Battenfeld Gloucester: Light Groove Feed Design to Extruders for Improved Output and Process Stability

Extrusion specialist Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. has added a feature to the barrels of its ContraCool® extruders that increases throughput and polymer quality. Called light groove feed (LGF), it is a series of shallow grooves that improve the conveying efficiency of the screw by increasing the coefficient of friction in the barrel. The result is a plasticizing process in which resins, including soft materials like plastomers and nonlubricated grades of nylon, move down the barrel to the die in a steady, consistent flow.
Improved plasticizing and conveying of soft pellets occurs because the grooves in a LGF design are less aggressive to resins than those in conventional groove-feed extruders, where the grooves are much bigger, says Angelo Vissas, Blown Film Project Manager at Battenfeld Gloucester. ‘This broadens the spectrum of materials that can be processed in a LGF extruder,’ Vissas says. ‘Groove-feed extruders, by contrast, can only safely proc-ess high-molecular-weight polymers with hard pellets.’
Battenfeld Gloucester’s LGF barrels combine the benefits of smooth-bore and groove-feed design to achieve less shear along with steady conveying of resin and additives. In field tests producing agricultural stretch film, where resins with high vinyl acetate content and polyisobutylene were used, a 33% improvement in output stability was achieved over conventional smooth-bore extruders.
LGF barrels can use the same screw as smooth-bore extruders, do not require high-priced lubricated barrier resins and process fluff regrind. The option is available on ContraCool® extruders used in blown film lines, and is easily retrofittable.
Vissas says Battenfeld Gloucester sees potential for the technology in other applications.

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