CHICAGO — Known for its compounding extruders, Berstorff Corp. is gearing its new Compex MPC line toward new markets —heat- and shear-sensitive products such as powder coatings and toners.
MPC stands for multiprocess compounder. At NPE, Berstorff (Booth 2932) is introducing the twin-screw Compex MPC to the North American market. The machine, first shown at K'98, comes in screw diameters ranging from 25-85 millimeters.
"We're looking typically to employ the MPC for all of the materials that are temperature- and shear-sensitive," said Peter Hunziker, vice president of sales and marketing. Powder coatings have replaced paint in some metal products, such as industrial machinery.
Screws on Compex extruders do not have kneading blocks, greatly reducing shear. Compex lines use Berstorff's patented nonintermeshing MPC screw technology, and special back-flow elements to thoroughly mix the polymers.
On the Compex, Hunziker said, more of the heat comes from heater bands than the screw, compared with traditional twin-screw compounding machines.
Bertstorff officials previewed their NPE plans during a May 24 interview at company headquarters in Florence, Ky.
Berstorff also is showing a 25mm ZE Ultra Glide series of laboratory extruders. Push a button and the screw pulls back out of the extruder, allowing technicians to see how the material is mixing or to change screws.
The company also is showing its ZE Ultra Torque extruder.
In business news, Hunziker said Berstorff wants to become a stronger U.S. player in direct compounding into sheet, especially for targeted markets of thermoplastic olefins. Berstorff, based in Hanover, Germany, already is a major European player in sheet extrusion machines.
Direct compounding, also called in-line compounding, compounds the material, then makes the finished product right away. typically PVC and polypropylene.
One market Berstoff has targeted is roofing membranes for flat, industrial roofs. In Europe, Hunziker said, "We see that the TPOs are actually gaining market share over EPDM," he said.
EPDM, a form of rubber, stands for ethylene propylene diene mononer.
Roof sections of TPOs, since they are thermoplastic, can be spliced together by heat fusion. Hunziker said that gives TPOs a big advantage over the thermoset EPDM membranes, which must be glued together.
Berstorff also wants to gain U.S. business in production lines to make PP sheet used for automotive products such as dashboards, seats and door interiors.
Berstorff does not plan to enter the market for commodity sheet lines, unless the lines are directly tied in with a compounding line, Hunziker said.