Article Archive

June 2007


Past Issues

Keeping Up With Technology

Faster O2 Analyzer For Barrier Coatings
A new oxygen-transmission analyzer has been designed to double testing speeds in order to accommodate the high output of the Actis 48 barrier-coating system for PET bottles from Sidel Inc., Norcross, Ga.

Molder Creates Predictive Design Software for PET Bottles
PET bottle maker Constar International Inc. in Philadelphia has adapted a conventional fi nite-element analysis (FEA) system to create its own proprietary container design software.

Sampler Kit for Film Wettability Testing
A kit with 41 1-oz bottles of solutions to test dyne level, or surface wettability, of corona-treated fi lms was introduced by Jemmco LLC in Mequon, Wis.

Large Sprue Pickers
A line of large sprue pickers designed for injection presses from 120 to 450 tons is new from Sailor Automation Inc., Placentia, Calif.

Economical Self-Contained Hopper Loader
A stainless-steel hopper loader capable of conveying up to 220 lb/hr-and peak rates up to 550 lb/hr-is new from Wittmann, Inc., Torrington, Conn.

Monolayer Barrier For Small Fuel Tanks
New Xenoy polyester alloys from GE Plastics, Pittsfi eld, Mass., are claimed to meet new and stricter fuelpermeation regulations for small-engine fuel tanks.

New MDI Prepolymers For Cast Elastomers
New amine-cured MDI prepolymers are said to be the fi rst to allow casting MDI-based polyurethane-urea elastomers with superior mechanical properties.

Portable Edge-Trim Remover and Chopper
A venturi-based trim remover and highoutput chopper have been combined in a single prewired and moveable frame, which can be installed and used within minutes.

All-Replaceable Parts In New Hot-Runner Nozzles
New nozzles in which every component can be replaced while they are mounted in the press were introduced by Technoject Machinery Corp., Bolton, Ont.

LSRs Boast Faster Cycles
New liquid silicone rubber grades from Dow Corning, Midland, Mich., are said to offer high clarity, superior mechanical properties, and shorter molding cycles.

First Commercial Use for PHA Biopolymer
Full-scale commercialization of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers by Metabolix Inc., Cambridge, Mass., and joint-venture partner Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), Decatur, Ill., moved a few steps closer recently with the announcement of the first commercial application.

Disc Die for Blown Film Grows to 18 in. Diam.
The modular disc blown film die was commercialized by BBS Corp., Spartanburg, S.C., in the late 1990s in small sizes (up to 9 in. diam.), mostly for R&D applications.

Tiny Date Insert Targets Small Parts
A new date insert is said to be the smallest on the market.

Multi-Tip Nozzles Get Individual Heat Control
Multi-tip hot-runner nozzles with individual temperature control on each nozzle tip are new from J-Tech Hot Runner Inc., Caledon, Ont.

Bond Film to Fabric Without Glue
The Wiman Group in Sauk Rapids, Minn. (acquired last Sept. by RTP Co., Winona, Minn.), recently developed new technology to bond film or thin-gauge sheet mechanically to woven, knitted, or looped fabric without adhesive.

LDPE for Medical Films
Two specialty, high-purity LDPE resins for medical blown fi lms reportedly surpass the performance of standard grades.

New Angle on Cutting
A recently developed in-line table saw cuts at preset 45° to 135° angles with accuracy of ±0.020 in., says the supplier, CDS Custom Downstream Systems Inc., Lachine, Que.

Heat-Distortion Testers
A new line of instruments measures both heat-distortion temperature (HDT) and Vicat softening temperature of thermoplastics as described in ISO 10350-1.

Temperature Controls with Limit Control Built in
New panel-mount temperature controllers are available with optional over/under limit control integrated in the same package. (Another option is to supply them solely as a limit controller.) EZ Zone PM is an addition to the EZ Zone ST family of modular components introduced a year ago by Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co., St.

Production-Monitoring Software for Extrusion
Mattec Corp., Loveland, Ohio, has introduced a new upgrade, Version 7.1, of its ProHelp EPM production and process monitoring software, which includes a new ability to monitor the output of continuous extrusion processes like medical tubing or thin sheet.

Matte PET Film Has Clarity
Patent-pending technology from Toray Plastics America, North Kingstown, R.I., produces mattefi nish biaxially oriented PET film by coextruding a thin surface layer containing talc nano-particles instead of extruding a monolyer film fi lled with talc throughout.

Large Weigh Feeders
High-capacity loss-in-weight gravimetric feeders that can operate in batch or continuous mode have been introduced by Metalfab, Inc., Vernon, N.J.

The Difference a Clay Makes
An article on nanocomposites in the May issue of Plastics Technology (p. 76), included a mislabeled photo.

Universal Tester Is Ready To Go 'Out of the Box'
A complete "out-of-the-box" system for tension and compression testing is newly available from Instron Corp., Norwood, Mass.

Nucleating Agent Approved For PE Food Packaging
A "hyper-nucleating" agent designed for polyethylene blown film was recently granted broad food-contact approval by the FDA.

New Tag Slot Design For Containers
An innovative design provides up to four tag slots within the rim of horticulture containers without the use of fragile, high-cost pre-punches and dies or time-consuming and costly secondary operations.

