South Korean Machine Builder Licenses Novel Foam Processing Technology
New technology takes aim at foaming semi-crystalline polymers such as PLA, PET and PP.
A South Korean supplier of extrusion lines has acquired an exclusive worldwide license from Dr. Foam Canada to make and sell turnkey foam extrusion equipment for PLA, PP, and PET foam sheet for food packaging and automotive parts.
Machine builder Myung-IL-Foamtec licensed the technology from Dr. Richard Eungkee Lee, president of Dr. Foam Canada, Ontario, who has developed extrusion foam technology to process challenging semi-crystalline polymers. Myung-IL-Foamtec has been in business for 44 years, selling foam extrusion lines globally.
Lee describes his foaming system as a “kind of a fusion technology” that encompassed:
- Polymer and material science:
- Polymer chemistry on how to improve the rheological property for good foams.
- Formulation on functional additives needed to modify polymer molecular structure.
- Formulation to optimize crystallization kinetics.
- Foaming process technology:
- Fundamental understanding of foaming mechanism to control cellular structure.
- Understanding of factors affecting foam process and quality.
3. Equipment design technology:
- Screw design technology for low shear heating, efficient mixing and uniform cooling.
- Screw design for reactive extrusion foaming process.
- Die design technology for controlling foam quality.
- Extruder design for highly precise temperature control.
Lee received his BSc, MSc (Seoul National University, South Korea) and PhD (University of Toronto) in Polymer Science and Extrusion Foaming Process and prior to founding his own company worked as an R&D project manager for Macro Engineering and Technology Inc., Mississauga.
Processors tend to recommend a much larger extruder than what’s really necessary for the job and the capabilities of the downstream equipment.
Putting one or two vents between the feed throat and die is a good way to remove moisture, trapped air, and other volatiles from melted plastic as it moves through an extruder.
Sheet processors know that the key to productivity is maximum extruder uptime.