The builder of some of the largest compounding equipment in the world has developed a tiny compounder to help researchers develop tomorrow's materials.
At NPE, Coperion Group displayed an 18-millimeter twin-screw ZSK machine to simplify scale-up to production quantities in laboratories developing plastic compounds, masterbatches and powder coatings. It features similar engineering characteristics - such as diameter ratio and specific torque - as its line of ZSK Megacompounders.
The ZSK 18 Megalab can carry out reliable tests for batches from 7 ounces up to 88 pounds an hour. The machine is making its North American debut at NPE, after the firm sold several earlier this year in Europe. Coperion world headquarters is in Stuttgart, Germany.
The processing section of the lab extruder is available in 10-barrel and six-barrel lengths. Formulation ingredients can be added directly to the melt downstream through a ZS-B twin-screw side feeder with a flange connection for quick-action coupling. The main powertrain is rated at 15 horsepower while the side feeder provides about half an HP.
Coperion points out the modular construction of the processing section allows a variety of screw elements that are easily changed. High torque is ensured through hammered screw shafts and involute gear teeth in the screw elements. A powerful SPS control unit makes operation easy via a touch screen.
The company claims the plug-and-play design provides quick startup. The mobile frame base means it's simple to move. The small extruder size and quick-action couplings facilitate cleaning.
In a presentation at the Chicago show, officials also announced that Coperion Werner and Pfleiderer GmbH and Stratek Plastics Ltd. will commercially develop new technology for processing polymer melts. The TekFlow technology is patented worldwide.
Stratek is based in Wallingford, Conn.