February 2007

Close-Up on Technology

Novel Two-Stage Approach Makes Purging Hot Runners a Breeze
Two new and unusual compounds have been developed to ease the challenge of purging injection molding hot-runner systems.

Process Improvement Tools Starred at Fall Rotomolding Show
A new approach to faster cycles focuses on resin modification rather than mold or machine technology.

Ultrasonic Imaging Finds Voids, Cracks and Bonding Defects
As material costs climb, acoustic micro-imaging (AMI) is increasingly being used for non-destructive inspection and quality control of microelectronic components and assemblies, adhesive and welded bonds, solid part walls, and other applications where bond integrity, cracking, or voids are an issue.

Processor's Edge

Low-Scrap Thermoforming Competes In Medical Orthotics Manufacturing
An example of how thermoforming is expanding into more and more sophisticated and high-tech applications is the case of orthopedic devices to improve posture, function, and mobility.

Starting Up

PP & PS Prices May Rise
Polypropylene and polystyrene prices were moving upward in the last month, though polyethylene was relatively flat and PVC was still soft.

Your Busines Outlook - February 2007
According to data reported by the Federal Reserve Board, U.S. production of medical equipment and supplies expanded a solid 6% in 2006 compared with the previous year.

Your Business In Brief - February 2007
Possible GE Sale Has Industry WonderingThere are more questions than answers surrounding recent reports in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times that General Electric Co. is in the early stages of placing its plastics business on the auction block.


'As Good as New' Chain Extender Restores Reclaimed Resins
A new additive can re-link polymer chains in reclaimed PET, nylon, and polycarbonate to revive degraded properties.

Extruding Biopolymers: Packaging Reaps Cost Benefit of Going 'Green'
Plastics made from renewable carbon chains, not fossil carbon from oil or gas, are suddenly a solid commercial reality. The draw isn’t just “green” marketing, but the “green” of stable prices not linked to petrochemicals.

Get Control Of Flow in the Mold
A novel technology allows injection molders to alter the flow pattern inside the cavity and balance the filling of multiple cavities by means of an external mold adjustment while the tool remains in the press. In this exclusive article, the system's inventor explains how it works.

The Real World
It’s not what you see at trade shows, all spit-shined and surrounded by acres of fresh carpet.

Keeping Up With Technology

Auto Self-Calibration Arrives For Leak Testers
A new electronic calibration system is claimed to be the first to automatically calibrate the leak tester with an adjustable control.

Big New Twin-Screw for PVC Sheet
Billed as the largest parallel counter-rotating twin-screw extruder ever built, the Argos 173 from Cincinnati Extrusion, Erlanger, Ky., has 173-mm diam. screws, 1 mm larger than Cincinnati Milacron's TP 172, the previous record holder.

Build Your Hot-Runner System on the Web
As a sign of a growing trend, Gunther Hot Runner Systems, West Chicago, Ill., added to its website (www. a Hot Runner Design Configurator that guides the user through building a virtual hotrunner system online.

Corrugator Molds Chain of Coex Barrier Parts
Vacuum corrugators developed for automotive fuel lines by Corelco Cie, Manziat, France, offer new software for such precise speed control that processors can use them to mold a multilayer tube into a continuous chain of hollow barrier parts.

Detect and Remove Defects in Film Rolls
The new Rewind Management System from ISRA Vision System, Duluth, Ga., maps and displays locations of specks, gels and other defects in a roll of film.

Flexo Press Said to Rival Rotogravure Print Quality
A new 10-color flexographic printing press reportedly matches the quality of rotogravure while using substantially less energy than conventional flexography.

Give a Frosted Look To PET Bottles
New color masterbatches give a frosted-glass look to PET bottles for cosmetics, alcoholic beverages, and other high-end consumer goods.

Greaseless Mold Alignment System
Friction, heat build-up, mold wear, and part-quality problems are all said to be minimized by a new Greaseless Mold Carrier and Alignment System (GMCAS) from Holmes Engineering, LLC, Lawrence, Kan.

Heavy Plastic Compounds Weigh in Against Metal
New heavyweight compounds from Clariant Specialty Compounding, Millington, Md., are alternatives to metal in applications where weight and other metal-like characteristics are desired.

Here's Help in Cooling Hard-to-Reach Locations
Center runners, gates with small inserts, and other mold areas with limited access for cooling may benefit from the new Inlet Cascade from Progressive Components International Corp., Wauconda, Ill.

High-Flow PBT Meets Automotive Demands
New super-high-flow PBTs permit molding thinner, larger, and more intricate automotive parts at lower injection pressures.

High-Performance Screw at Lower Price Than Ever
Spirex Corp., Youngstown, Ohio, has signed a new global licensing agreement with DuPont Co., Wilmington, Del., concerning DuPont’s ELCee screw design.

Injection-Blow Machines Target Clean-Room Uses
New UMIB injection-blow machines from Uniloy Milacron Inc., Tecumseh, Mich., target high-precision bottles with tamper-evident or child-resistant closures for medical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics uses.

Long-Stroke Presses For Deep-Draw Parts
New long-stroke horizontal trim presses from Brown Machine LLC, Beaverton, Mich., are designed with extra stroke length to pre-punch and trim deep-draw containers in a progressive-trim application.

