Extrusion Equipment For Pilot Use And R&D
Three new products from Randcastle Extrusion Systems include a lab-scale, dual-drum capstan; a blown film system for lab work; and a 1.5-in.-dia. extruder for development and pilot applications.
Bench-top, dual-drum capstan This unit was originally designed for pulling small-diameter coated wire and fiber, but it can also be applied to precision medical tubing and monofilament fiber processing.
It can be used in a horizontal or vertical position and can be engineered to suit specific applications. It is priced around $9000.
Blown-film systems These dedicated units are for lab work using small samples. Manufacturer says they incorporate production capabilities including a dual-lip air ring, spiral die, variable-speed blower and adjustable-height tower.
Films can be processed from as little as 15 gm of polymer (on the 1/4-in. extruder) up to 35 lb/hr for films up to 14 in. wide (on the 1.25-in. line). Typical thickness of the film is in the 1 to 5 mil range, although film as thin as half a mil and as thick as 10 mil is claimed possible.
The dual-lip air ring is designed to allow the top half of the air ring to be moved with respect to the bottom half. This changes the amount of air that goes to each lip in the air ring allowing greater processing flexibility.
This is said to be important in lab applications where processing requirements are more difficult than with well-developed polymers. Prices start around $16,000.
1.5-in.-dia extruder Primarily design-ed for development and pilot applications, this unit has a vertical design and small footprint. The vertical design, which puts the drive at the die end of the screw rather than at the hopper end, is said to provide better feeding characteristics and to help eliminate bridging in the feeding area of the screw.
Other features include interchangeable feed sections, discharge-driven screws and a recently patented device for surge suppression. Price is around $30,000.
Randcastle Extrusion Systems Inc.
Cedar Grove, NJ