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November 2, 2003

4 Min Read
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FENCE MAKER ADDS EXTRUSION LINE

Thanks to built-in fasteners, a new fencing system created with blowmolded pickets and coextruded fence rails snaps together. Created by Gemini Plastics Inc. (Pawcatuck, CT) a division of The Gemini Group (Ubly, MI) the fence system?s proprietary fastening system uses interlocks with prerouted slots in the rails for a no-tool assembly. Due to customer demand, Gemini installed a new Davis-Standard profile system to meet production needs.

Gemini?s new system includes a GP-114 twin-screw extruder with a GC-61 twin-screw coextruder, powder material loading system, profile tooling, vacuum sizing tank, secondary cooling tank, cleated haul off, travelling cut-off saw, and run-off tilt table. The line can produce rigid PVC fence profiles at a rate in excess of 1100 lb (550 kg)/hr. The fence line consists of 4-by-4- and 5-by-5-inch posts with 1.5-by-3- or 2-by-6-inch rails. Gemini operates 30 Davis-Standard extrusion lines that range in size from 1.5 to 3.5 inches (38 to 90 mm).

For more information on Gemini, visit www.geminigroup.net. For more information about Davis-Standard, call (860) 599-1010 or visit www.davis-standard.com.

PLASTIC CLUTCH LESS EXPENSIVE THAN METAL

Lighter and less expensive than metal counterparts but with the same resistance to heat and mechanical stress, an automotive clutch uses a line of high-performance polyamides with a high glass-fiber content. The plastic clutch for the Peugeot 206 was created by Plaselec (Lognes, France), a subsidiary of Sogaplast. The company also created an interlock key to prevent simultaneous engagement of the two gears and an internal gearbox fork out of polyamide. Plaselec is now studying applications in gearbox oil inlets to add to its existing line of products, which includes bump stops for Michelin AVS, molded pulleys, and plastic guides to maintain belt tensions or timing chain vehicles for car manufacturers.

For more information contact Plaselec at +33 (164) 455900 or visit www.sogaplast.com.

TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS FOR 3-D ILLUMINATED PARTS

By taking a thin sheet that has been screen printed with current-sensitive EL phosphors and other layers, and using a patented process to injection mold 3-D automotive parts, a company has created one-piece plastic parts that emit light when a voltage is applied.

Key Plastics LLC (Northville, MI) says the EL products light a wide area, dissimilar from the point sources created by other forms of illumination such as bulbs. A d-c or a-c voltage inverter is used to power the parts. The technology frees lighting parts from the need for mechanical and thermal structures to accommodate lamps. Current applications for Key?s technology include instrument cluster gauge backlighting, gearshift illumination, window and lock control buttons in doors, and illuminated semitransparent rear roof liners.

Applications under future consideration include door handles that illuminate, lighted kick panels at the door?s base to ease vehicle entry, and illuminated air-duct bezels for heating and air conditioning. For cars? exteriors, an illuminated hood-release latch is under consideration.

For more information contact Key Plastics LLC at (248) 449-6100 or visit www.keyplastics.com.

DANISH PACKAGING SPECIALIST EXTRUDES PET SHEET WITHOUT PREDRYING

Færch Plast of Holstebro, Denmark is one of the largest producers of food packaging in Europe. Five extrusion lines annually process 28,750 metric tons of sheet?mostly PP, PS, A-PET, and C-PET?that is turned into plastic trays and tubs on 71 thermoforming lines. Annual turnover was E81 million ($95 million) in 2002, and the company expects E95 million ($111 million) in 2003 and a further 30% increase by 2006.The newest sheet extrusion line from Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik (Bad Oeynhausen, Germany) boosted capacity almost 30%. But Factory Director Jens Berg Møller sounds happier about what the line does not have. Mostly processing A-PET and C-PET, plus some PP, the line has none of the costly predrying equipment normally needed to prevent hydrolytic degradation of PET.

The three Battenfeld co-rotating twin-screw extruders in this line (92-, 50-, and 50-mm) are equipped with vacuum degassing units that prevent PET moisture degradation and also optimize subsequent condensation. Møller says, ?Our film comes out absolutely free of any marks and yellow discoloration, and with excellent mechanical properties.? Melt pumps and hydraulic screen changers further assure quality. Færch has plans to install another Battenfeld line in 2004. That line will be dedicated to one product, and with no changeover, Færch Plast expects it to process 15,000 tons/yr, an additional capacity increase of 50%.

For more information contact Battenfeld of America (West Warwick, RI) at (401) 823-0700 or visit www.battenfeld.com.

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