Low-Cost Process Monitor For Reject Containment
An economical process-monitoring system tailored specifically for automated reject containment is one of several new products from RJG, Inc., Traverse City, Mich.

Mercury-Free PUR Adhesive Bonds to Thermoplastics
A new line of polyurethane adhesives that do not contain mercury are recommended for assembly of thermoplastic components and other parts aimed at the global marketplace that is governed by new, strict environmental regulations.

Mix and Mold Technique Works with Carbon Fiber
Pushtrusion direct in-line long-fiber thermoplastic (D-LFT) compounding and molding technology now has been tested successfully with carbon fibers.

Mold Simulation Handles More Multi-Cavity Layouts
Several new multi-cavity mold configurations and new graphics mark the latest version of the "5 Step Process" software for mold-balance analysis and filling diagnostics.

More on Super-Clear PET
In December, we reported on a new generation of super-clear, ultra-pure PET bottle resins that will be launched in this quarter by Eastman Chemical Co., Performance Polymers, Kingsport, Tenn.

New Acetals, Nylons For Rotomolding
A new North American compounder claims to offer the industry's first acetals for rotomolding.

New In-Cavity Sensors For Small Moldings
New or improved in-cavity sensors for melt pressure, temperature, and mold protection are available from Kistler Instrument Corp., Amherst, N.Y.

New Polyester Resin Is Flame Retardant
A new fire-resistant polyester resin from Ashland Composite Polymers, Dublin, Ohio, is said to meet strict fire codes in construction requirements.

New Twist Makes Stronger Cross-Laminated Film
A new helically cut, cross-laminated HDPE film from Ole-Bendt Rasmussen, inventor of tear-proof Valeron films in the 1950s, starts out as blown film that is slit into layflat and longitudinally stretched and embossed with intermeshing grooved rollers that leave thin parallel lines.

Nozzle Line Grows To Handle Tougher Jobs
The Value Shot Z202 series of hotrunner nozzles from Hasco America Inc., Arden, N.C., has been extended with new sizes, tip geometry, heaters, and accessories.

Nylon 6 Targets Automotive Thermoforming
A new ultra-high-viscosity nylon 6 offers high heat stability and impact strength for thermoforming applications such as automotive under-hood housings and shrouds.

Olefin Block Copolymers Aimed at Auto Interiors
Developmental Infuse thermoplastic olefin block copolymers (OBCs) from Dow Chemical, Midland, Mich., appear promising for a wide range of automotive applications as both neat resins and as impact modifiers.

PET Concentrates Come In More Sizes and Forms
A color system developed specifically for PET and initially offered only as minibeads is newly available in three alternative forms.

PP Fiber Replaces Glass In Thermoset Composites
A high-modulus PP fiber with the same strength as fiberglass and onethird the density has been developed as a lightweight reinforcement for thermoset composites.

Preprinted Food Trays Formed in Register
A new printing technique and an energy-saving thermoforming process enable preprinted food trays to be produced easily and cost-effectively.

Remote Viewer for Mold Simulation Updated
Moldflow Communicator 1.1 is a new version of a program released last spring, which lets remote users share and compare Moldflow simulation results.

Reprocess Barrier Film Scrap into Sheet
In tests late last year, a 0.75-in. single-screw lab extruder from Randcastle Extrusion Systems Inc., Cedar Grove, N.J., reprocessed five-layer PP/EVOH barrier film into 30-mil monolayer sheet, in which the EVOH was dispersed into sub-micron-size domains in the PP matrix.

Slide Diverter for Multi-Material Conveying
New two-way and three-way Slide Flex Diverters from Lorenz & Son, Cobourg, Ont., provide a way to pneumatically convey different materials to particular destinations without cross-contamination.

Synchronous Shoot and Fill For Accumulator Units
New control software synchronizes filling and emptying of two accumulators on a two-sided industrial blow molder.

Thermoplastic Composite Is Stronger, Lighter
A new thermoplastic composite sheet is claimed to have twice the impact resistance of thermoset FRP at a reduced weight and less cost.

Titanium-Based PET Raises the Bar
The first bottle-grade PET resins produced with a titanium catalyst reportedly enable higher filling temperatures, lower acetaldehyde levels for improved taste/odor, faster molding, and lightweighting opportunities.

Tough PUR for Prototypes
Three polyurethanes that combine good impact strength and high heat resistance (to 346 F) are newly available for casting thermoplasticlike prototypes for large automotive parts, sterilizable medical products, and equipment components with intricate design details.

TPUs Ready for Laser Marking
New TPUs containing additives for laser marking are available from Bayer MaterialScience, Pittsburgh.

Universal Tester Has Extra-High Speed
A universal testing machine reportedly features an extremely fast actuator that tests products at rates of up to 180 in./min.

Warp Speed for Big Twin-Screw
The first two giant ZSK-NT tandem twin-screw compounders from Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer (U.S. office in Ramsey, N.J.) are being built now for delivery to a Saudi Arabian PE resin plant.

Water-Blown PUR Spray Foam Needs No Stirring
A new formulation for water-blown polyurethane spray foam insulation is aimed at commercial and residential construction.

CW Brabender
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