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 without needing to disassemble components and shut down 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.