Xaloy Inc. said its nXmix operates in-line with a conventional extruder to disperse and distribute fillers and additives at low levels of shear, temperature and energy use.
The nXmix is a two-stage device. The first stage uses an incised rotor to generate high-sheer mixing of very short duration to break up material and disentangle polymer chains to reduce viscosity. In the second stage, material passes through a special rotor and stator, each with a multitude of pockets arranged in a helical configuration. This produces an elongated flow and mixes thoroughly.
The product announcement follows a licensing agreement between Xaloy of New Castle, Pa., and Stratek Plastic Ltd. of Wallingford, Conn. Stratek has patents over its technology.
“With this agreement, Xaloy assumes exclusive responsibility for manufacture and worldwide marketing of equipment for this advanced extrusion mixing technology,” said Walter Cox, Xaloy's chief executive officer. “We think it has enormous potential.”
According to Tim Womer, Xaloy's chief technical officer, nXmix is very good for reducing particle size, exfoliating agglomerates such as nanoclays or clumps of pigments, reducing the degradation of heat-sensitive fillers such as wood fibers of PVC, and dispersing conventional additives, even at very low addition levels.
It works with standard single-screw and twin-screw extruders.
“It opens the way to in-line compounding of highly filled materials in making blown film, sheet, pipe and profiles with single-screw extrusion,” Womer said. The nXmix system also works in traditional compounding, such as pelletizing and masterbatch production, he said.
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