Dispersing nano-scale fillers in high-viscosity plastic melts is no simple feat. The Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) in Pfinztal, Germany, has worked with Coperion Corp. and other industrial partners to make the task easier by first suspending the nano-particles in a water slurry. The group’s NanoDirect project has worked with carbon nanotubes, nanoclays, and nano-silica in different polymers. The nano-slurry is fed with a pump into an 18-mm twin-screw lab extruder at barrel segment 5, where it contacts already melted plastic. The slurry enters the barrel between two atmospheric vents, which flash the water off in about 3 sec. Coperion (U.S. office in Ramsey, N.J.) expects to sell a 58-mm twin-screw extruder equipped for the NanoDirect slurry process later this year to a European masterbatch compounder. +49 (721) 4640-413 • www.ict.fraunhofer.de (201) 327-6300 • www.coperion.com
Fraunhofer Inst. for Chem. Tec
Joseph-von-Fraunhoferstrasse 7 Pfinztal D-76327, Germany
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