing, Inc. (PEA-Licensing) of Boca Raton, Florida is pleased to report the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted registration of its trademark, ‘ Turbo-Screws®’. The registration number is 3,180,571, was registered December 5, 2006 and is for use for feed screws for use in thermoplastic extrusion machines. 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

New Plastics City Opens in Guangdong, China

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

With an investment of RMB98 million, the first phase of Guangdong Xiaxi International Rubber & Plastic City is rolling now, after a grand opening on 5th January 2007. Located in Foshan City in mid-south Guangdong, China, the new trading place is built to respond to the strong demand from the household appliance, home furniture and coating sectors in the region, with a wide range of products to be supplied, including raw plastic and rubber materials, engineering plastics and rubber, modified plastics and rubber, plastics and rubber additives, plastics and rubber machinery, and plastics and rubber molds. Ultimately Guangdong Xiaxi International Rubber & Plastic City will have a total building area of 300,000 square meters, including 40,000 square meters in the first phase. The whole project will involve an investment of RMB380 million.