With so much recent attention focused on simplified mold-filling analysis software for non-specialist users, it's all too easy to forget that advanced CAE users could use a bit of simplicity too. The latest releases of advanced mold-filling packages from Moldflow Corp. of Lexington, Mass., and C-Mold of Louisville, Ky., address this need.
April's Converting Machinery/Materials show in Chicago displayed many new patented technologies--including several first-time achievements--in flexographic printing, coating, winding, and web inspection. The new technologies are more flexible, less polluting, and above all, faster.
A better understanding of how pearlescent pigments work in plastics can help compounders and processors get the effects they are looking for and sidestep common pitfalls, such as pigment separation and flow and weld lines.
How much has injection molding changed in the past 10 years? To get an idea, consider that in 1989 , "thin-wall" molding meant 2.5 mm, and a "tight tolerance" was around 0.002 in./in. Nowadays, top-notch molders produce thin-wall moldings only 0.5 mm thick and precision parts with 10-micron tolerances. A decade ago, compact-disc molding was in its infancy with total disc capacities of less than one gigabyte (GB). Today, the newest molded plastic optical storage media can hold up to 20 GB per square inch.
Internal mold-temperature monitoring, advances in process simulation, and new European machine entries were among the news presented to more than 450 attendees at the annual spring conference of the Association of Rotational Molders (ARM) in Barcelona, Spain.
A new line of liquid injection molding (LIM) machines has been introduced by Milacron Inc.'s Plastics Technologies Group of Batavia, Ohio. Milacron's first LIM machines are built around the company's "Prowler" open-frame presses in the 100-190 ton range with shot sizes of 3.51 to 28 oz.
What suits these resins particularly to TP composites is their unusual ability to depolymerize in the melt phase, followed by very rapid rebuilding of molecular weight as the resin cools.
From auto parts to barrier packaging, the race is on to commercialize nano-clay thermoplastic composites. Just a pinch of these infinitesimally small particles can dramatically raise mechanical, thermal, barrier, and flame-retardant properties.
Dual-wall corrugated pipe is growing larger and running faster. Even smaller sizes are finding new markets. Forming integral bells in-line is catching on. Now, look out for annular triple-wall pipe!
All wars are terribly wasteful, but fratricidal strife may be the saddest waste of all. I hope I'm wrong, but I see worrisome signs of such strife within the plastics industry's trade associations.
Expandable polystyrene bead molding equipment has taken on a new look in order to keep up with the need for faster insert molding. Machine builders say insulated concrete forms (ICFs) are one of the fastest growing EPS applications in North America. EPS shapes act as the forms into which concrete building foundations are poured. Plastic inserts act as spacers to hold apart the two sides of the form. After the concrete sets, the wall is now thermally insulated by the EPS, which is held in place by the inserts.