February 2006

Close-Up on Technology

Improved Machines and Molds Highlight Fall Rotomolding Show
Worldwide commercial availability of “ovenless” rotomolding machinery, new cast-aluminum molds that provide faster cycles, improved material pulverizing systems, and new graphic transfer systems for engineering materials such as nylon were unveiled at the 30th Annual Fall Meeting of the Association of Rotational Molders (ARM), held in Chicago last fall.

Mold Analysis Gets Faster, Easier, Smarter
On Dec. 28, Moldflow Corp. began shipping a major new release of its flagship injection mold simulation software, Moldflow Plastics Insight 6.0.

Processor's Edge

PUR RIM vs. Wood in Building Products
After nearly a decade of testing, roofing shakes of RIM polyurethane microcellular rigid foam are making a commercial push to compete with traditional cedar shakes.

Starting Up

After a Soft Start, Prices Are Firming
Polyolefin prices sledded downhill in December, while PVC skated on flat resin tabs.

Your Business in Brief - February 2006
Solvay to Acquire Exotic-Resin MakerSolvay of Belgium has agreed to purchase Mississippi Polymer Technologies (MPT), Bay St.

Your Business Outlook - February 2006
Mastiogale’s most recent blow molding market study reveals modest but improved growth for blow molded consumer packaging.


Keep Molds Running Longer
New low-friction, high-hardness coatings and upgraded deposition technologies are expanding the range of surface treatments to help tooling stand up to tougher molding challenges.

Nanocomposites Do More With Less
For skeptics who may doubt that nanocomposites have yet proven themselves commercially viable materials, last year’s Nanocomposites 2005 Conference in San Francisco presented plenty of evidence that “nanos” are beginning to live up to their promise.

Polyurethane Was a New Attraction at Composites 2005 Show
PUR lumber and utility poles challenge standard thermoplastic and thermoset composites. Other show news included ‘tool-less’ molding and new resins and equipment.

Through Thick and Thin
If you’re an injection molder or mold designer, you probably keep an eye on developments in computerized mold simulation.

Keeping Up With Technology

Add Slip to Nylon Film
A slip modifier for nylons is designed for food-packaging films and has heat stability up to 525 F.

Barr Screw Options For Milacron Presses
Cincinnati Milacron, Batavia, Ohio, is now the exclusive U.S. manufacturer and marketer of injection molding screws designed by Robert Barr, Inc., Virginia Beach, Va.

Black Nylon 6 for Molding in Standard or Food Grade
A new nylon 6 compound for injection molding contains 35% carbon black for excellent lightfastness.

Carbon-Fiber Composite Adds Power to Auto Manifold
The first auto intake manifold molded of continuous carbon-fiber and thermoplastic provides more horsepower and 75% lower weight than metal aftermarket manifolds.

Coupling Agent Helps Disperse Mineral Fillers
Improved dispersion of mineral fillers in thermoplastics and EPDM rubbers is reportedly achieved with a new silane coupling agent from Dow Corning Corp., Midland, Mich.

Dow Adds Hexene LLDPE
Hexene comonomer-based LLDPE and mLLDPE film resins are now being offered by Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich.

Dynamic Fatigue Tester For Soft Elastic Foams
A new test bench is designed for dynamic fatigue testing of flexible foams according to ISO 3385 and ASTM D 3574 standards or other specifications of automobile OEMs.

E-Beam Applies Reflective Coatings to Film
A maker of thin-film vacuum deposition equipment for applying metals to rigid and flexible substrates won the top technical innovation award at the 2005 biennial International Converting Exhibition (ICE) in Munich, Germany.

Economical Hot-Water Units with Leak-Stop
Two affordable hot-water temperature-control units are new from Single Temperiertechnik in Germany, represented here by Krauss-Maffei Corp., Florence, Ky.

Expandable PS/PE Now Has Smaller Beads
A new version of a four-year old expandable bead foam for packaging electronics has 25% smaller beads that are expected to expand its range of applications.

Extrusion Controls Offer Best of Both Worlds
After Davis-Standard Corp. and Black Clawson Converting Machinery merged last year into Davis-Standard LLC, Pawcatuck, Conn., one of their first moves was to unify machine control software and hardware.

First Foamed PLA Trays
With oil prices high, compostable polylactic acid (PLA) from NatureWorks LLC in Minnetonka, Minn., doesn't look so expensive anymore.

First Integrated Control of Secondary Sizing Cage
Secondary bubble-sizing cages are used on about 10% of blown film lines that have extra-tall towers or long, thin bubbles or ones that make products like heavy-duty sacks, for which centering the bubble before the collapsing frame is critical.

Here Are Purge-Friendly Color Masterbatches
Processors reportedly can expect faster and easier color changes with the new family of SmartColor masterbatches from Ampacet Corp., Tarrytown, N.Y.

High-Heat Epoxy Is Extremely Flexible
A new epoxy resin system for electronic encapsulation and adhesives not only resists heat up to 450 F but is so flexible that you can literally tie it in a knot.

