Davis-Standard Corp. said its foam extrusion equipment business has more than doubled in the two years since the company began supplying complete systems, not just the extruder.
Pawcatuck-based Davis-Standard got into foam extrusion through buying other companies, including the purchase in 1994 of the NRM Polymer Division from McNeil & NRM Inc. of Akron, Ohio.
In 2000, the company hired Frederick D. Schrafft Jr., who had been vice president of international sales of Sencorp Systems Inc.'s foam extrusion group, in Hyannis, Mass. At Davis-Standard, Schrafft is senior systems engineer for foam extrusion.
Key markets include insulation board for construction, and packaging, Schrafft said recently in an interview at Davis-Standard headquarters. Both markets have remained strong during the U.S. recession, he said.
Davis-Standard can do research on blowing agents and other innovations at a large technical center at the headquarters site.
One new development is an open-cell polystyrene meat tray, currently used in Europe, which eliminates the need for a separate pad to soak up meat juices. The three-layer construction includes foamed PS between two layers of film, which can be applied either by coextrusion or extrusion coating. Juices pass through tiny pinholes in the foam and remain inside the package, out of sight.
The company also recently developed a counterrotating twin- screw extruder that performs the same functions as the widely used tandem extruder setup.
In other foam equipment news, Davis-Standard introduced a new cantilevered winder in January. The winder incorporates a cantilevered shaft with a push-off mechanism, integrated into the winding shaft. An updated alternating-current drive includes built-in taper-tension algorithms.
The winder's main advantage is that it accurately winds rolls while allowing for more slack, in a looser roll. That means the foamed sheet has extra ``breathing'' room, so the gases can escape more efficiently.
Davis-Standard also has developed a new mandrel design that includes three water zones that allow for higher rates of heat transfer, with a variation of less than 1 degree across each zone.