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News on new product and material developments kept rolling into our offices well after we went to press with this issue. Check here for frequent updates right up to the show on these additional products.Greener TPUs

MPW Staff

July 14, 2009

8 Min Read
NPE Extra

News on new product and material developments kept rolling into our offices well after we went to press with this issue. Check here for frequent updates right up to the show on these additional products.

Greener TPUs

Adding to NPE2009’s green tint, Spain’s Merquinsa will bring its recently launched plant-derived and recyclable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to Chicago. Pearlthane ECO recently underwent a lifecycle analysis that indicated it will result in 40% less CO2 emissions. Beyond plant-based TPU products, Merquinsa will display its full range of TPU specialties that are used for applications ranging from sports and leisure and consumer goods to melt coating and film and sheet applications. Merquinsa, Booth W131043

Dry-specification, food-contact, and outdoor color pigments

Three new ultramarine pigments will debut in Chicago from Holliday Pigments, including a standard version, a very dry specification for high-pigmentation concentrates, and a low-dust offering. Part of the company’s Premier and Prestige ranges, the additives will be exhibited alongside Holiday’s U.S. distributor Brenntag Specialties (Booth N66063), and they complement Holliday’s low-dust Prestige range; its 6118 and 6119 (Premier BC and Premier BCR) grades for food-contact applications like caps and closures; and the new acid-resistant 6117 (Premier XAR) for exterior end uses like stadium seating.  Holliday Pigments, Stand N66063 More help finding your materials Internet-based materials guide IDES has recently introduced a number of new programs to its already broad-based offerings.  It is in the process of launching a new version of its Prospector plastics search engine to help processors and designers more efficiently research materials, analyze resins for specific design applications, and buy plastic from suppliers. It also, working with Firehole Technologies, late last year launched a searchable database of composite material datasheets called Prospector: Composites, designed to help engineers quickly locate technical property information about composite materials.  Last year also brought forth a search machine to help identify available bioplastics. The firm has more on tap. IDES, Booth W128031

Works harder than Mr. Clean

Sun Plastech is demonstrating the use of Asaclean purging compounding at its booth during the show. The material, from Asahi Kasei Chemicals, is said to be a more cost-effective means of cleaning extruders and injection molding equipment than using virgin resin. The compound product removes tough deposits and is said to deliver good cleaning ability while having very low-residue characteristics. It can also be used for hot runner cleaning and machine shutdowns. Sun Plastech, Booth S54037

Invista displays polyester portfolio at NPE2009

One of the world’s largest integrated polymers and fibers producers, Invista, will exhibit its portfolio of PET polymers, intermediate feedstocks, chemical intermediates, film products, and specialty polymers. Of greatest interest to processors will be its PET products including Polyclear Conserve PET, the PERFORMA PET film and sheet product line, and PolyShield barrier resin.

Its Polyclear Conserve PET contains up to 20% post-consumer recycled PET and is suitable for use in container applications including bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, juices, sports drinks, teas, food products and household goods and cleaners. Processors can blend in additional post-consumer recycled PET flake and can achieve greater loading of recycled content than would be possible using the combination of virgin PET and post-consumer recycled PET, says Invista. 

PolyShield monolayer PET barrier technology was designed to meet the shelf life and barrier requirements of oxygen-sensitive food and beverages, including beer, juice, and wine. It prevents oxidation of the product and, depending on the product, provides more than one year of shelf life. Invista, Booth W135023

Put your pellets in KruiseKontrol

Moving tonnes of pellets through a plastics processing facility can bring with it a host of issues, including the formation of angel hair, powder created as pellets collide, and wear of flexible and rigid pipes being just three of the obvious ones. If those issues resonate in your shop, then Italian auxiliary equipment manufacturer Moretto (Massanzago) may have a piece of kit for you.

Launched at the end of March at the Plast tradeshow in Milan, and introduced in May at the Chinaplas show in Guangzhou and this month at NPE in Chicago, it is called KruiseKontrol and, according to Moretto, can solve these and other materials handling issues no matter the bulk density, shape, friction coefficient, quantity or any other variable involved in transporting pellets from a silo or Gaylord to processing machinery.

The manufacturer says the new machinery is fitted with a series of sensors that can control vacuum and speed within the transport pipes, accomplishing a closed loop system able to change a centralized plant in automatic speed control in feeding systems. It also intervenes in suction cycles to reduce speed extremes generated at the beginning and during pipe cleaning phases.

