March 2008

Close-Up on Technology

Coatings Give Aluminum Molds Cost/Performance Edge Over Steel
New cost-effective technologies are designed to make aluminum an attractive alternative to tool steels in a range of plastics molding processes. One method uses a plasma technique to convert the aluminum surface into a hard, dense, wear-resistant ceramic. Another approach uses electro-deposition to apply a surface coating with high hardness, corrosion resistance, and chemical resistance.

'Jet-less' High-Pressure Mixhead Reduces Cost and Complexity
A radically new design for high-pressure polyurethane mixing heads is said to apply a more efficient mixing concept that requires lower pressures and thereby simplifies system design. It eliminates the usual internal jets, thereby reducing the level of operator skill needed for flow adjustments and permitting a wider range of flow rates.

Processor's Edge

Cash From Trash Goes Back to the Workers
Until last November, custom injection molder Hoffer Plastics Corp. in South Elgin, Ill., spent $1000 a month to have its plant waste dumped in a landfill.

Starting Up

Weak Demand Softens Prices
Although a number of resins saw price increases in January, weak domestic markets hurt suppliers’ prospects to implement hikes in February and March.

Your Business In Brief - March 2008
WEB EXCLUSIVE Techmer PM, Clinton, Tenn., has opened a brand-new technical center occupying 2000 sq ft and outfitted with sophisticated instruments for testing and analyzing plastics, including films, fiber, and moldings.

Your Business Outlook - March 2008
This should be a good year for film and sheet extruders. According to our Film and Sheet Business Indexes, film markets should shake off their recent sluggishness, and the faster-growing sheet business will pick up additional speed.

Your Business Recycle Pricing - March 2008
Recycled resin prices kept rising in the first quarter, even while overall domestic demand was slowing. Strong exports were a key culprit. Will that continue through the next quarter? For most resins, the answer looks to be yes. LL/LDPE might be the exception, though.


Additives and Colorants Score Dramatic Advances
Among the host of new additives at K 2007 were a number of unusual entries: additives to add scratch resistance or reduce odor, leaps ahead in PP clarifying, specialized antioxidant protection for nanocomposites, a growth enhancer for greenhouse films, and a naturally free-flowing TiO2. In addition, “Green” was the theme of exhibits that highlighted “all-natural” additives for biopolymers, and colors to enliven recycled resins.

CAD Evolution For 3D Mold Design
Specially tailored packages of 3D computer-aided design software have been available to injection mold designers for at least a decade.

Is It Something in the Air … Or Maybe in the Water?
I doubt I’m the only one to have noticed that there’s been quite an eruption of anti-plastics headlines in the news lately.

Several 'Firsts' in Expandable Bead Molding
EPS molding machine builders have been busy in R&D. The driver is strong growth in EPS shape molding, especially large parts like fish boxes and insulated concrete forms (ICFs) for construction.

Keeping Up With Technology

Accumulator Head for Nylon-Barrier Fuel Tanks

Affordable CNC Router For Large Sheets
The new SR-100 sheet router from Haas Automation, Inc., Oxnard, Calif., is said to be an affordable system for high-speed milling/routing of sheet plastics, metals and other light materials.

Biocomposites by In-Line Compounding and Molding
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institut fur Chemische Technologie in Pfinztal, Germany, have been exploring new techniques for making biocomposites of biobased polymers and natural fibers like hemp or flax.

Biodegradable Resin For Extruded Foam
WEB EXCLUSIVE In our February issue, we incorrectly stated in our article on new materials at the K 2007 show that new Ecovio L resin from BASF Corp., Florham Park, N.J., was suitable for processing on standard EPS bead foam molding equipment.

Drop-Tower Impact Tester For Finished Parts
A new drop-tower impact tester measures energy absorption and impact properties of polymers, composites, and component assemblies.

Fast-Cure Epoxy Adhesives
Two new fast-curing epoxy adhesives have been introduced by Master Bond Inc., Hackensack, N.J.

Faster Mixing of High Filler Loads
A modified double-flighted feed section is being added to the mixing rotor to increase the feed rate on a workhorse masterbatch mixer from Farrel Corp., Ansonia, Conn.

Feeders Go Wireless
Volumetric and gravimetric feeders from Schenck AccuRate, Whitewater, Wis., now can have optional Bluetooth wireless technology.

Formable UV Hard Coat For Screen Printing
Screen printers reportedly have a new screen-printable hard coating that will stretch and not fracture during thermoforming of plastic parts.

Halogen-Free Copolyester TPE for Cable Insulation
A new non-halogenated copolyester TPE has been launched by DSM Engineering Plastics, Evansville, Ind., as an alternative to PVC for cable insulation in consumer electronics.

Halogen-Free FR for Flexible Foam
WEB EXCLUSIVE A new halogen-free flame retardant is said to be a more environmentally appealing alternative to halogens for flexible PUR furniture and automotive seating foams.

Hollow PP Board Is One Inch Thick
World-Pak, div. of Inteplast Group in Lolita, Texas, introduced the world’s thickest corrugated plastic board—25 mm—at the International Builders Show in Orlando, Fla., last month.

Hot-Air Deflashing Trims 'Hair' without Flames
A new hot-air method provides non-contact removal of microscopic, hair-like flash from molded, cut, and skived parts without open flames.

