ORLANDO, FLA. (April 26, 3:25 p.m. ET) — Sometimes “green” comes colored metallic silver.
At NPE, India's Steer Engineering Pvt. Ltd. introduced a new design for a metal screw element for its extruders that it believes can significantly expand applications for eco-friendly, bio-based materials and other shear-sensitive applications.
Steer, based in Bangalore, India, said it has developed a patent-pending design that makes the screws self-wiping, reducing the stagnation or degradation of those materials that can happen in a more traditional screw design.
“This to me is a game changer, a path-breaking introduction,” said Babu Padmanabhan, chief knowledge officer. “This is the first time someone could come up with a mixing element that wipes itself clean.”
The company used the NPE show, held April 1-5 in Orlando, to talk about the new technology, called Dynamic-Stir, and see what kinds of ideas the engineers walking the aisles might have for it.
Steer has some ideas about where the technology could fit, such as bio-based or renewably sourced materials. It also may work well with PVC, which traditionally has not worked as well with co-rotating twin-screw designs, said Padmanabhan.
“That would be very true for all fillers with sensitivity, particularly sensitivity to heat,” said Wayne Stagner, president and CEO of Steer America Inc., the company's U.S. subsidiary in Uniontown, Ohio. “This principle enables us to do very uniform and complete mixing with the minimum addition of heat energy.”
The design may also have applications with metallocenes, although the company has not done enough research to say for certain, Padmanabhan said.
“People are not typically able to get [metallocenes] to extrude but we need to document that before we can talk about it,” he said.
He said the new screw design is currently only offered on its Omega series of twin-screw lines.
He compared it to Intel designing a computer chip, where its engineers design something with faster processing power but can't anticipate how the chip would be used in new products.
“That's one of the reasons we've invested so much in the Steer America facility,” he said. “We have these machines available for use. We encourage applications to be developed.”