What’s more, says Moretto, it is simple to operate, equipped with an eight-inch color monitor with a touch screen interface. The layout of the feeding system will appear on the screen. When touching the image of a receiver, a display with only two parameters–"material" and "machine number" to be set appears.

From the ‘material’ variable a user can choose from a list of 40 standard materials; another 40 customized materials can be added. A user chooses the appropriate material and then the relevant default parameters can be set. The user then inputs "machine number". Based on these two inputs, the system is ready to support dust- and angel hair- free processing, says the manufacturer. Moretto, Booth S40079

Reifenhäuser’s PET sheet line a highlight

Be in blown, cast or profile extrusion, machine manufacturer Reifenhäuser has a solution for processors. During NPE the manufacturer’s lineup includes its co-rotating twin-screw extruder Reitruder RZE 58, wood-plastic composite (WPC) extrusion technology and new developments in blown and cast film lines.

For the latest generation in the Reitruder series, the geometry of the screws has been adapted by increasing the channel depth and re-designing the feed zone. These measures can improve the intake of PET flakes and regrind and enlarge the dosing volume of fillers. A significantly more efficient degassing system enables raw materials to be used even with a humidity of up to 0.5 %, says the firm, so that predrying can be minimized or completely eliminated. Due to their efficiency and increased speed, small twin-screw Reitruder extruders can now replace large single-screw extruders, claims Reifenhäuser. According to Dieter Thewes, head of the extrusion division, “A Reitruder with 70-mm screw diameter and a capacity of up to 1200 kg/h can be used as an alternative to a single-screw extruder with 150-mm screw diameter and identical capacity.” One clear target market is extrusion of thermoformable PET sheet, particularly post-consumer recyclate PET (PCR-PET) which can be heavily contaminated (e.g. PET with PE labels) and cannot be processed on extruders using conventional driers. Reifenhäuser’s twin-screw systems are capable of processing up to 2300 kg/hr of PET flakes. The company says it has sold a number of these sheet lines to customers in Europe and is now promoting this technology in the USA. Some customers have already obtained FDA approval to extrude sheet from 100 % bottle regrind for use in direct contact with food, adds the company. Reifenhäuser, Booth S40041

Drip irrigation line extrusion on tap

Swiss extrusion line manufacturer Maillefer wants to draw processors’ attention to its drip irrigation pipe systems, good for thin or thick wall pipes with cylindrical or flat drippers. An option exists for a three-layer construction when using regrind material in the middle layer. Four models are available for a variety of pipe types and sizes, and these include dripper designs for a variety of water rate needs.

Besides drip irrigation lines, Maillefer offers high-speed medical tube extrusion for single- to triple-layer constructions. The company’s PML extrusion lines produce tube with overall diameters ranging from 1-12 mm made of PVC, TPU and FEP, with optional striping. The company also makes extrusion lines for automotive, HVAC and other markets. Maillefer, Booth N58017

Schenck flexes anew with another ProFlex

Materials handling equipment manufacturer Schenck AccuRate has added the high feed rate Model 6000 to its ProFlex C feeder line.  Like other ProFlex C feeders the Model 6000 was designed specifically for extrusion processors and compounders. It offers feed rates up to 212 cubic feet per hour. Its AC drive motor assembly and material discharge positions can be exchanged, enabling a user to accommodate different mounting and clustering requirements for up to eight feeders.  Additionally, the gravimetric ProFlex C 6000 comes equipped with an angular cut discharge nozzle, improving accuracies by reducing pulsation at low speeds. An integrated, dual strain gauge load cell-based multi-point weighing system serves as the heart of the ProFlex C 6000 loss-in-weight metering capability.  Schenck AccuRate, Booth S6069

New automation and cost reduction techniques

New Auxiliary Equipment/TSM Control Systems says its new technology focuses on reducing production downtime during order changes, reducing labor costs through cleaning automation, reducing raw material usage and avoiding unnecessary excess energy costs of scrap material reprocessing. The TSM Auto-Clean option available on TSM’s new Opti-Mix range of gravimetric blenders is one such development. 

Processors can reduce their virgin material usage with more accurate mixing and use more regrind without the additional costs of having to re-pelletize materials when using Opti-Mix blenders, claims the manufacturer. This equipment reduces variations due to bulk density by delivering consistent homogeneous mixing of materials of all densities. The mixing auger also creates a downward force to cram difficult regrind materials through the throat of the processing machine.

Auto-Clean, meanwhile, allows the entire blender to be automatically cleaned from floor level. The system automatically cleans the blender from the vacuum receiver to machine throat, reducing production downtime and labor costs. TSM Control Systems, Booth N85027.

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