Plastics Technology

MAY 2012

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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/PX :PV $BO 3FGVSCJTI 5XJO 4DSFX &MFNFOUT Two suppliers of twin-screw compounding extruders announced at NPE2012 that they are now offering screw-element refurbishing services. These are believed to be first-of-a-kind services in com- pounding. Specifying an altogether new element was typically less expensive for compounders than getting one refurbished. But both ENTEK Extruders, Lebanon, Ore., (pictured) and Coperion Corp., Ramsey, N.J., have taken advantage of the economies of scale from their in-house screw manufacturing capabilities to make refurbishing a lower-cost alternative. ENTEK is offering the service on extra-large elements (133 and 250 mm). Coperion is offering refurbishing service across a full range of sizes. It does screw manufacturing in Wytheville, Va., where it reportedly has the capacity to produce 120,000 to 140,000 elements a year. t FOUFL NGH DPN 3JHJE 17$ $BQQJOH 3JHJE 17$ 'JMN 'MFYJCMF 17$ #VMC 17$ 4UBOE 0GG 3JHJE 17$ #SJEHF 3PMMGPSNFE .FUBM 4FDUJPO t DPQFSJPO DPN A3PMM5SVTJPO .BUFT 3PMMFE .FUBM &YUSVTJPO Crosshead extrusion is the typical means of coating plastics on relatively small substrates such as wire. But at NPE2012 in Orlando last month, a supplier of building products discussed utilizing the technology on a much larger scale. Houston-based Quanex Building Products Corp. rolled out RollTrusion, a process that combines roll-formed metal and thermoplastic extrusion in a single part. Quanex has supplied parts made from the process for doors, win- dows, and a variety of other markets. One key benefit of the process is parts consolidation, states Reed Quanex, business development manager. In one application—a door for a refrig- erated cooler used in supermarkets—the Quanex process resulted in a single component replacing four. Quanex is also working to apply plastic to metal studs in commercial buildings to reduce the sound and vibration that normally occurs between metal and concrete. In the process, roll-formed metal is fed to a specially designed die, and the plastic is extruded around it. Quantex has used PVC, TPE, nylon, and TPU as the coating material. t RVBOFY DPN 'PBNJOH %FWFMPQNFOUT "QMFOUZ JO &YUSVTJPO At NPE2012, Macro Engineering and Technology, Mississauga, Ont., launched new technology to extrude foamed films in what it describes as an "envi- ronmentally friendly process" that uses inert gas as the foaming agent. The technology can foam both blown and cast films. It can be integrated into existing systems to provide lines that can swing between conventional films and foam production. Foams can expand a film's thickness by 100% or more, while reducing the density by 40-60%, Macro says. Foaming can also improve film strength, tear-resistance, and create anti-slip prop- erties with a glossy surface. Macro says it has produced a variety of high-quality films at various thicknesses at its film develop- ment center. The foams have been based on LLDPE and HDPE blends, PS, and PP. Macro has also created a variety of foams using PLA to create fully compostable structures. Applications include food and medical packaging and glossy film for retail. Meanwhile, MuCell Extrusion LLC, Woburn, Mass., an- 6 MAY 2012 PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY nounced at NPE that it has teamed with Commodore Technol- ogy LLC, Bloomfield, N.Y., to supply turnkey tandem foam lines for producing microcellular PS, PP, or LDPE foam sheet. "We're experts in providing turnkey solutions, but until now, our pro- cess knowledge was limited mostly to PS," states Brad Braddon, Commodore president. "As we now expand to include PP and LDPE products using the MuCell process, we look forward to partnering with MuCell Extrusion to build our process exper- tise." Commodore has a complete MuCell demonstration line at its headquarters and recently delivered its first polyolefin line to an undisclosed U.S. processor. MuCell technology is based on direct injection of nitrogen or carbon dioxide in its supercritical state. Injection during the supercritical state allows for a single-phase gas/polymer solution. t NBDSPFOH DPN t NVDFMMFYUSVTJPO DPN t DPNNPEPSFTPMVUJPOT DPN

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