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LABORATORY COMPOUNDERS | MACHINERY


Mixing it up in the lab


Designed to speed up compound development, laboratory compounders are increasingly being used for sampling and small batch production.Peter Mapleston reviews the latest developments


For most compounding companies keeping production lines running is the paramount priority. So, if they want to experiment with formulations, the best option is equipment dedicated to the task in the laboratory. Compounding equipment makers took the wraps off some major develop- ments at the K show in Germany last year, but the past 12 months has seen further new develop- ments and technical innovations. Germany’s Noris Plastic introduced its latest


twin-screw compounder, the ZSC34, at Fakuma 2017 in October. “Not a few users are looking for universally applicable extruders,” says Ralf Tenner. “It is ideal for both pilot plant and production environments. It plays to its full advantage when it comes to fast product changes with smaller batch sizes, but also if the high-performance capability allows short production times.” The 34-mm screw diameter compounder is


www.compoundingworld.com


designed for a throughput of 20 to 250 kg/h. Tenner says the rapid retooling and simple clean- ing characterises the extruder as a crossover between high-tech applications and a production environment. “It covers areas for which larger machines have been so far required,” he says. A modular design and ease of access to individual units is intended to ensure simple adaptation to almost every process task. A wide range of screw elements is available, if necessary in materials especially resistant to abrasion and corrosive attack. The unit also features liquid cooling of the cylinder zones, motor and gearbox. US-based Entek takes a similar line in being able to bridge the gap between the lab and the production floor. Its twin-screw extruders for laboratory compounding applications include the QC3 27mm and the recently introduced QC3 33mm models. According to Dr Kirk Hanawalt,


Main image: Machines such as Coperion’s ZSK 26 Mc18 can handle lab and small scale production duties


December 2017 | COMPOUNDING WORLD 19


PHOTO: COPERION


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