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Fraunhofer Selects KraussMaffei's Foam Extrusion Line for its Research Applications

Published on 2011-08-18. Author : SpecialChem

Extrusion Line
Extrusion Line

The Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology in Pfinztal has placed an order for the first laboratory-scale Schaumtandex line with Hannover-based KraussMaffei Berstorff. The unique high-quality machine concept is perfectly suited for physical foaming of plastics with environmentally compatible blowing agents. The Schaumtandex line is composed of a ZE 30 UTX twin-screw extruder for melting and a KE 60 single-screw extruder designed for cooling the melt.

Foam extrusion lines are the ideal solution for research applications

"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," declares Dr. Jan Diemert, Deputy Head of the Polymer Engineering Department at the Fraunhofer Institute in Pfinztal. The scientists around 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.

Latest member in the foam extrusion line family

"The ZE 30/KE 60 Schaumtandex is another interesting high-quality line version in our product portfolio", explains 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.

ZE 30 UTX twin-screw extruder gives maximum flexibility

"The KraussMaffei Berstorff twin-screw extruder provides real added value for our customers," declares Foam Extrusion Line Product Manager Matthias Reimker with pride. The modular twin-screw extruder that had its world premiere at the Chinaplas 2011 is suited for the processing of all standard polymers and numerous high-temperature plastics up to a maximum temperature of 350 degree 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.

Reliable technology

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. 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 approx. 300 mm width and a maximum thickness of 60 mm. "The laboratory line is a downscaled version featuring all technical characteristics of a production line," explains 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.

About KraussMaffei Berstorff

KraussMaffei Berstorff GmbH designs, manufactures, and supplies machines and lines for the production and processing of plastics and rubber. The company offers extrusion technology, vulcanizing technology, TPE monoprofile lines, TPE coextrusion lines, rubber-TPE-hybrid profile lines, multiplex extrusion lines, and roller-head lines; and roll covering machinery systems, such as covermatic systems, crossed extrusion systems, and strip-winding systems. It also provides twin screw extruders; film and sheet extrusion lines, including thermoforming sheets, PET films, engineering film sheets, plastic sheets, and fabric-reinforced sheets; and systems to make insulated pipes. In addition, the company offers melt-fed single-screw extruders, such as discharge extruders, vented extruders, and cooling extruders; and foam extrusion systems, such as form boards, foam sheets, foam tubes and profiles, and beads. Further, it provides service and maintenance packages. The company was founded in 1892 and is based in Hannover, Germany with additional offices in Shanghai and Beijing, China; and Moskau, Russia. KraussMaffei Berstorff GmbH operates as a subsidiary of KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH.

Source: KraussMaffei Berstorff

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