Extrusion 2016 Conference: Clock’s Ticking on Early-Bird Discount

By: Jim Callari 26. October 2016

You have less than a week left to save $100 on your registration fee to Plastics Technology’s Extrusion 2016 Conference by taking advantage of the early-bird discount.


The event will be held in just a few weeks: Dec. 6-8 in Charlotte, N.C. at the Sheraton-Le Méridien.  Our first extrusion conference last year pulled in more than 350 folks; these year’s event figures to be larger so we contracted for bigger digs.


What’s this conference all about? All things extrusion. Over two-and-a-half days, you’ll get exposure to more than 80 different technical talks, organized as follows:


General Extrusion: Regardless of what comes out of your die and what you have to do to it downstream, there are certain technical issues that all extrusion processors are concerned about: Extruder and screw design; drying (if you happen to be running hygroscopic resins); controls; filtration; conveying; purging; troubleshooting; reclaim; maintenance; and more. These and other topics are covered in what we’re calling our General Extrusion sessions, which will be held the afternoon of Dec. 6 and the mornings of Dec. 7 and 8.


In the afternoons of Dec. 7 and 8, we’ve organized four concurrent break-out sessions as follows:


Compounding: Topics in this breakout session include feeding, pelletizing, energy management, devolatilization, process optimization, and more. All told: 14 different presentations over two afternoons.


Film: This breakout session will cover both blown and cast. Among the topics covered will be die and feedblock design, new materials, coextrusion, troubleshooting, retrofitting, new output boosting equipment, gauge control and more. Again, 14 different presentations held over two afternoons.


Pipe, Profile, Tubing: Learn more in this session about die design, process troubleshooting, quick-change tooling, and new developments downstream.


Sheet: At last year’s conference, film and sheet were combined in one track session. We’ve separated them this year. Learn more in this session about drying best practices for PLA and PET, no-dry PET technology, foaming, heaving gauge sheet, high-speed extrusion for thin-gauge packaging sheet, and new coextrusion techniques. There will be 13 presentations total in these two afternoon sessions.


What’s more, on the afternoon of Dec. 7 we’ll have a luncheon presentation covering an issue all extrusion processors worry about: resin pricing.


In addition to the technical program packed with the world’s foremost authorities on extrusion, at Plastics Technology’s Extrusion 2016 Conference you’ll be able to network with more than 50 exhibitors and sponsors in our sold-out table top area.


Click here to navigate your way through the program, and here to begin the registration process.


I’m looking forward to seeing you in Charlotte.


K Reporter’s Notebook Materials: Manifold Printed for Plastic Engine; Material Reclaimed from Airbags; High Heat Nylon Doesn’t Need Stabilizers

25. October 2016

Several materials news are being launched and discussed a K 2016 by both Solvay Engineering Plastics and Solvay Specialty Chemicals, including some very interesting strides in additive manufacturing.


• Solvay Engineering Polymers showcased a 3D printed functional air intake manifold designed for the Polimotor 2 racing car project. It is produced with the company's Sinterline Technyl nylon 6 powder on an SLS machine.



The company was able to produce the part with a 30% weight reduction by applying Solvay's predictive simulation package, MMI Technyl Design, for the first time. That lightweighting contributed to the goal of designing this engine to weigh 138-148 lb, 90 lb less than the standard production engine today.


• Solvay Specialty Chemicals showcased the throttle body of the air intake manifold which was produced with a 60% carbon-filled KetaSpire KT-820 PEEK filament using Fused Filament Fabrication (FFS; aka. FDM).



Other news:


• Solvay Engineering Plastics:

Technyl 4Earth, a 100% post-industrial nylon 66 sourced from auto airbags, was showcased. This material is enabled by a patented technology, which can separate the nylon from the airbag's silicone. Solvay says the reclaimed material has properties that are equivalent to virgin nylon 66. I was shown an automotive oil filter made of the material, which also can be used for electronics and consumer products.


"Smart Molecule" heat performance technology Technyl REDx. This new high-heat performance nylon 66 is based on a patented materials technology that eliminates the need for heat stabilizers. Moreover, when heated, as in the charged air cooler part I saw, its properties are increased. Processability is touted to be akin to a typical nylon 66 with excellent flow. The material has temperature resistance of 220 C, approaching that of PPA (220-340 C) and surpassing standard nylon 66 at 190-200 C.


