Zestron technology can cut tubing costs
Australian company Zestron Research Pty. Ltd. has developed a way to injection mold plastic squeeze tubes that it claims can slash production costs more than 50 percent over the traditional extrusion process.
Packaging maker Ten Cate Plasticum International BV of Tilburg, the Netherlands, is the licensee for Europe. Tubes are used to package cosmetics and toiletries, food, pharmaceuticals, glues and sealants.
Zestron of Mount Eliza, Australia, said the current high cost of making tubes, and restricted design options with extruded tubes, has limited the market penetration of products packaged in tubes. Injection molding allows integrated flip-top closures in custom shapes such as ovals, triangles and squares. The tube and closure are molded in a single shot.
Also, an injection molded tube can be embossed, have a textured surface or be decorated by in-mold labeling.
Zestron, Ten Cate Plasticum and the supplier of the Santoprene thermoplastic elastomer material, ExxonMobil Chemical Co., showcased the tube technology at Interpack 2005, held April 21-27 in Dsseldorf, Germany.
According to Zestron, the current tube-making process extrudes and stretches hollow plastic pipes, then cuts them into predetermined lengths.
The parts are fed to a printer, then conveyed to an injection molding machine that molds a shoulder and neck onto the tube. A compression molding machine makes the caps, then a separate capping machine screws the caps onto the decorated tube.
The company's Web site said polymer failure has limited injection molded tubes in the past.
Zestron's patented technology is supported globally through alliances with ExxonMobil, Swiss mold maker Otto Hofstetter AG and German robot maker Waldorf Technik GmbH.
Tel. +61 (39) 775-2110, fax +61 (39) 775-4247, e-mail pauljacobs @zestronresearch.com.
Cycoloy EF resins eliminate flow lines
GE Plastics has developed metal-filled polycarbonate/ABS blends to provide special effects and eliminate painting.
Cycoloy Engineered Filler-brand resins provide sparkle effects and can reduce or eliminate flow lines compared with conventional filler/resin systems, the Pittsfield, Mass., firm claims. The new materials are flame retardant and halogen-free, and have high heat deflection temperatures, according to GE.
The new line complements GE's Visualfx special effects resin product line. Cycoloy EF target markets include electronics, personal care, sports, appliances and packaging.
Tel. (413) 448-6926, e-mail [email protected]
External Gas Molding used for TV housings
Cinpres Gas Injection Ltd.'s External Gas Molding process is being used to mold cabinets for Hitachi and Pioneer plasma-screen televisions.
Cinpres of Middlewich, England, said EGM creates a blemish-free finish on the black ABS cabinets. Conventional high-pressure injection molding could not eliminate sink marks opposite ribs. Traditional gas-assisted molding, which uses gas to push out the plastic against the mold walls, resulted in shadow and flow marks opposite the gas channels, and ``fingering'' caused by gas penetration into the wall sections.
EGM injects gas between the melt and the surface of the mold, turning out parts free of sink marks and other distortions, according to Cinpres.
The in-mold pressure is down to 800 pounds per square inch. The plasma TV cabinets - measuring 27, 52 and 40 inches - must be absolutely flat, even with a wall thickness of just 2½ millimeters.
Cinpres also is testing molds at its headquarters using a tool owned by Manchester Metropolitan University's Polymer Department, outfitted with in-mold Kistler pressure transducers.
The company's U.S. headquarters, Cinpres Gas Injection Inc., is in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Tel. (734) 663-7700, fax (734) 663-7615, e-mail [email protected]
Milacron, B&P offer wood-plastic lines
Batavia, Ohio - Cincinnati Milacron Extrusion Systems and B&P Process Equipment and Systems LLC are teaming up to offer superhigh-output extrusion lines for wood-plastic composite decking board.
The new business venture received an initial order in May for a co-rotating twin-screw extruder for volume production of wood-plastic composite deck board.
B&P is making model TE125-33 in Saginaw, Mich., for delivery to an unidentified customer by October, said Ray Miller, B&P president and chief executive officer.
The product line will consist of three B&P-developed co-rotating extruders. The machines have barrel diameters of 100, 125 and 160 millimeters and, respectively, nominal deck-board throughputs up to 2,000, 4,000 and 8,000 pounds per hour.
Cincinnati Milacron in Batavia handles sales and marketing under its TimberEx brand, said Tom Brown, general sales and product manager for extrusion systems.
In other wood-plastic composite news, Milacron said its TC96 is the world's largest conical twin-screw extruder - able to crank out 2,600 pounds an hour.
Milacron said the TC96's capabilities of compression and low-shear mixing allow for high wood-fiber loading, up to 70 percent, plus a range of material processing.
The TC96 screw diameter tapers from 202 millimeters to 96mm, with a length-to-diameter ratio of 30-1. The tapering allows for a larger feed zone and applies compression.
Deep flight channels and tight intermesh clearances between the screws optimize material mixing and reduce shear forces, the company said,
Tel. (513) 536-3303, fax (513) 536-3335, e-mail [email protected]
* St. Louis-based Lectro Engineering Co. said its MTM 742 trimmer can trim up to 150 offset neck containers per minute and finishes wide-mouth bottles. Tel. (314) 567-3100, fax (314) 567-3466.