Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp.

23 New England Way
Lincoln, RI 02865-4252 US


  AQUAREX Blown Film Line Turns Extrusion Upside-down
The new upside-down Water Quench Line Opens the Door to New Ideas

LINCOLN, RI With the AQUAREX blown film line, machine manufacturer Windmöller & Hölscher expands its blown film product range to include a line that blows film downwards and uses water
instead of air to quench the bubble. W&H takes technology, known for its use with smaller,
special lines, and tailors it to meet the needs of the flexible packaging industry. The AQUAREX
opens up opportunities for blown film manufacturers to create a new spectrum of packaging products
reaching beyond medical applications.

Quenching the bubble with water rather than air decreases the cooling time by a factor of 30.
The sudden freezing of the melt minimizes the build up of crystallites in the plastic, thereby
creating an amorphous structure with excellent optical properties. At the same time, the effect
of biaxial stretching, which can only be achieved with the blown film process, is maintained.
The results are films with completely new properties that can be used for a variety of applications. During the K 2010, W&H hosted an in-house EXPO at its company headquarters in Lengerich,
at which the AQUAREX was shown running a 3-layer, 200 µm, high-clarity PP-film for the
production of infusion bags (IV-bags).The “crystal clear” film looks more like window glass
than film, in which some degree of opacity would be expected. This clarity, achieved from the
shock cooling of the melt, is especially important for the production of infusion bags.

Aside from the outstanding optical properties, the water quenching process also improves
mechanical properties, such as puncture resistance and dart-drop-value. The highly amorphous
micro structure significantly improves sealability.

Traditionally, infusion bags have been made out of PVC. Many product developers expect PP-film
to replace the publicly disputed PVC, which is a naturally hard, brittle form of plastic. Only after
mixing with phthalates, PVC  becomes soft and pliable. Such softeners used with PVC are
meeting with criticism. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, PVC is associated
with health risks, and has consequently been eliminated from the production of a number of
products. Some countries, including China, have banned PVC infusion bags altogether. In such
cases, PP-films produced on an AQUAREX are a good substitute.

Infusion bags are just one of a number of interesting products within the flexible packaging
industry for which films with exceptional optical and mechanical properties are suited. With
the AQUAREX, amorphous, water-quenched films are no longer a niche product for special
applications, rather they enhance product presentation, which in turn can impact sales.

A Message from Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp.

Company Profile

Windmoeller & Hoelscher is a leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of flexographic and gravure printing presses, blown and cast film extrusion systems, multiwall equipment, plastic sack and bag making machines, as well as form-fill-seal machinery for the converting and packaging industry.

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Product Categories of Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp.

Bag-making Machinery
Coextrusion Dies, Feedblocks
Extrusion Dies
Film Take-off Systems
Flexographic, Rotogravure Equipment
Single-screw Extruders
Web Winders, Unwinds, Rewinds