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Blown-film extrusion plants may be able to reduce airborne contaminants by as much as 80% with a new patented Saturn Evacuation System (SES) from Future Design Inc. and extend cleanings from every six weeks to quarterly or longer. Future Design, which is part of Gloucester Engineering Co., specializes in air ring technology for the flexible packaging industry.

PlasticsToday Staff

April 4, 2013

2 Min Read
Future Design launches system to reduce airborne contamination in blown-film extrusion plants

Blown-film extrusion plants may be able to reduce airborne contaminants by as much as 80% with a new patented Saturn Evacuation System (SES) from Future Design Inc. and extend cleanings from every six weeks to quarterly or longer. Future Design, which is part of Gloucester Engineering Co., specializes in air ring technology for the flexible packaging industry.

The SES is comprised of a small air ring that fits any air ring or die that is constructed of aluminum and fits between the die and the primary cooling ring. Connected to the vacuum side of the blower, the system creates a positive vacuum that draws as much as 80% of the contamination from the low-pressure zone at the die exit. The polluted air is filtered and the discharged particulates directed to a suitable location.

GECSaturn-1728.jpgFuture Design says that contaminants from the blown-film process are inevitable and can cause safety, health and maintenance problems. Comprised of smoke, fumes, vaporous residues and other noxious polymers from the extrusion process of blown film, these contaminants cannot be captured by conventional exhaust systems and are too heavy to stay airborne, the company stated. As a result, they settle on equipment frames, railings, electrical components or plant lighting throughout the plant. Many facilities shut down for one or more days as often as every six weeks to eliminate these contaminants.

Initial plant installations of the new SES systems have enabled them to extend cleaning from weeks to months. Airborne particulates as high as 60 million parts per million (ppm) have been reduced to as few as 400,000 ppm, a formidable reduction.

In addition to providing a reduction in airborne pollutants, Future Design said that other benefits include an increased film quality and film production; the SES can be retrofitted on any die or air ring package; and by reversing the connection to the blower from the intake to the exhaust side, the SES actually becomes a small air ring that can assist with start-up, if required.

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