Article Archive

December 2007


Past Issues

Keeping Up With Technology

New Bio-Based Sheet for Food Packaging
A new thermoformable sheet made from bio-based resin has been introduced by Alcoa Kama, the sheet extrusion division of Reynolds Food Packaging in Hazelton, Pa.

Heaters and Temperature Controllers for Molders
Economical band and cartridge heaters and single-zone temperature controllers were recently added to the line of products for injection molders from IMS Co., Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Universal Clamp System
A universal sheet-clamping system has been upgraded to provide greater durability, reduced setup time, and adaptability to materials such as TPO and laminates.

Large Press Boosts Rotary Output
A new high-speed rotary extrusion blow molder from R&B Plastics Machinery, Saline, Mich., boasts wide platens for greater output.

Runnerless LSR Molding
What hot runners are to thermoplastics, cold runners are to thermosets like liquid silicone rubber (LSR). Two cold-runner systems for LSR were introduced at this year's NPE show in Chicago.

Gravimetric Blender Adds Liquids
Adding liquid silane crosslinkers, blowing agents, colorants, or other liquid additives can now be done with gravimetric accuracy by means of a new liquid feeder available for X-Series continuous gravimetric blenders from Process Control Corp., Atlanta.

New Polyester for Powder-Primed SMC
Powder priming of thermoset sheet molding compound (SMC) is getting a lot of attention as an alternative to liquid solvent-based primers.

Multi-Hopper Dryer Uses Compressed Air
A multiple-hopper drying system is said to be the first compressed-air unit that can simultaneously dry different materials at different temperatures.

SMC for Heavy Trucks
A new thermoset sheet molding compound (SMC) is offered as a replacement for aluminum die castings in underhood components for heavy trucks.

PET Slip Agent Masterbatch
A new pellet concentrate is said to be an all-purpose slip additive for processing any PET product.

Calcium Sulfate Is an Economical TiO2 Extender
Recent independent tests reportedly confirm that anhydrous calcium sulfate (gypsum) is an economical TiO2 extender that maintains good pigmenting performance in PP.

Durable Date Insert
A new line of date inserts is said to withstand heat, mold release, resin flash, and other conditions that can damage inserts.

Lightweight GMT Has Basalt Fibers, Not Glass
A new type of high-loft, lightweight glass-mat/thermoplastic (GMT) formable sheet is made with basalt fibers in place of glass.

Panel-Less Retort Bottle Is an Industry First
North America's first panel-less retort bottle was introduced by packaging giant Sonoco, Hartsville, S.C.

Heat Exchanger and Static Mixer Combined
A static mixer is available in a range of diameters to provide heating or cooling along with mixing.

PLA Shrink Labels Are Biodegradable
The industry's first shrink labels made of biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) film have been introduced by Gilbreth Packaging, Croydon, Pa.

Pelletized, Ultra-Fine Rubber Tougheners
A line of affordable styrene-butadiene rubber impact modifiers derived mainly from recycled tires is newly available in pellet concentrate form.

Low-Shear Mixing Cylinder Uses Counter-Flow 'Windows'
An unusual device for mixing two viscous materials or adding powder or fiber to a polymer consists of two tightly fitting cylinders, one inside the other, with the outside one turning. "Windows" in the inner cylinder create drag flow and extensional mixing as material flows past.

Novel Reinforcements For Thermoplastics
New glass chopped strands are claimed to provide major advantages in reinforced thermoplastics.

Press-Side Granulators Get Stainless Bins
SJ Series screenless granulators from Wittmann, Inc., Torrington, Conn., now have stainless-steel collection bins as standard.

New Processing Method Blows PVDF Containers
A new technique for extrusion blow molding PVDF was jointly developed by Arkema Inc., Philadelphia, and blow molder ICM Plastics Inc., Rogers, Minn.

Antifog Concentrate Works Faster in Film
A new antifog masterbatch for LDPE blown film used to package refrigerated produce is said to work more quickly than previous products in coextruded and monolayer films.

Shimmering Colorant For Containers
A new type of color concentrate is said to allow packaging for beauty products achieve more dramatic color-shift effects than were previously possible.

New Barrier Coating For Composite Boats
A new barrier coating for marine applications is said to provide excellent surface profile and blister protection using standard gel coat spray equipment.

First 11-Layer Blown Film Die
Brampton Engineering Inc., Brampton, Ont., recently received an order for the world’s first 11-layer blown film die as part of a complete 11-extruder blown film line.

Automatic Regulation of Bottle Wall Distribution
Optimum material distribution and lightweighting reportedly can be achieved with the first automatic process regulation system for rotary reheat stretch-blow machines.

Long-Fiber Pellets Come Fully Loaded
The Complet line of long-fiber reinforced thermoplastic (LFRT) pellets from PlastiComp LLC, Winona, Minn., now is available with color, impact modifier, and/or other additives.

Hot-Runner Nozzle Heater Is Precise and Uniform
New Thermasleeve external nozzle heaters from Watlow, St.

