Parkinson Technologies Adds Seven Layer Capability to Pilot Lab

WOONSOCKET, RI | Parkinson Technologies recently completed the installation and testing of a versatile new Cloeren 7-Layer Variable Geometry Feedblock and 20-in. Epoch Extrusion Die, significantly broadening existing multilayer capabilities for customers using its film/sheet extrusion and biaxial orientation pilot lab.

“This arrangement not only enables us to make wider films with more layers than was previously possible, but it also affords our customers the opportunity to ‘test drive’ the Cloeren multilayer technology inline with our Marshall & Williams biax equipment,” said Ken Forziati, business development ganager at Parkinson. “Cloeren’s Selector Plug and Variable Geometry (VG) design provide us with the ultimate in flexibility, a key feature of all our pilot lab equipment, enabling us to readily reconfigure our extrusion complex to satisfy the myriad of structures/material combinations that customers have requested.”

The die and feedblock design were optimized for PET-based structures, but the adjustable vane and distribution pin design will allow Parkinson’s customers to run a wide variety of materials, and with a simple change out of the Selector Plug any of the 5 existing extruders can potentially be configured to feed any of the 7 layers in the film/sheet structure. The feedblock was also built with a spare port for a sixth extruder that could be added at some point in the future if customers see a need.

In addition to adding 7-layer capability, the die also brings vacuum box pinning as an option to the existing air knife, electrostatic wire, and polishing nip roll options currently available in the pilot lab. The die is equipped with Cloeren’s AutoGauge 5.5 Lip Adjustment for eventual use with the lab’s thickness gauging system.

Parkinson also developed what is described as a new rugged and energy efficient melt pipe design as part of the feedblock and die project. The pipes are encased in insulated stainless steel covers that minimize heat loss to the surroundings, providing added operator comfort and safety, while also providing energy savings. The covers also protect the pipes from damage when being removed and reinstalled during the setup changes that regularly take place in a lab environment.

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