Auxiliaries: A New Frontier in Metal Replacement

Stainless steel has been the de facto material choice for machine components like tanks and hoppers for forever, but do rotomolded plastics make more sense?

For at least two auxiliary suppliers at NPE2015, the answer was yes. Novatec and the ACS Group both featured new products in their booths outfitted with rotomolded plastics.

 

In the case of Novatec, its Bessemer Series of downstream extrusion cooling and sizing tanks converted to rotomolded plastic (pictured below). Conrad Bessemer, company president, noted that the rotomolded tanks don’t just allow for faster delivery, but compared to metal they can provide better insulation and aren’t as susceptible to condensation.

 

James Holbrook, president of the ACS Group, discussed his company’s new rotomolded plastic pump tank, which ranges up to 1000 gallons, and opened his eyes to more plastic-for-metal opportunities.

 

“Look around the show floor,” Holbrook said at NPE2015. “It’s a plastics industry event but you see a ton of steel. Let’s at least ask where we can use plastics.” Plastics is of course lighter weight and lower cost than steel, but as is the case in many material conversion stories, just because plastics make more sense, doesn’t mean they’ll be applied.

 

“The reason so much has been steel historically, is that people haven’t looked at other materials,” Holbrook said. “There are applications that still need steel, applications where steel makes sense, but we still want to explore plastics.” 

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