ITRI has a number of polymer processing techniques available.
The 16mm co-rotating twin-screw extruder offers a highly effective means of compounding powdered, granulated and liquid additives into polymer materials (primarily thermoplastics). The resulting formulations are extruded from the mixing barrel and subsequently granulated for further processing. Processing temperatures of up to 3000C are achievable, with product output of typically 5 kg/hour. With a minimum batch size of 300g, the extruder is ideal for research and development, small-scale sample preparation and quality control work.
Two-roll milling is a relatively simple method for compounding additives into elastomeric (rubber) and certain thermoplastic polymer materials, and for forming the resulting material into a thin sheet for subsequent moulding or testing. The mill is equipped with electrically-heated rollers capable of processing materials at temperatures of up to 2200C.
Polymeric materials, which may be thermoplastic, thermosetting or elastomeric, are compression moulded by being placed in an open mould that is subsequently closed and subjected to pressure, wherein the molten polymer flows and fills the mould cavity. Electrically-heated platens with a temperature capability of up to 2000C apply a pressure of up to 20 tonnes.
Injection moulding is now the most widely used method for producing thermoplastic parts, and is also increasing in importance with regard to the moulding of thermosetting polymer materials. Essentially, the polymer is charged into the hopper, from which it feeds through a heated barrel, and is finally injected via a nozzle into the mould cavity. The small-scale injection moulding facility uses a 22 tonne clamping pressure, with a maximum barrel temperature of approximately 3000C. Oil heating of the mould to 1500C is optional, and moulds are available for producing test specimens for Cone Calorimeter, NBS Smoke Box, LOI, UL-94 (3.2mm, 1.6mm and 0.8mm), impact and tensile tests.
High shear mixers
Incorporation of powdered and liquid additives into thermosetting polymer resins (e.g. unsaturated polyesters, epoxies, polyurethanes) is effectively achieved using high-shear mechanical mixers. The resulting resin formulations are catalysed and poured into RTV silicone rubber moulds, where they cure to form rigid plastics.
To discuss your potential requirements, call Mark on 01727 871316.