Press Supplier Adds Automation Integration
Injection machine maker Negri Bossi of Newark, Del., and Mississauga, Ont., now offers the ability to integrate complex automation projects.

Expanded Hose Line For Mold Services
Mold hoses for hydraulic oil, air, or water have been added to the cooling system program from Hasco America, Arden, N.C.

More Natural-Looking Wood Grain for Profiles
Embossed wood grain is typically applied to PVC and wood-composite profi les with 12-in.-diam. rollers and a 36-in. repeat.

Two-Piston Metering For Abrasive Fillers
A new metering machine for fi lled PUR is designed with two pistons operating in tandem to feed abrasive fi llers, fl ame retardants, or reinforcing fi bers.

Small All-Electric Presses Upgraded
Wider tiebar spacing, greater mold-height capacity, faster injection, and an optional direct-drive injection unit mark upgrades to two of the smaller models in the Roboshot S2000i-B series of all-electric machines from Milacron Inc., Batavia, Ohio.

Less Room for Resin to Hang Up
The flow path inside a new hydraulic slide-plate screen changer designed for twinscrew extruders transitions from a figure-8 shaped opening into an oval breaker plate and filter.

Fire Protection System Is an Industry First
What's said to be the fi rst fi re-protection system for thermoforming machines has been introduced by AVT Inc., Gladwin, Mich.

New Hot Runners Improve Tip Heating
A new line of hot-runner nozzles is designed to improve heat transfer through the nozzle body and into the tip without heat losses to the mold.

Non-Halogen FR Masterbatch for PC/ABS
A new halogen-free fl ame-retardant concentrate for PC/ABS is the fi rst entry in FR concentrates from Polyvel Inc., Hammonton, N.J., which aims to focus on engineering resins.

Hot Halves Are Wired And Ready To Go
A ready-to-go line of hot halves that are fully tested, wired, and ready to bolt onto the mold is new from Gunther Hot Runner Systems Inc., West Chicago, Ill.

Highly Loaded Colorants For Wood-Plastic Blends
A new line of color and additive concentrates for wood-plastic composites (WPCs) boasts excellent color distribution, improved feeding accuracy, and lower coloring cost.

Low-Cost Gravimetric Feeder from a New Source
A gravimetric color feeder for up to 35 lb/hr is said to offer the accuracy of loss-in-weight feeding for the price of a volumetric model.

Bimodal MDPE for Pipe
What is said to be the fi rst bimodal MDPE produced in North America is newly available for gas distribution pipe requiring long-term hydrostatic strength and crack resistance.

Cylindrical Melt Filters Need Cleaning Less Often
The complete line of screen changers from Cofi t International in Italy is now available in North America through Cofit America LLC, a new office set up in Palm City, Fla.

Features

HOW TO COMPARE DRYERS? A Complex Challenge With No Simple Answers
Is one type of resin dryer faster or more energy-efficient than another? That question prompts competing claims from suppliers—but very little concrete data. When one vendor performed controlled tests to get some answers, its results, published here for the first time, prompted further debate about the difficulties of making valid comparisons and the many complex issues involved in dryer selection.

Composites Getting Faster and More Automated
Molds that can change configuration, automated tape laying and winding, robotic sprayup, and faster prepreg molding processes highlighted the focus on productivity at the international composites show in Paris. RTM innovations round out this news report.

Extreme Plastics New Contenders Push Limits Of Heat and Chemical Resistance
The top of the thermoplastic performance pyramid is growing more crowded and more finely differentiated due to heightened demand for lighter, tougher alternatives to metals, ceramics, and thermosets.

What I Learned About Dryers
You might not think there could be much more to say about resin dryers than I packed into my magnum opus on pages 58 to 75 of this issue.

Starting Up

Your Business In Brief - June 2007
Basell Moves And ExpandsBasell North America Inc. will move its headquarters from Elkton, Md., to a new site this year.

Your Business Outlook - June 2007
 According to data from the U.S.

Moving On Up
Prices of polyolefins were moving up last month and more increases were on the way.

Strategies

Small Molder Makes Big Parts
Some people might be tempted to lump all processors with annual sales under $10 million into the same category: shoot-and-ship makers of no-fuss products using straightforward processing.

Close-Up on Technology

Metallic-Pigmented TPO Debuts in Auto Exterior Trim
A molded-in-color, high-gloss, metallic-pigmented TPO wheel flare is making its commercial appearance next month with the launch of the 2008 F-250 Super Duty pick-up truck from the Ford Motor Co.

Molding Conference Highlights Control Of Multi-Cavity and LSR Molding
Controlling valve gating with cavity-pressure monitoring to cure flow imbalances in multi-cavity tools was one of the processing highlights at the Molding 2007 International Conference and Exhibition, sponsored recently in Austin, Texas, by Executive Conference Management.

Troubleshooter

Get Rid of Wrinkles In Blown Film
The biggest cause of wrinkles in the blown film process is instability of the bubble between the air ring and where the bubble reaches full diameter.

Cleaning Molds: Part I
More labor hours are spent cleaning mold plates and tooling than any of the other repair stages (disassembly, troubleshooting, or assembly) combined.

CW Brabender
HammerTek
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