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Lab compounders | machinery feature


Mikell Knights reviews the latest developments in lab-scale extruders and kneaders for carrying out research work, formulation development, customer trials and small-scale production


Small machines for big ideas


Laboratory compounders continue to proliferate, from bench-top models with outputs measured in grams of material through to stand-alone units that can be used for small production runs. Machinery makers are responding to demands for


quicker machine changeovers and wider processing fl exibility. In addition, they are developing lab machines that are capable of handling sensitive bio-based resins, higher additive loadings, or very expensive medical or pharmaceutical grade materials. Over the following eight pages, we review the latest


lab compounder developments from B&P, Brabender, Buss, Coperion, Entek, Feddem, KraussMaffei Berstorff, Leistritz, Randcastle, Steer and Thermo Fisher. B&P Process Equipment has upgraded the controls


of its TriVolution-60 Tri-Kneader pilot demonstration line located at its technology centre. The 30 mm laboratory scale Tri-Kneader has also been commer- cialized and B&P now offers the model in three output versions.


The line is designed to process 80% of jobs typically run on a twin-screw extruder, and all of the formula- tions that can be handled by traditional reciprocating


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co-kneaders. It now features new PLC controls, new wiring and a new touch-screen interface all mounted integral to the machine base making a completely self-contained system, says Michael Lazorchak, global product manager for mixing systems at B&P. The model, which features a 30 mm extruder with


reciprocating kneader technology, is now offered in a light-duty version with 300 screw rpm and able to process 3-15 kg/h of HFFR (halogen-free, fl ame-retard- ant compounds); a standard 450 rpm version handles 5-30 kg/h; and a heavy duty 600 rpm version is designed for 10-50 kg/h. The three versions are being offered on every model in the line, allowing for systems to be cost-effective and yet custom-engineered to the process.


B&P is planning to build its fi rst TriVolution 30


Tri-Kneader for a customer, and will build a second unit for its technology centre as a demonstration model. The company is also planning to create a bench-top TriVolution Tri-Kneader. The Tri-Kneader provides three axial oscillations of the shaft for each revolution, instead of the single stroke per revolution used in traditional kneaders. It


December 2012 | COMPOUNDING WORLD 33


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