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UMass Lowell inaugurates new Technovel lab for compounding

The University of Massachu- setts Lowell has officially opened the new Technovel Compounding Laboratory as part of its US$80 million Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center.

The Compounding Labora-

tory was funded through UMass Lowell’s partnership with Technovel, the Japanese manufacturer of compounding extruders. It features two Technovel lab-scale lines, one based on a Micro twin-screw extruder and the other built around the company’s novel Quad four-screw design. Both extruders have screw diam- eters of 15 mm. Technovel’s Micro twin-

screw intermeshing co-rotat- ing machine, which can operate at speeds up to 4,400 RPM, boasts a high-torque drive system and a pressure- resistant barrel. The modular screw can be configured for an L/D ratio of 45:1 or 60:1. The WDR Quad extruder

features four parallel inter- meshing co-rotating screws for the improved mixing of

UMass Lowell graduate student Melissa Egan demonstrates the equipment in the Technovel Compounding Laboratory

materials. It provides longer retention times, lower heat generation and improved venting, according to Technovel. Part of the University’s

Plastics Engineering Depart- ment, the new Compounding Laboratory will be used to develop innovative formula- tions including bioabsorbable polymers and nanocomposites. The Emerging Technologies

and Innovation Center also includes a high bay for plastics processing with the ability to run large-scale injection

moulding and blown film extrusion. In addition, it features facilities for nano- technology and biomedical materials R&D. The 84,000 ft2

(7,800 m2

He is president of Advanced Polymers, a manufacturer of medical device components which he co-founded with his wife Elisia Saab and is now part of Vention Medical. The couple live in Lowell and have become the largest individual donors to UMass Lowell. “I have always felt strongly about giving back to UMass Lowell and being involved in the plastics engineering program. I’m grateful for the specialized education that has led to my success and I want to help today’s students discover the path to their own future,” said Mark Saab. “The faculty, students and


four-storey Emerging Tech- nologies and Innovation Center was officially opened in October and was formerly named and dedicated to benefactors Mark and Elisia Saab in December. Mark Saab graduated from

UMass Lowell in 1981 with a degree in plastics engineering.

staff of UMass Lowell’s Plastics Engineering Depart- ment cannot thank Mark and Elisia Saab enough for their continued and extremely generous support,” said Professor Robert Malloy, department chairman. “Their support for this building will take our ability to conduct materials and manufacturing research to a new level”. ❙

Arsenal Capital invests in Dash Multi-Corp

New York-based private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners has acquired Dash Multi-Corp, a US manufacturer of formu- lated polyurethane, vinyl plastisols, specialty coatings and recycled rubber products. The St. Louis, Missouri- based company has annual


sales of more than US$100 million. Concurrent with its acquisition by Arsenal Capital from its founder and owner Marvin Wool, Dash’s coated fabrics operations will become a separate entity owned by Marlen Textiles. Dash’s MarChem plastics


and chemicals business produces polyurethanes, vinyl plastisols, specialty coatings and adhesives used in a variety of processes ranging from medical device moulding to niche flooring applications. In 2012, Arsenal also invested in IGM Resins,

Plasticolors, Evonik’s Colo- rants business and Fluoro- Seal Holdings. Its previous investments in the sector include Genovique, IDQ, Novolyte, Sermatech, Velsicol, and Vertellus. ❙

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