Technology Showcase (October 01, 2006)
Barrier TPE for food and medical packaging from GLS
GLS Corp.’s new thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) alloy technology blocks oxygen and moisture making it ideal for food and beverage packaging including beverage closures, flexible food packaging films and other storage containers.
It is also targeted towards medical applications requiring package barrier integrity such as vial stoppers and medical films for I.V. bags.
The oxygen permeation co-efficients of the new TPE alloys range from 2,000 to 20,000 cc.mil/m2.day.atm at 23C, resulting in an increase in shelf-life by two to five times over conventional material when used for packaging and storing food, beverage, and medical products.
Characteristics of these alloys include ease of processing in conventional injection molding, blow molding and extrusion machinery. Some of the grades offered are translucent and easy to colour, and grades range in hardness from Shore A 40 to 90.
GLS Corp. (McHenry, Ill.); www.glscorp.com; 800-457-8777
DuPont additive toughens corn-based PLA polymer
In an effort to speed adoption of polylactic acid (PLA), a corn-based polymer, DuPont has unveiled DuPont Biomax Strong, a petrochemical additive that increases the toughness of PLA for packaging applications.
Compared to other tougheners, Biomax Strong improves the transparency of the finished PLA containers, improving the aesthetics, without impacting the resin’s biodegrability.
PLA’s relative brittleness and lack of durability compared to other plastics has hindered adoption of the polymer, which is biodegradable when composted industrially.
E.I. du Pont Canada Co. — Engineering Polymers Division (Mississauga, Ont.); www.plastics.dupont.com; 905- 821-5953
Hamilton Avtec’s new extreme duty granulators
Built to ISO 9001 standards, Hamilton Avtec Inc.’s new range of central extreme duty dual-feed opening granulators are available in nine-, 12- or 15-blade rotor configurations, and with motors reaching 125 horsepower (hp).
The granulators have power-assisted hopper and screen opening, fully sound-proofed enclosures, dual flywheels, a water-cooled cutting chamber, blower and cyclone evacuation and machine mounts.
In addition, they include soft-start starters with a fully equipped control panel.
Hamilton Avtec Inc. (Mississauga, Ont.); www.hamiltonavtec.com; 905-568-1133
Pendulum for designed low-energy impact testing
Instron Corp.’s Dynatup has released its newly reconfigured POE2000 pendulum for low-energy impact testing of plastics and composites.
This instrument now comes standard and fully integrated with the proven Impulse data acquisition and analysis system.
The Impulse system allows for the collection of detailed load-time and energy data throughout the entire impact event, providing insight into material performance beyond results obtained from simple dial- or encoder-based pendulum testers.
The POE2000 is available with nominal energy ranges from 2.7 to 50 Joules (J) with standard configurations for Charpy and Izod testing according to ISO 179, ISO 180, ASTM D 6110 and ASTM D 256 specifications.
The POE2000’s rigid, bifurcated arm has an angle of fall that is completely adjustable up to 165C, or a drop height of 0.63 metres (m), allowing testing from non-standard, intermediate potential energies and velocities for maximum test flexibility.
Simple, integrated weight sets are available to achieve standard impact energies, without the need to change pendulum arms.
Instron Canada Inc. (Burlington, Ont.); www.instron.com ; 800-461-9123;
MicroPlus blender permits fast colour changes
With four removable hoppers, Maguire Products Inc.’s MicroPlus gravimetric blender enables quick colour changes just like its little brother, the Micro-Blender, that Maguire markets as the world’s smallest gravimetric blender.
MicroPlus accommodates processing throughputs from 100 to 350 pounds per hour (lb./hr), as compared to the maximum 100 lb./hr throughput of the MicroBlender.
However, MicroPlus’ similar architecture means customers can still achieve the reduced downtime offered by the MicroBlender.
While the dispensing systems in three of the hoppers are pneumatic vertical valves, there is a corner valve in the hopper for regrind, which sometimes flows poorly compared to other ingredients. The vertical valves enable precise dispensing of minor ingredients like colourants, while corner valves offer enhanced flow for bulk ingredients of materials with large or variable particle sizes.
Maguire Products Inc. (Aston, Pa.); www.maguire.com; 888-459-4300
Plastics Machinery Inc. (Newmarket, Ont.); www.pmiplastics.com; 905-895-5054
Nucun Wittmann Inc. (Markham, Ont.); www.nucon-wittmann.com; 888-466-8266
Process Control improves blender, controller interface
Process Control Corp. has improved the user interface for the controller of its X-Series and Guardian Series, continuous bgravimetric blenders, and its Gravitrol extrusion and linespeed control systems.
On a five-inch colour touchscreen interface, operators can easily enter recipes and maneuver around various monitoring and control screens, which display more information than a standard two-line display.
The new screen, in conjunction with two new automation tools, Trend Manager and Material Manager, helps users easily collect and analyze data.
Both run on Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system. Communication is established with the blender and extrusion control systems with a mini-op controller that uses a serial/Ethernet port connection with the aid of a DDE server package installed on the host PC.
Process Control Corp. (Atlanta, Ga.); www.process-control.com; 770-449-8810
Intrepid Standard Technologies Inc. (Mississauga, Ont.); 905-278-8088
Pre-hardened Hasco Toolox steel offers toughness
Hasco’s new Toolox tool steels are an alternative to conventional plastic mold steel materials 1.2311 and 1.2312.
Well-suited for molds for injection molding, Toolox 33 is a stress-free, pre-hardened and tempered tool steel in ESR quality. It has high toughness with a tensile strength of 1,040 N/mm* and high dimensional stability.
Toolox 44 is pre-hardened to 45 HRC. Normal pre-machining and heat treatment processes are not required, thus reducing costs and the risk of scrap.
Both Toolox grades can also be supplied in special dimensions to meet customer requirements.
Also, both allow for distortion-free machining and high dimensional stability, even at high cutting rates because of their ability to tolerate temperatures reaching 590C, and they can be gas-nitrided and PVD-coated.
Hasco Canada — a Division of Hasco America (Scarborough, Ont.); www.hasco.com; 800-267-9838