December 2009

Close-Up on Technology

Colloidal Silica Cuts Cycle Times in Molding Engineering Plastics
A year ago, we reported research showing that very small amounts of ultra-fine silica can reduce injection molding cycle times 20% to 30% in PP, nylons, PBT, and ABS (see Learn More). These results have since been confirmed in numerous commercial applications, according to Dr.

Hybrid Printers & Inkjets Made News at NPE
Processors looking for something new at the NPE 2009 show in Chicago found “hybrid” multi-process printers, high-quality inkjets, and other advances in printing on plastic parts.

New for Blown Film: Water-Cooled Bubble, High-Output Air Ring
Apparently undaunted by a lackluster economy that has slowed capital equipment investment and stymied product development in many areas, Windmoeller & Hoelscher last month strutted out six new technologies for film extrusion.

New Presses at Fakuma Show Focus on Energy & Performance
Beltless direct-drive electric machines and upgraded electric/hydraulic hybrids were introduced at the 20th Fakuma trade exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany, last month.

Know How

Extrusion Know-How: Proper Alignment Saves Wear & Tear ... or Worse
Is extruder alignment important?

Injection Molding Know-How: Drying Tips: A Dozen Details You Should Know
Drying is complicated.

Tooling Know-How: Troubleshooting Defects--Part II: Hot-Runner Long Gate Vestiges
Last month, we discussed the general issues of an organized and disciplined process of troubleshooting and correcting mold defects.

Starting Up

Industry & Technology News: December 2009
Caps/Closures Now Made in One StepKortec Inc., Ipswich.


On-Site: Green Business Is Good Business for Fabri-Kal
"We tend to jump on things early," says John Kittredge. "F-K has been a pioneer in a number of things. Our earliest example was converting HDPE margarine tubs to ABS. After that we were a leader in thermoforming polypropylene, and then APET." Now it's PLA biopolymer.

Solve PP Molding Problems with Nucleating Agents
Over the past several years, significant innovations have occurred in the area of polypropylene nucleation.

We Need to Stop Playing Catch-Up
You’ll notice the Close-up Injection Molding article that we have a report from the Fakuma show written by Mikell Knights.

Keeping Up With Technology

'6-Packs' Expand Capacity of Plastic Cooling Towers
Molded plastic cooling towers are no longer the small kid on the block.

All-Electric Reheat Machine for Big PET Bottles

Barrier Masterbatches for PET Bottles
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Two new masterbatches from Clariant Additive Masterbatches, Winchester, Va., offer long-lasting barrier to oxygen and carbon dioxide in PET bottles.

Beverage Preforms & Caps Go Faster & Lighter
At the recent Drinktec exhibition in Munich, Germany, Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., Bolton, Ont., demonstrated new approaches to faster molding and lightweighting of PET beverage preforms and HDPE one-piece closures.

Cast Acrylic Sheet Comes with Biocide
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Lucite L clear cast acrylic sheet from Lucite International, Memphis, Tenn., is now available with built-in antimicrobial protection for medical applications such as dispensers for facial tissue, gloves, and paper towels.

Conveyors Keep Small Parts from Falling Through Cracks
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Two suppliers have come out with modular belt conveyors that prevent small parts from falling through the gap between conveyor modules.

Electric Injection Units for Thin-Wall Molding
WEB EXCLUSIVE: One new product that didn’t make it into this month’s report on the Fakuma show in Germany was a series of Ultra injection units for EX all-electric presses from KraussMaffei Corp., Florence, Ky.

HIPS/Starch Blends Add Renewable Content
The new Bioplastics Div. of Teknor Apex Co., Pawtucket, R.I., has expanded its brand-new line of Terraloy compounds with a blend of HIPS and up to 30% thermoplastic starch (TPS). Introduced last June at NPE 2009, Terraloy is based on technology licensed from Cerestech Inc., Montreal.

