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Web cushion for tacky films

Reifenhauser (Troisdorf, Germany) has introduced a stationary, noncontact film-turning bar said to provide a more uniform air cushion between the bar's surface and film than existing systems. It is used to wrinkle-free wind high-VA-content ethylene-vinyl acetate protective films and coextruded linear-low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) optical and stretch films with polyisobutylene or metallocene LLDPE components.

The REIcofly turning bar consists of a rigid tube coated with microporous sintered metal, which allows a constant laminar air flow on the surface where a film normally comes in contact with the bar. The sintered metal surface is constructed to prevent clogging from blown air impurities, fumes. or particles from the film, says Eike Wedell, head of Reifenhauser's film division.

"Conventional compressed air blowers for noncontact film guiding systems consume high amounts of energy to generate a turbulent air flow," Wedell says. Friction, as air passes through the turning bar directional holes, can increase the temperature, causing the film to flutter or stick to the bar. Instead of high-pressure compressed air, Reifenhauser uses cool air, generated in standard pneumatic systems, exiting the turning bar at only 1 to 3 bar.

Wedell says processors save money by not having to invest in 15- to 18-kW, compressed-air blowers, which produce up to 50 dBa noise on the shop floor. Since there is no turning bar bending, wrinkle formation and film telescoping are avoided. The sintered metal turning bar replaces a previous REIcofly model equipped with dilled air holes to form the air cushion. The new unit is sold on newly ordered equipment and retrofits of existing REIcofly-equipped lines, but not for competitive machinery. Reifenhauser GmbH & Co. KG Maschinfabrik, Troisdorf, Germany; +49 2241 4810; www.reifenhauser.com

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