Worldwide plastics processing machinery manufacturer KraussMaffei Berstorff announced on August 15 that the Fraunhofer Institute for
Chemical Technology in Pfinztal, Germany has ordered the first laboratory scale Schaumtandex line from the company’s Hannover-based site.
“Thanks to the ZE 30/KE 60 Schaumtandex line, we are in a position to offer highly innovative research applications based on state-of-the-art technology,” declared Dr Jan Diemert, Deputy Head of the Polymer Engineering Department at the Fraunhofer Institute.
The scientists around Dr Diemert are working on the development of new physically foamed materials with customized properties. Focus will be set on the development of expanded biopolymers as well as on the examination of the foamability of engineering polymers and their use as insulation and lightweight construction material.
In addition, the Fraunhofer Institute plans to develop new process concepts for the design of sandwich element with foam core and new composite materials using functional and reinforcing agents.
“The ZE 30/KE 60 Schaumtandex is another interesting high-quality line version in our product portfolio,” explained Joachim Meyke, Head of the Foam Extrusion Line Division at KraussMaffei Berstorff. “With this solution, we offer an excellent and unique machine combination to research institutes and R&D centers.”
The ZE 30/KE 60 Schaumtandex line as the next smaller model below the ZE 50/KE 120 series is designed for low output rates. It is composed of a ZE 30 UTX twin-screw extruder for melting and a KE 60 single-screw extruder designed for cooling the melt.
As introduced, the modular twin-screw extruder that had its world premiere at CHINAPLAS 2011 is suited for the processing of all standard polymers and numerous high-temperature plastics up to a maximum temperature of 350°C.
Environmentally friendly blowing agents in liquid form are injected via nozzles directly into the processing chamber of the twin-screw extruder and mixed in. Thanks to the extensive barrel housing and screw element program, the extruder can be easily modified for new process tasks at any time, the company stated.
In the standard version, the KE 60 single-screw extruder is equipped with the patent-registered “active melt seal” that prevents the blowing agent from leaking towards the gear unit, according to KraussMaffei Berstorff. In the extruder, the melt provided with the blowing agent is cooled down to a temperature just above the solidification point.
The downstream 150-slot die shapes the melt to a rectangular profile, before the material is expanded due to the pressure drop in the atmosphere. The sheet calibrator with take-off roller train forms a sheet of approximately 300mm width and a maximum thickness of 60mm.
“The laboratory line is a downscaled version featuring all technical characteristics of a production line,” explained Foam Extrusion Line Product Manager Matthias Reimker. All control and operating functions can be easily activated by simply pressing the corresponding button on the central touch screen. This clear and consistent operating philosophy is also implemented in the production lines developed by KraussMaffei Berstorff.
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