• Solvay Specialty Chemicals:

Ryton R4, 40% glass filled PPS is used in the injection molded internal components—an impeller and stator isolator—of the electric water pump of Polimotor 2m where it offers the required high thermal properties and chemical resistance.


Cyasorb Cynergy Solutions V Series stabilizers for TPOs are used in automotive where they are said to protect them against UV light, extreme temperatures and other environmental factors.

Video: Rapid’s Open-Hearted Design for New Family of Shredders

By: Heather Caliendo 24. October 2016

Size-reduction technology specialist Rapid Granulator introduced The Raptor Series, a new family of shredders for plastics. These modularly designed units feature a reported world-first with their “open-hearted” design. Other notable design features include a unique cutting system, tilt-back hopper, and design for integrated granulation.


The Rapid “open hearted” design of the unit enables quick and direct access to the shredder rotor and cutter chamber, simplifying the cleaning and service process. The front door, hinged on the side, provides unrestricted access to the rotor and to the screen, which is mounted in the door. Once the front door is open, the shredder hopper mounted on a rear hinge can be tilted back.


Check out the video below of this new design in action:

K Reporter’s Notebook Materials: New 3D Printer Uses COCs for Microfluidic Devices; ABS Terpolymer for 3D Printing

24. October 2016


Specially designed 3D printer uses COCs for microfluidics; new ABS player promotes terpolymer for additive manufacturing.


TOPAS COC Applied in 3D-Printed Fluidically Sealed Devices
I visited TOPAS to talk about the development of and commercial strides with its Topas cyclic olefin copolymer (COC). Turns out that Dolomite Microfluidics, Florence, Ky. has developed a new 3D printer it calls the Fluidic Factory for making prototypes of fluidically-sealed devices such as chips, sensor cartridges, fluid manifolds, valves and connectors from the material.



The company opted to use a filament of TOPAS COC due to the material’s unique properties and benefits, including the fact that it’s most frequently requested by biologists and has great acceptance in the microfluidic industry.


ABS Compounder Promotes Terpolymer for 3D Printing Filaments
ABS specialty compounder Elix Polymers made its debut at the K. The Tarragona, Spain company has been aiming to develop advanced versions of its terpolymer specifically for 3D printing using Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). Elix is seeking materials that will produce parts with better mechanical properties, including good impact resistance, low warpage, strong dimensional stability and high resolution.


Working in collaboration with AIMPLAS Plastics Technology Centre in Valencia, early functional parts target healthcare, appliances, automotive, and electronics industries. The company has just expanded its styrenics polymers business into North America. It includes new food-grade polymers for toys and household appliances.


Laser Annealing of Block Copolymers

24. October 2016

Could blasting copolymers with temperatures above 1000 F create novel structures and features?


Two Cornell researchers say yes in a paper recently published in the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Macromolecules Journal with a caveat: the materials can only be exposed to the intense laser heat for extremely short durations—between 250 microseconds and 10 milliseconds.


In the experiment, Cornell’s Mike Thompson and Chris Ober worked with a polystyrene (PS) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) block copolymer. They used a laser spike annealing apparatus to push the materials to temperatures up above 1000 F (550 C) for bursts of no more than 10 milliseconds.


According to Alan Jacobs, a graduate student in the lab and lead author on the paper, this this work “opens up a whole new regime for studying the dynamics of polymer motion.”


Normally we think of polymers as being fairly rigid. But when you go to high enough temperatures, they become exceedingly mobile and flexible in a liquid-like state. With laser induced heating, we can reach these temperatures fast enough, and also cool down fast enough, that the block copolymers can reorder and restructure themselves into useful and interesting structures before they begin to burn.


Typically in a block copolymer, like materials group together, resulting in a non-homogenous blend, but short, intense bursts of heat could serve to put the material in a state of “controlled disorder”, which results in fewer defects and unique properties that can actually be dialed in by changing up the length of heating and the temperature. Per Jacobs:


With enough energy in there, they will mix randomly and create a more homogeneous structure at high temperature. Then, as they cool, they are free to adopt the new and unique structures.


The research is supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Read more here


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