Sheet Extruder Has Mixer In the Middle
A specialized single-screw extruder with a mixing chamber in the middle compounds and extrudes sheet containing up to 70% recycled tire rubber, mineral fillers, long glass, or natural fibers like wood, kenaf, or hemp.

Cool Mold Hot Spots With Icy Blast of CO2
At the recent K 2007 show in Dusseldorf, Linde Gas Div. of Linde AG, Munich-Pallach, Germany (U.S. office in Murray Hill, N.J.) introduced a method of cooling troublesome hot spots in injection molds where water cooling is ineffective because of restricted space for cooling channels.

Plasticating Phase Now Simulated by Software
New software that simulates the plastication phase of injection molding can be used to optimize screw design for a particular material and process condition or to determine the process conditions that yield the best melt quality with a given screw design and material.

New PPA Grades Have High Flow, Reflectivity
New polyphthalamide (PPA) grades from Solvay Advanced Polymers, Alpharetta, Ga., deliver higher flow and reflectivity in complex, thin-wall electronics applications.

Twin-Screw Segments for Gentle Melting and Mixing
Two new groups of twin-screw kneading elements for gentle, lowpressure melting and mixing were introduced at the recent K 2007 show in Dusseldorf by Coperion (U.S. office in Ramsey, N.J.). One is a group of cam-style ZSK elements for dispersive mixing, which are used for bimodal polyolefi ns with very high filler levels.

Bimetallic Barrel Gets Helical Grooves
Plasticating systems expert Dr.

PP Sealants for BOPP Run Faster and Clearer
A new family of Adsyl PP sealing resins from Basell North America, Wilmington, Del., is designed to run on the latest generation of high-speed BOPP film lines.

More Rugged Resins For Stereolithography
Two new resins are touted as breakthroughs in stereolithography (SL) rapidprototyping and rapid-manufacturing materials in that they boast a much closer approximation of thermoplastic ruggedness and durability.

Enhanced Software for Materials Testing
New Version 2 of NyxygenPlus material-testing and data-analysis software from Lloyd Instruments, div. of Ametek Test & Calibration Instruments, Albany, N.Y., is an upgrade for Lloyd’s “Plus” range of test instruments.

IR-Reflecting Concentrate Keeps PE Films Cool
An infrared-reflecting masterbatch is designed for PE films that protect products ranging from farm crops to cars and buildings from the sun’s heat.

Turnkey Multi-Shot Systems From New Partnership
A partnership to provide complete integrated production systems for multi-material molding was announced recently between Gram Technology Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz., and MGS Mfg.

Uniform Embossing On Hollow Profiles
Paratus Industries, Buffalo, N.Y., a four-year-old builder of custom pullers, cutters, and other downstream machinery for PVC profiles, has introduced a random embosser for hollow fence and rail profiles.

Affordable On-Line Spectrophotometer
A new on-line spectrophotometer is said to provide highly accurate colormetric measurements in demanding factory environments for less than $20,000, about one-fifth the price of competitive systems.

Make WPC Pellets with Less Internal Moisture
By moving pellets very rapidly through the water after the cutting chamber in an underwater pelletizer, Gala Industries Inc., Eagle Rock, Va., retains more heat in the pellets.

Extruder Maker Builds Own Synchronous Torque Motors
Machine builder Ematik GmbH in Magdeborg, Germany, is the latest firm to adapt its single-screw extruders (25 to 75 mm diam.) to use permanent-magnet, synchronous torque motors.

Heat-Shrink OPS Labels Have Anti-Forgery Feature
A new heat-shrink label film from France's Sleever Technologies (North American office in Toronto) provides an anti-forgery feature for PET and glass bottles for wines, spirits, and pharmaceuticals.

Fast and Flexible Laser Coder
A new laser-marking system provides high-speed coding with 50W of power in a mobile unit that can operate in dirty and wet environments.

3D Mapping of Film Gauge
New software for a fixed array of capacitance gauges provides 100% coverage of webs up to 24-in. wide and a color-coded topographical record of film thickness.

Chinese Press Maker Adds MuCell Option
The MuCell microcellular molding process from Trexel Inc., Woburn Mass., is now an option on machines from a "top-tier" Chinese injection press builder.

New TPE and Rubber Presses Optimize Melt Flow
A new line of presses for TPE or rubber is said to trim cure times by up to 50%. New TurboCure presses from Rep Corp., Bartlett, Ill., feature meltflow enhancements in the injection unit and the mold.

Lubricant for LSR Molds
A new high-temperature lubricant for liquid silicone rubber or other thermoset molds, and a new solvent for cleaning between lubrication cycles, come from Alba Enterprises Inc., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Two-Color, Dual-Hardness LSR Molding
At the recent K 2007 show in Dusseldorf, a Swiss custom molder illustrated the trend toward multi-component molding with liquid silicone rubber (LSR). Silcotech AG of Stein am Rhein, molded a baby pacifier that combined two colors and hardnesses of LSR in one part.

