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Dual-State, Flexible-Lip Die Reduces Consumption of Capstock Polymer

Nordson Ultraflex Die
A new device for multi-manifold dies from Nordson Corp. that controls the layer thickness of costly capstock polymers enables manufacturers of vinyl siding, glazing, hot tub panels, and other sheet products to reduce raw material costs.

Incorporated in a new EDI Ultraflex multi-manifold sheet die, the proprietary device consists of a flexible hinge that allows fine-tuning of the capstock layer for the first time, according to Nordson. Located in the flow channel for the capstock polymer at a point before it combines with the base polymer, the hinge can be adjusted to provide uniform flow necessary for a consistently effective cap layer. At the same time, a conventional flexible lip located downstream can be adjusted to ensure a consistent gauge for the overall two-layer structure.

The schematic shows the base polymer in blue as it moves through the main flow channel and the capstock polymer in red as it moves through a secondary flow channel before combining with the base polymer. Image courtesy Nordson Corp.

“The EDI Ultraflex sheet die with the new dual-stage, flexible lip feature enables vinyl siding manufacturers to produce cladding that provides long-lasting weatherability and good looks, while avoiding the high scrap rates and downtime that can be caused by inconsistencies in the cap layer,” said Patrick Meinen, Global Product Line Manager for Nordson’s EDI dies. “In addition, the device eliminates the need to run unnecessarily thick cap layers to compensate for such inconsistencies.”

In production runs by a vinyl siding manufacturer, the new dual, flex-lip die made possible an 11% reduction in consumption of acrylonitrile-styrene-acrylate (ASA), the polymer widely used in the vinyl siding industry to provide UV protection for the rigid PVC base polymer. The new die includes a flow channel design that is more advanced than that of the old die that it replaces, providing significant cost savings, according to Nordson.

Nordson said it anticipates that it will also provide cost savings in other sheet products that require cap layers for UV protection, gloss, or other special properties. UV layers for polycarbonate sheet used in specialty windows, stadium glazing, and greenhouses, or gloss layers for hot tub and refrigerator panels are some examples.

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