Hosokawa Alpine (U.S. office in Natick, Mass.) ran what’s believed to be a trade-show first at October’s K 2016 fair in Dusseldorf: an 11-layer blown film line producing nylon-based barrier film. The line eclipsed the nine-layer line Reifenhauser operated at K 2010 and the seven-layer nylon-barrier line Battenfeld Gloucester (now part of Davis-Standard) ran at K 1998. Alpine's line at this year’s K featured 11 extremely quiet, grooved-feed, 65-mm, 32:1 L:D, water-cooled extruders and a 560-mm X Die, as well as a new version of its V air ring designed to maximize output.
The line was equipped with a film-stretching unit built into the nip. The design of the system offers “infinite flexibility by allowing processors to bundle 11 equal layers” in the configuration of their choosing, says Dave Nunes, president of Hosokawa Alpine American.
Throughout the exhibit, Alpine ran ExxonMobil’s Exceed XP8318 LLDPE along with barrier and tie-layer resins from DuPont, Ube, and Kuraray. Film was produced at a thickness of 50 microns (with a gauge variation of ±2%) and layflat width of 1800 mm. Output exceed 1200 lb/hr.