Hot-Runner Valve-Gate Plus Temperature Control
WEB EXCLUSIVE Sequential valve-gate control and hot-runner temperature control can both be managed within one new system from Gammaflux L.P., Sterling, Va.

Inspect Cable Coating Surface and Print Quality
The world’s first system capable of simultaneously inspecting both surface quality of cable coatings and the accuracy and quality of printing on the cable was introduced at the recent K 2007 show in Dusseldorf.

Magnetic Platen System Upgrades Safety and Controls
Improved safety features and controls mark the changes to the upgraded M-Tecs 130 magnetic quick-change mold-clamping system from Hilma Div. of Carr Lane Roemheld, St.

Mixing Rings with Holes Provide Very High Output
A new high-efficiency mixing (HEM) section for single screws was developed to boost outputs of polyolefins with smooth or grooved feed sections.

New Cyclic Olefin For Blu-ray Lenses
WEB EXCLUSIVE A new cyclic olefin polymer (COP) from Zeon Chemicals L.P., Louisville, Ky., offers high light transmission and a stable refractive index after prolonged heat exposure to blue lasers in Blu-ray pickup lenses and prisms.

New Direct Gating for Hot Runners
A drop-in hot-runner system for smaller molds and tips for direct gating were introduced at the K 2007 show in Dusseldorf by the German parent of Ewikon HotRunner Systems of America, East Dundee, Ill.

New Electric Machine Is LSR-Ready
A new all-electric injection machine designed for liquid silicone rubber was introduced last month by Sumitomo (SHI) Plastics Machinery (America) LLC, Norcross, Ga.

New Loader Enhances Weigh Feeding
A new approach to loading a hopper-mounted gravimetric feeder is said to improve accuracy so molders and extruders can save on colors and additives.

New Nitrogen Gas-Assist Equipment Arrives
A new line of compact equipment for gas-assist molding comes from PME Fluidtec GmbH in Kappel-Grafenhausen, Germany, a company better known for its water-assisted molding hardware.

New Rotary Valves For Pellet Conveying
Two new rotary valves with patented anti-shearing device and double lip seals were introduced for conveying pellets and granules by Pelletron Corp., Lancaster, Pa.

New Valve System Boosts Air Recovery
The ARS Plus air-recovery system from SIPA North America Inc., Atlanta, achieves 50% air recovery for use in blowing and elsewhere in the plant.

Nylon-Bondable TPV for Cold-Insert Overmolding
WEB EXCLUSIVE A new family of polypropylene-based TPVs is claimed to be the first to bond to nylon in cold-insert overmolding.

Phthalate-Free TPE for Medical and Infant Care
WEB EXCLUSIVE A new phthalate-free TPE alloy from GLS Corp., McHenry, Ill., addresses recent regulations limiting phthalate-based plasticizers and the growing market demand for low-extractable TPEs.

Powerful Pad Printer For Large Areas
A new servo-driven pad printer for large surfaces is capable of 17.5 tons of pad-compression power.

Pressure Tester Predicts Shelf Life
The new PPT3000 pressure tester from Agr International Inc., Butler, Pa., has several novel features, including a high-precision volume-expansion measurement tool and software incorporating the M-Rule Container Performance Model, which predicts shelf life based on thickness measurements of individual containers.

PUR for Durable Dunnage
A new wear-resistant, MDI-based PUR elastomer formulation is designed for durable dunnage parts used for storage and transportation of delicate products, especially in automotive manufacturing.

Radiometer Monitors UV Curing
A radiometer that measures UV light is designed to monitor UV-curing processes.

Reactive Polyol for High-Support HR Foam
A novel polyol is designed to produce high-support, high-resilience (HS-HR) flexible PUR slabstock for premium furniture and mattresses.

Redesigned Ribbon Blender
A new line of ribbon blenders from Charles Ross & Son, Hauppauge, N.Y., has an AC motor drive and gear box, replacing a belt or chain drive.

Safer and More Reliable Quick Mold Changes
A new line of Segen Quick Change cylinder locks is claimed to improve the safety, reliability, and efficiency of quick mold changeovers.

Self-Set-Up for Ultrasonic Gauge Control
At the MD&M show in Anaheim in January, Zumbach Electronics Corp., Mt.

Simple CNC Router For Nested Flat Parts
A new, simpler version of a CNC router is designed for work in two dimensions, cutting out nested parts from flat sheet.

Special-Effect Sheet Targets Displays, Signs
A line of special-effect HIPS sheet has been introduced by Primex Plastics Corp., Richmond, Ind.

Speedy Linear Robot For Big Presses
A new three-axis linear robot for large parts that reportedly moves as fast as a smaller robot comes from Remak of North America Inc., Hebron, Ky.

Water-Based Release For Filament Winding
A new aqueous release agent from Axel Plastics Research Laboratories, Woodside, N.Y., is designed for filament winding.

Wind Tacky Film with Better Control
Davis-Standard LLC Converting Systems in Fulton, N.Y., redesigned its PAC 50 surface winders to improve control of roll hardness in winding tacky films.

Wire-Wrapped TPU Tube Is Made by Extrusion
Relatively large-diameter surgical tubing (0.8 in.

'Wood-Looking' Window Trim
Teel Plastics, Baraboo, Wis., specializes in tight-tolerance profiles extruded of wood-filled plastic.

CW Brabender
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