Leistritz Adds 3D Filament Line to Lab

System helps customers develop and produce 3D filaments from a co-rotating or counter-rotating twin screw extruder.

Leistritz has recently installed a ZSE-3D twin screw extrusion line in its process laboratory in Somerville, N.J. The system is intended to help customers develop and produce 3D filaments from a co-rotating or counter-rotating twin screw extruder. Direct extrusion of raw materials facilitates rapid product sampling, and also results in one-less heat and shear history as compared to two-step processes, which is particularly beneficial for heat and shear sensitive formulations, Leistritz says.

The system consists of a ZSE twin screw extruder configured for compounding, devolatilization and/or reactive extrusion; loss-in-weight feeders for pellets, powders or fibers; a liquid injection system; a gear pump front-end attachment; a 3D filament die for 1- to 5-mm diam. parts; an air-rack or water tank with a sizing bushing; and a downstream belt puller, laser gauge and winder (or cutter).

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Leistritz says the system is ideal for in-line compounding of polymers, with additives and active-fillers, to quickly develop new filaments and formulations. Formulations can be modified "on the fly" for rapid sampling of filaments with different formulation percentages. A sample can be produced every 10 min. The Leistritz ZSE-3D filament system is rated for 797 F (425 C) operation and can be configured for water-soluble and high-temperature engineering polymers.

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