At NPE: Nine LSR Materials in One Part

By: Matthew H. Naitove 23. March 2015

If you’re looking for something new and different in LSR injection molding, you’ll want to stop by the booth of LSR molding specialist Silcotech North America, Bolton, Ont. (booth W7253). Using An Arburg press and Dow Corning’s new fast-molding QP1 silicone, Silcotech is molding a part that contains nine different colors and hardnesses from 20 75 Shore A. The demonstration part consists of a cellphone case that contains eight lozenge-shaped segments of different colors and durometers. “The aim of this demonstration is to exhibit a completely new level of part design flexibility,” says the company, which developed proprietary technology together with Dow Corning Corp., Midland, Mich.

PTi To Jointly Commercialize Patented Layer-Flipping Technology

By: James Callari 23. March 2015


Processing Technologies International (PTi), Aurora, Ill., has announced that it is in the final stages of formalizing a commercial agreement with a leading global tooling manufacturer for the exclusive sourcing of its patented layer-flipping technology. This technology allows processors to quickly change the position of extrudates from two extruders in a coextruded structure needing to disassemble components and shut downs the line.


The final announcement on commercialization will follow upon completion of a formal agreement. ”Since this technology accompanies the sheet die and feed block, it is a natural fit to align ourselves with a global tooling entity,” states Dana Hanson, president of PTi. PTi debuted the product at K2013.


Changeovers in piston position due to hydraulic actuation of the piston cylinder and unique flow design are accomplished in a matter of seconds as opposed to conventional techniques which require some machine disassembly and could take up to several hours, according to Hanson. The diverter valve can be utilized on new or existing systems.  


“Since being awarded our original design patent in 2013, we’ve continued to develop this technology and have filed a second design patent just over a month ago,” said Hanson. “This real-time capability delivers major improvements in efficiency and productivity for processors of coextruded product.”


The diverter valve features a dual-piston valve which is moveable in a stationary body. The body has two entrances that feed from separate extruders. The first position of the valve allows the material to enter the piston valve and permits a straight through flow path. Normally, this would produce an A-B structure. When the alternated position two is selected, the materials are routed through crossover flow paths that changes extrudate positions. This produces a B-A structure.


During position changes, a unique flushing channel design keeps flow from stagnating for quick and efficient changeovers. The practical use for the diverter valve is its quick “real-time” purging of cap layers in a multilayer co-extrusion structure for sheet production, according to Hanson.


The diverter valve enables the processor to purge the cap layer extruder back into the inner layer of the structure while an alternate cap layer extruder runs a specific resin formulation (i.e., different color). Each cap layer (both inner and outer layers) can utilize this special valve to permit this real-time purging for rapid changeovers. This occurs without shutting down the line, thus permitting recovery of the purged resin directly back into the structure instead of losing the material onto the production floor and recovery through a grinder. 

Carbon Fiber Filament For New 3D Printing Capabilities

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 23. March 2015


Just last year, Eastman Chemical and Helian Polymers of The Netherlands, a leader in filament 3D manufacturing, teamed up to launch a 3D printing filament under Helian’s ColorFabb brand based on Eastman’s Amphora 3D XT-copolyester. The material focuses on functionality and features strength, workability, processing, aesthetics and low odor for 3D printed products.

At NPE 2015, the partners are launching a further advance with new copolyester-based carbon fiber 3D filament-- ColorFabb XT-CF20, also based on Eastman’s Amphora 3D polymer—helping a Kickstarter campaign to revolutionize the industry and showcase new printing capabilities. The new material boasts high melt strength and viscosity, good dimensional accuracy and stability, low printing odor, and stiffness without being brittle. Its heat resistance, dimensional stability and stiffness combined are said to make it ideal for use in the fabrication of drones, aerospace and automotive parts, and prototyping.

Meanwhile, Stacker, is a fast and affordable commercial-grade 3D printer—the result of a manufacturer making a difference in 3D printing. The project to develop this new 3D printer was launched from a successful Kickstarter campaign and features ColorFabb XT-copolyester made with Eastman’s Amphora 3D polymer. The new low-odor, styrene-free polymer is uniquely suited for the 3D market and printers, meets regulatory compliance requirements, and it offers air quality and dimensional stability benefits. These benefits are said to be ideally suited for Stacker printers, which are now optimized to run ColorFabb XT-copolyester. 

Says Alex Dudal, market development representative at Eastman, “The 3D printing industry is progressing fast, and we’re constantly seeking new, exciting things happening—from the development of medical replicas and implants to 3-D printed cars. With Eastman’s Amphora 3D polymer, companies like Stacker are able to push the boundaries and created machines that can print more than one part at a time while still being affordable.”


Want to find or compare materials data for different resins, grades, or suppliers? Check out Plastic Technology’s Plaspec Global materials database.


DuPont Increases Capacity For High-Performance Nylon

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 23. March 2015


DuPont Performance Polymers has announced it increased production of its Zytel HTN PPA manufactured at its Richmong, Va. Facility by 10% to meet growing global market demand in automotive and consumer electronics sectors.

           Zytel HTN PPA fills a valuable need because it bridges the performance gap between nylon and more expensive specialty polymers while maintaining ease of processing. This allows component designers to replace more metal for lighter weight components or to replace other materials to deliver lower overall system costs. Demand is growing in the automotive industry because the material can stand up to long-term exposure in aggressive temperature and chemical environments that stretch the performance of nylon 66. In the electronics and hand-held device market, Zytel HTN is a go-to resin because of its performance, dimensional stability and its ability to withstand lead-free soldering environments,” says Brian Fish, global business manager for high-performance nylons.


            The material is often used by the automotive industry to make engine cooling components, such as thermostat housings and water pumps, and to make powertrain components, such as charged air coolers, transmission housings, engine oil systems, brake systems, ignition systems and motors. In electrical and electronics markets, this nylon is often used to make lead-free SMT (surface-mount technology) and traditional connectors, high-voltage insulators and structural components for hand-held-devices.

Want to find or compare materials data for different resins, grades, or suppliers? Check out Plastic Technology’s Plaspec Global materials database.


TPEs For Extreme Conditions Including Medical Sterilization

By: Lilli Manolis Sherman 23. March 2015

Using new product formulations and custom-engineered production machinery, Polymax Thermoplastic Elastomers, Waukegan, Ill., has developed TPEs for extreme conditions, unveiled this week at NPE.


These TPEs are designed to perform under very high and very low temperatures during medical sterilization procedures and demanding environmental conditions. Some of these TPEs are formulated to endure exposure to UV light, abrasion, caustic substances, and flammability conditions.



Want to find or compare materials data for different resins, grades, or suppliers? Check out Plastic Technology’s Plaspec Global materials database.

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