IML Thin-Wall Cups at Fakuma Show
WEB EXCLUSIVE: In-mold labeling automation specialist Beck Automation of Oberengstringen, Switzerland, demonstrated its first application of IML on thin-wall, clear PS cups at the recent Fakuma show in Germany.

IR-Reflecting Brown Pigment Keeps Plastics Cool
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A new chocolate brown mineral pigment from Shepherd Color Co., Cincinnati, reflects infrared and thereby allows dark-colored plastics to minimize heat buildup when exposed to sunlight.

Liquid Colors for HDPE Eliminate Screw Slippage
Liquid colorants now can be used in HDPE blow molding without the usual problems of screw slippage.

Machine Shut-Off Nozzles
Two companies recently came out with new injection machine shut-off nozzles. Herzog Injection Technology Inc., Essex, Mass., has a new series of spring-loaded needle-valve nozzles for micromolding with screws of 10 to 18 mm diam.

Modified PEEK Gives Higher Performance at Lower Cost
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Solvay Advanced Polymers, LLC, Alpharetta, Ga., has expanded its AvaSpire series of lower-cost modified PEEK materials with the new AV-600 series.

Molds for PET Preforms
WEB EXCLUSIVE: In November, we incorrectly reported that Mold-Masters Ltd., Georgetown, Ont., had introduced at the NPE show complete hot halves for PET preforms with up to six drops.

More Thermoplastic Starch Blends Arrive from Australia
WEB EXCLUSIVE: A second Australian formulator of starch-based thermoplastics is offering its renewable-content resins through a distributor here.

New Acrylic with Higher Heat & Scratch Resistance
WEB EXCLUSIVE: HDT of 241 F at 264 psi, enhanced mechanical properties, and exceptional surface hardness are said to characterize a new acrylic polymer from Evonik Cyro LLC, Parsippany, N.J.

New Alliance for X-Ray Sheet Gauging
Davis-Standard, LLC, Pawcatuck, Conn., has joined with Scantech Americas, Lansdowne, Va., to offer an X-ray transmission scanner for measuring sheet thickness.

New Source of Mold Dehumidifiers
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Universal Dynamics, Inc., Woodbridge, Va., has re-introduced mold dehumidifiers, which it has not offered for many years.

New Technical Center for In-Mold Coating
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Evonik Industries, in cooperation with KraussMaffei, has established the CoverForm Competence Center in Darmstadt, Germany, headquarters for Evonik’s Performance Polymers business unit and Evonik Rohm GmbH, supplier of acrylic monomers and polymers. (U.S. counterpart is Evonik Cyro LLC, Parsippany, N.J.) CoverForm is a jointly developed technology for applying functional coatings onto plastic parts inside the injection mold.

Online Training for Extrusion Blow Molding

PET Color Masterbatch Mimics Brushed Aluminum
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Brushed Brilliance is a new series of color masterbatches for PET from Ampacet Corp., Tarrytown, N.Y., that offers the look of brushed aluminum.

Polyamide-imides Gain Added Wear Resistance
Solvay Advanced Polymers, LLC, Alpharetta, Ga., has a pair of new injection moldable Torlon polyamide-imide (PAI) compounds said to provide significantly better wear resistance than previous grades.

Underwater Pelletizer Promises Longer Life, Greater Precision
A new underwater pelletizer from Crown Machine, Addison, Ill., has blades with four cutting edges instead of the usual two.


106 Years of Coated Films: From Gift Wrap to Solar Panels
During its 106 years in operation, Madico Inc. in Woburn, Mass., has had to reinvent itself many times.

Resin Buying Strategies: Still a Buyer's Market
Resin prices were soft this autumn, and despite some announced hikes for commodity resins, purchasing consultants at Resin Technology, Inc., (RTI) in Fort Worth, Texas, advise that processors continue to look for bargains.

Wood on Plastics: Consumer Markets Tread Water, Growth to Accelerate in 2010
The holiday season is still with us, so the numbers aren't final, but indications are that consumers are still being cautious where spending money is concerned.

CW Brabender
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