What the firm is calling a step-change advance in technology for dispersion of additives and fillers in thermoplastics was introduced in April by Xaloy www.xaloy.com at the Chinaplas trade show. The novelty, marketed under the nXmix name, is said to provide both thorough distributive and intense dispersive mixing action, in line on conventional single- and twin-screw extruders, but with low shear, low process temperatures and low energy consumption. The result is a low-viscosity melt, so one more easily processed, but with little or no affect on the plastic’s mechanical properties. Xaloy manufacturers screws, barrels, and related melt processing equipment.
The Chinaplas debut follows a recently concluded a licensing agreement between Xaloy and Stratek Plastic Ltd. (Wallingford, CT), with patents in place or patents pending worldwide. “With this agreement, Xaloy assumes exclusive responsibility for manufacture and worldwide marketing of equipment for this advanced extrusion mixing technology,” said Walter Cox, Xaloy’s CEO, in a statement. “We think it has enormous potential,” he added.
The nXmix is a two-stage device. The first stage uses an incised rotor to generate high-shear mixing of short duration. This breaks up agglomerates and disentangles polymer chains to reduce viscosity in preparation for the next mixing stage. The second stage involves a specially shaped rotor and stator each having a multitude of pockets in a helical configuration. This stage produces elongational flow with thorough mixing at low shear rates and temperatures.
Xaloy’s chief technical officer, Tim Womer, added, “The nXmix...opens the way to in-line compounding of highly filled materials in making blown film, sheet, pipe and profiles with single screw extrusion; and of course it also works exceptionally well in traditional compounding processes such as pelletizing and masterbatch production.”