Plastics Technology

OCT 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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Feedscrew Upgrade Pumps Up Output for Hose Maker A recent feedscrew replacement has boosted rates by more than 33% for Swan Products, LLC. Swan Products, the leading North American manu- facturer of water hoses for consumer and industrial markets, installed four new feedscrews from Davis-Standard (D-S), Pawcatuck, Conn., on existing D-S extruders at one of its plants in Canada. From order to installation, the project took about two and half months, saving the company time and money by providing a cost-efficient means to increase productivity. Notes Jose Rossi, Swan Product's dir. of manufacturing for North America, "Davis-Standard's lab facility enabled us to prove design concepts alongside feedscrew engineers with hands-on experience." The new high-throughput designs included a 2.5-in. and three 4.5-in. screws. Trials at D-S's lab in Pawcatuck were important since Swan needed ability to process both PVC and TPV resins. During the trials, several designs were tested to determine the best options for output and stability specific to Swan's process requirements. Says Jason Baird, the senior process engineer at Davis-Standard who conducted Swan's trial, "We have analytical capabilities at the lab that enable us to see what's going on inside the extruder as we test different feed- screws. When you improve output rates, you also need to confirm stability to achieve uniform product. Swan supplies garden hoses to major big-box stores, so quality and consistency is essential to their business. We were able to verify both outputs and stability while also evaluating every aspect of performance from melt temperature to torque. This gave Swan the validation they needed to achieve immediate results." 860-599-1010 • Victrex Develops PAEK for Additive Manufacturing Victrex in the U.K. (U.S. office in West Conshohocken, Pa.) is developing mate- rials for various additive manufacturing (AM) processes. The company leads a consortium of companies and institu- tions and was awarded funding from the U.K.'s agency for innovation, Innovate UK, in 2016 to carry out R&D to advance AM technologies. The other members include Airbus Group Innovations, EOS, University of Exeter Center for Additive Layer Manufacturing, E3D-Online, HiETA Technologies, South West Metal Finish- ing, and 3T-RPD. One key focus is high-temperature, affordable polymer composites for AM aerospace applica- tions. The first of these is a high- strength material in fine-powder form for laser sintering (LS) which is said to improve recycling of unsin- tered powder. The second is a fila- ment with a better strength than existing polyaryletherketone (PAEK) materials and better printability for fused filament fabrication processes (FFS/FDM). According to Victrex (, existing PAEK materials on the market were designed for conventional manu- facturing methods such as machining and injection molding and have some features that are not optimal for AM processes. A first-generation PAEK material for LS can be recycled only to a very low extent and requires nearly full refresh of the printing bed with new powder. And PEEK filaments available for FFS have poor interlayer bonding, lead- ing to a loss of Z-strength, Victrex says. In contrast, new developmental PAEK grades have shown encouragingly low refresh rates (improving recycle of unsintered powder) with similar mechanical properties in LS, and good mechanical properties and printability in FFS. No measurable loss of properties was observed when test components were made from partially recycled powder. Victrex believes it will be possible to reuse all of the non-sintered powder that is recovered after a build run. This will result in a significant reduc- tion in material cost compared with current PAEK materials where up to 40% of the polymer is wasted and cannot be recycled. Meanwhile, consortium partner EOS (U.S. office in Novi, Mich.; eos. info) recently released the model P 500 industrial LS printer that can handle high-performance polymers at high temperatures. Another consortium partner, E3D-Online (, recently released a new water-cooled filament extruder head optimized for this new PAEK filament. 800-VICTREX • PLA Composite Used in World's First 'Circular' Car What appears to be the world's first biobased plastic car was designed and built in the Netherlands by students at the Technical University (TU) of Eindhoven. This is report- edly the first time that a car chassis and all bodywork have been made from natural and biobased materials with no metal or traditional plastics used in the struc- tural parts of the car. The parts are made up of light and strong sandwich panels, based on natural flax fiber and Luminy high-heat, biobased PLA from the Netherlands' Total Corbion PLA (U.S. office in N.Y.C.). Dubbed Noah, the vehicle was designed as a two-seater city car with electric motor. The car weighs 360 kg (793.6 lb) without batteries, or less than half the weight of comparable produc- tion cars. The parts are also recyclable, resulting in a 100% circular car. 816-303-6909 • 10 OCTOBER 2018 Plastics Technology T E C H N O L O G Y A N D I N D U S T R Y N E W S St ar t ing Up

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