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MACHINERY | LAB COMPOUNDERS


scale production machines that are usually de- signed for one specific application, often even tuned for a precise formulation, the exact com- pounding tasks to be performed on laboratory compounding equipment are usually not defined very accurately at the time the machine is built. High flexibility ensures that laboratory equipment will be usable for a broad range of applications,” Loviat explains. “Results obtained on laboratory com- pounding equipment must reflect as far as possible the possibilities on larger industrial equipment. This makes it possible and meaningful to use laboratory compounders for feasibility studies, formulation development and reduces the scale-up risk.” Loviat adds that, in general terms, all markets


Above: Buss engineers are developing a new lab


compounding extruder around its recently launched Compeo Kneader design


through the discharge of the extruder. The design of the mixer discharge orifice closely couples the mixer to the extruder and allows molten material to be diverted from the mixer for evaluation prior to discharge into the extruder feed zone. This close-coupled design also eliminates exposure of the molten polymer to air, minimising oxidative degradation and making the unit well suited to trials as a processing reactor supplied with powder resin and additive masterbatch. Increasingly high flexibility for lab equipment is


currently seen as a priority for customers at co-kneader manufacturer Buss. “In terms of product first, this is where laboratory compounders must be able to prepare a very broad range of products and formulations, and in terms of process as laboratory compounders are not only expected to produce samples for testing purposes but also small batches…Those requirements impose additional constraints regarding the performance and operability of laboratory compounding equipment,” according to Dr François Loviat, Head of Process at the Swiss company. “The key strengths of laboratory compounding equipment are flexibility and scalability. Unlike large


where steady product development and formulation optimisation is an essential will have the need for a laboratory compounder. In addition, the machines provide a key development tool for industries or universities making use of expensive or not commer- cially available additives. Often these new additives or products must be synthesised in the laboratory at a gram or at best kilogram scale, making a small scale compounding machine essential.


Developing design Buss Chief Operating Officer Marko Staehler says the company is currently working on a new laboratory machine that will be based on its new Compeo Kneader design. It will provide high flexibility, easy cleaning for frequent product changeovers and screening studies, improved stability for long term operation, and reliable scaling to production scale Compeo units. Scalability, long term stability and suitability of the machine for continuous operation is being tackled by defining a machine size that reflects the process geometry of the company’s production machines. Staehler says the machine will also offer the same process control possibilities, including screw tempering, to allow stable and reproducible


STEP-BY-STEP, BY PROVIDING A SPLIT OR UNSPLIT SHAFT SEAL THAT


FITS IN THE EXISTING SPACE ON YOUR MACHINE. THE AH TYPE-2 SEAL CAN BE


BUILT INTO MODIFIED EQUIPMENT OR SIMPLY SWAPPED WITH EXISTING SEAL HOUSINGS.


WE CAN ALSO HELP TRAIN YOUR MAINTENANCE STAFF ON SEAL MRO.


SHAFT SEALS LEARN MORE


PHOTO: BUSS


YOUR PROCESS, SUPPORT WE


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