Nordson Xaloy, New Castle, Pa., will introduce two new products at K 2013 in Düsseldorf this month.The first is what’s described as “a fundamentally new barrel heating system” for injection molding that cuts energy use and improves safety and process control. This “cool-to-the-touch” solution, called SmartHeat, involves a barrel coating of two layers of plasma-sprayed, metalized ceramic with a nichrome wire wrap sandwiched in between, plus a thermal insulation cover. Because the heat from the nichrome wires is conducted throughout the ceramic coating, the system reportedly raises the temperature of the barrel to setpoint more quickly than with band heaters—and maintains it more uniformly with less energy consumed. The tightly strapped insulation wrap over the ceramic coating “virtually eliminates” heat losses to the workplace, saving on air-conditioning costs and increasing operator safety. Another safety benefit is elimination of the fire hazard from numerous exposed wires connected to multiple heater bands. Instead, all SmartHeat wiring runs under the insulation cover.
In a side-by-side test on an injection press with four heat zones, the SmartHeat system brought the barrel up to temperature in 15 min, vs. 23 min for conventional band heaters. Overall, SmartHeat is said to be 20% to 60% more efficient than band heaters and is designed to last the life of the barrel —unlike band heaters, which burn out and have to be replaced.
In addition, Nordson Xaloy will introduce the new X220 bimetallic barrel inlay for both injection and extrusion. It’s an iron-boron-chromium alloy with more than double the chromium content of the company’s X200 alloy. In sulfuric and hydrochloric acid immersion tests, the new alloy outperformed X200.