Hot Runners Get Water Jackets and Spring Loading
A water-cooled bushing for hot-runner nozzles and a mechanical valve-gate control system for multi-cavity molds are new from Incoe Corp., Troy, Mich.

Keep Cooling Channels Free of Lime and Rust
Protection against lime scale or rust build-up inside cooling channels is said to be provided by a new device from Hasco America Inc., Arden, N.C.

License Granted for Panel-Free, Hot-Fill PET
Graham Packaging Co., York, Pa., has granted the first license for its technology to make panel-free, hot-fill PET bottles to Japanese bottle manufacturer Hokkai Can, Tokyo.

LLDPE Makes Tougher Blown Film
 A new LLDPE resin is aimed at blown films that require extra toughness, such as produce and frozen-food packaging or protective films for transportation of mobile homes and boats.

Masterbatch Adsorbs Taste and Odor Molecules
A new additive masterbatch for LDPE, LLDPE, and EVA removes taste- and odor-causing molecules from food-packaging films, trash bags, extrusion coatings, pipe, molded containers, and beverage caps.

MDI for Elastomers Has Lower Freeze Point
A carbodiimide-modified MDI reportedly features improved low-temperature stability, clarity, and shelf-life compared with similar PUR raw materials for elastomers.

Mold Release for RIM Auto & Truck Parts
A new solvent-based, semi-permanent release agent is said to reduce wax build-up on molds.

Multi-Tip Side-Gating Gets More Options
The Melt-Disk direct side-gating hot-runner system from Mold-Masters Ltd., Georgetown, Ont., has been upgraded with a new size and an ability to angle the hot tips.

New Mixing Screw Grows Up
Randcastle Extrusion Systems Inc., Cedar Grove, N.J., has sold the first commercial-scale Recirculator Screw, a single screw with a novel intensive-mixing section (U.S.

New Modular Manifold Drops Can Be Reconfigured
A new modular hot-runner system has a main feed bar that delivers melt to removable and interchangeable sprue and nozzle carrier bars.

New Player Builds 9-Layer Blown Film Die
Windmoeller & Hoelscher GmbH in Germany (U.S. office in Lincoln, R.I.) is the latest player to enter the field of nine-layer blown film dies.

Non-Return Valve Adds Mixing Ability
 A new mixing design has been added to the All-Purpose Valve (APV) from R.

Nozzle Evacuates Gases in Two-Shot Operations
Vacuum-assisted hot-runner nozzles that eliminate air or gases during two-shot overmolding are new from HRS Flow Hot Runner Systems NA Inc., Windsor, Ont.

Nylon Elastomer 'Stretches' Nylon 6
Nylon Corp. of America (Nycoa), Manchester, N.H., has introduced one of the first nylon TPEs that offers all of the thermal and mechanical properties of nylon 6 along with a high degree of flexibility.

Oil-Sealed Vacuum Pump Saves Water Disposal
Leistritz in Somerville, N.J., believes it is the first OEM to offer an oil-sealed vacuum pump as a standard option for venting a twin-screw extruder.

One Dryer for Multiple Molding Machines
Last fall, Wittmann, Inc., Torrington, Conn., introduced the Drymax Dual PDC (Portable Drying Conveyor), a compact system that pneumatically conveys resin from one drying hopper to two molding machines.

Planetary Roller Extruder Raises Output
 Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik in Germany (U.S. office at American Maplan in McPherson, Kan.) has designed a new planetary roller extruder with higher output for PVC calendering and pelletizing and wood-composite extrusion.

Quick-Response Heaters for Cut-Sheet Machines
New quartz panel heaters from Solar Products Inc., Pompton Lakes, N.J., are said to provide fast response for cut-sheet formers that change jobs frequently.

Separate Parts from Sprues Under the Press
A new integrated sprue/parts sorting system that operates without any loss of cycle was introduced at the recent Fakuma show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, by the parent of Boy Machines Inc., Exton, Pa.

Simple Tool Speeds PET Bottle Changeovers
A new quick-mold-change device from SIG Corpoplast, Hillsborough, N.J., speeds changeovers of stretch-blown PET bottles.

Soft-Touch Olefin Skin Laminate Is Recyclable
Solvay Engineered Polymers (now known as LyondellBasell Advanced Polyolefins), Auburn Hills, Mich., has developed one of the first thermoformable laminates for soft-touch auto and marine interior skins that is recyclable.

Temp Controllers Give High Accuracy at Low Cost
A broad new line of temperature controllers from Precision Digital Corp., Natick, Mass., are said to give ±0.1% full-scale accuracy while competing units are in the 0.25% range.

Three-Ring Date Stamp Avoids Two-Stamp Installation
A new double-indexable date stamper eliminates the need to mount two date stamps in a mold and to change one insert yearly.

Ultrasonic Generators Are More Powerful
The new GX series ultrasonic power supplies from Sonics & Materials Inc., Newtown, Conn., are said to offer advances in control, power, and ease of use.

Valve Gates Get Electromagnetic Action
A new electromagnetically actuated valve-gate cylinder reportedly delivers 110 times more accurate position control than hydraulic or pneumatic operation.

CW Brabender
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