Tough Urethane Hybrid For SMC and Pultrusion
A toughened urethane-polyester hybrid resin introduced by Reichhold, Research Triangle Park, N.C., is designed for SMC and pultrusion applications such as automotive pickup boxes, personal watercraft hulls and decks, hockey sticks, utility enclosures, manhole covers, utility pole cross-arms, and sheet pilings for seawalls.

High-Flow Fluoropolymer For Easier Processing
A new PFA from Dyneon, Oakdale, Minn., features higher flow for easier production of small injection molded components and extruded wire and cable.

New TPEs Comply with 'Mad Cow' Regulations
Teknor Apex, Pawtucket, R.I., has introduced what it calls the first TPEs that comply with regulations aimed at preventing the transmission of so-called "mad cow disease." Two series of Uniprene and Monprene TPEs comply with the requirements because they contain no animal-derived materials (ADMs) such as lubricants based on beef tallow.

Advanced Melt Indexer
A new melt indexer with advanced heating and temperature control and other new and improved features was unveiled at the recent K 2007 show in Dusseldorf.

Simultaneous Film Stretching at Lower Cost
The first full-scale line for MESIM (mechanical simultaneous stretching) has been built by DMT Technology GmbH in Salzburg, Austria, and is available for customer trials.

Surface Treat Parts with Atmospheric Plasma + CO2
A new surface treater combines atmospheric plasma and CO2 cleaning to improve adhesion to plastics.

Additives Raise Melt Strength And Toughness of PLA
Three new additives are designed to improve melt strength, clarity, and recyclability of PLA (polylactic acid) biopolymer.

Automatic Stacking, Destacking and Conveying
A new conveying system automatically destacks trays or totes and conveys them to a precise location for loading by a robot.

Toughen Epoxies Without Affecting Viscosity or Cure
A new line of low-viscosity epoxy tougheners is designed for amine-cured, DICY, anhydride-, and phenolic-cured systems where greater mechanical performance is needed in addition to adhesion and corrosion/chemical resistance.

New Cooling Technique Adapted for Blow Molds
Ryka Molds Inc., Mississauga, Ont., is investigating blow molding applications for a new mold-cooling technology developed by RiTemp Technologies Pty Ltd., Edwardstown, South Australia.

Close-Up on Technology

Bottle-to-Bottle PET Recycling Uses Silicone Modifier
A new low-cost approach restores the properties of recycled PET bottle flake to produce new food-grade preforms and pellets.

Foamed PLA Shows Promise In Biodegradable Meat Trays
Foamed food trays made of polylactic acid (PLA) resin, the corn-based biopolymer, have a commercial toehold in Europe and are undergoing market tests here.

Starting Up

Your Business In Brief - December 2007
PolyOne to Buy GLSSpecialty compounder PolyOne Corp., Cleveland, announced a major expansion of its TPE business with the signing last month of a definitive agreement to acquire GLS Corp., McHenry, Ill.

Your Business Outlook - December 2007
After expanding by 5% to 6% in 2006, U.S. production of wire and cable products experienced a 1% to 2% decline in 2007.

Your Business Pricing Update - December 2007
Rising monomer prices and strong export demand helped lift prices of all commodity resins as well as some engineering, thermoset, and foam materials. PE prices upPolyethylene prices moved up last month as suppliers pushed to implement Nov. 1 increases of 5¢/lb.

Your Business Recycle Pricing - December 2007
Recycled products are in hot demand as virgin resin prices continue to escalate. As a result, recycled PS prices have gone up 3¢ to 8¢ over the past year, and recycled PVC in some markets has risen up to 10¢/lb. Still, recycled material remains more affordable than virgin, but it is getting tougher and tougher to find. However, the outlook for recycled pricing and demand 2008 is as uncertain as the future state of the U.S. economy.

Strategies

On the Cutting Edge in Structural Foam
In structural foam, as in any area of plastics, keeping abreast of the latest technology is a key to competitiveness.

Features

‘Bio’ Was the Buzz at K
What was the star attraction at the recent K 2007 show in Dusseldorf?

Injection Molding Wood-Plastic Composites
Injection molders are just becoming acquainted with this new class of molding materials. It pays to learn some basic processing guidelines before jumping in.

Dishwasher Safe: New Clear Copolyester Is Tougher, More Heat-Resistant, and Processes Easier, Too
In consumer goods markets, there are countless applications for clear plastics such as copolyesters, acrylic, SAN, amorphous nylon, and polycarbonate.

Polyurethanes: Bio-Based Materials Capture Attention
The hot topic at this year’s PUR conference was rigid and flexible foams with increased biobased content. There was also news in one-component cast elastomers, surfactants, and TPUs.

Hot-Fill Packaging: OPP and 'Panel-Less' PET Bottles Grab the Spotlight
Improved clarity and cost competitiveness, added to its inherent heat resistance, are reviving OPP’s prospects in hot-fill barrier containers. But hot-fill PET containers are raising the bar with higher productivity and ‘panel-less’ bottle designs.

Troubleshooter

Foiling Flow Imbalances In Multi-Cavity Tools
In multi-cavity molding, attaining uniform and balanced flow of material to each cavity is a frequent challenge.

CW Brabender
HammerTek
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