Novo-Tech GmbH in Aschersleben, Germany, a two-year-old maker of woodplastic composite (WPC) deck boards, uses an unusual planetary-roller extrusion process to get very high wood content. Novo-Tech makes extra-wide (245 x 25 mm), hollow "Jumbo" boards out of 75% wood-filled PP with fully encapsulated wood fibers. This is accomplished with an eight-spindle TP-WE 280S planetary-roller extruder, feeding an ESE 120 single-screw extruder, both built by Entex Rust & Mitschke GmbH (represented by Triad Sales, Greer, S.C.). The technology was developed in 2001 by the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research in Braunschweig, Germany, together with Entex and Fawowood, a predecessor company to Novo-Tech that closed in 2004. Wood content can go up to 80%, Entex says, because of the planetary roller's gentle mixing and five times larger contact-surface area than a twin-screw extruder. (864) 879-9334 . www.entex-bochum.de
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