Contributor

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. holds a B.S. in Plastics Engineering from the University of Massachusetts - Lowell. He has been affiliated with the converting industry for more than 30 years...more

Specialty Extrusion at Bixby International

Quite often, the press follows those that produce large volumes of commodity products, and quite understandably so.  However, I had the opportunity last week to meet with the folks at Bixby International in Newburyport, Massachusetts, USA, and I am very happy to see that specialty extrusion exists in such a big fashion. 

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Interesting Encounter

So, I'm in Kuala Lumpur, taking in the sites, and I'm watching the fountain Light show at the Petronas Towers with about a thousand other people. 

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Competition

So much for the idea that film products made in the Far East are of lower quality than that in the USA.  And though labor costs are lower, so much for the thought that Asian factories are inefficient. 

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Reducing Sealing Failure

I had a nice talk with Dr. Barry Morris on a recent visit to DuPont's Chestnut Run facility in Wilmington, Delaware. 

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NPE Follow Up

Now that everyone is rested and caught-up from a fantastic NPE show in Orlando, let's review what's new and exciting.

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The 2012 NPE Show

I know it's old news, but I am excited that the NPE show has moved both its date and time to April in Orlando.

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Why do I have these bubbles in my finished product?

As complicated as the extrusion process is, with all its nuances of equipment variations, materials, finished product requirements, ancillary equipment, etc., I have observed over the years that there are a core set of issues that affect every processor.  I will touch on the subject of degradation as manifested by bubbles or voids in the finished product.

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Screw & Die Design Models

I met with a couple of old friends this week, Dr. Natti Rao, who was visiting New York from Germany, and John Beaumont, a classmate from UMASS-Lowell.  It's always great to catch up with old friends, and even better when I can do that and talk about screw and die design modeling.  Wait... did I just say that?

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Some Thoughts on Purging

A reader asked for some information on purging LDPE in his twin screw extrusion process. By and large, the screws within a twin screw extruder are “self-wiping” due to the close contact between elements and the high shear rates caused by this close contact. That being said, there are regions within the screw design that are low-shear regions which do not receive the same wiping action as the high-shear regions. These low-shear regions are thus susceptible to build-up of carbon, color concentrates, or any other additive used in the process.

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Things have settled down

A lot has happened since my last post, including teaching many extrusion and polymer chemistry classes around the country, traveling, consulting, visiting friends and family, getting a sun tan and enjoying life in general. I’ve also made a conscious effort to turn back the hands of time, and I’ve lost 40 lbs (18 kg) over the summer. It’s great to be back into college clothes, and it’s great to be back writing. There have also been many new changes with the blog, all of which I see as very positive. Congrats to Yo and her team for continuing to operate what I view as the premier online magazine discussing paper, film and foil converting issues. They have done a great service to the industry and it is an honor to be associated with this team.

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