SPE ANNUAL TECHNICAL CONFERENCE/TORONTO

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The following items were reported by Plastics News correspondent Michael Lauzon at Antec, held April 28-May 2 in Toronto.

New Trexel method for making EPS sheet

Trexel Inc. said it has new expanded polystyrene technology that can make foam sheet with densities of 2-6 pounds per cubic foot and with cell sizes below 50 microns.

MuCell technology relies on supercritical fluids as blowing agents. The fluids are nonflammable, atmospheric gases and no nucleating additives are required, according to the Woburn, Mass., firm. It claimed processors can convert existing equipment to MuCell technology. Trexel is offering licenses for MuCell in selected applications.

Lab-scale extruder mimics large models

Werner & Pfleiderer introduced a high-speed, lab-scale, twin-screw extruder at Antec.

Its ZSK 25 World Lab Extruder comes in versions with 600 and 1,200 revolutions per minute, providing higher feed rates and greater energy input than its ZSK 30 lab extruder that had maximum speed of 500 rpm. It also is more compact than the previous lab extruder.

The Ramsey, N.J., firm said the new compounding extruder simulates the high-screw-speed processing offered in its Mega line of large, commercial extruders.

TherMold licenses vibration molding

TherMold Partners LP said it granted its first commercial license for Rheomolding vibrational molding technology to an undisclosed optical parts maker.

TherMold of Stamford, Conn., claimed Rheomolding is readily applied to existing injection molding machines. It said the technology reduces part-to-part variation and can improve properties such as tensile strength, birefringence and warping.

Water-foamed TPEs gain in automotive

Berstorff Corp. said it has sold several extrusion systems for water-foamed thermoplastic elastomer profiles.

The Charlotte, N.C., firm said water-foamed TPEs are replacing rubber profiles in some auto applications. It said the profiles are environmentally friendly because water is the blowing agent.

Berstorff's parent, Hermann Berstorff Maschinenbau GmbH of Hanover, Germany, codeveloped water-blown TPE technology with Advanced Elastomer Systems NV/SA.