has developed a new cooling technology – for use in the production of extruded window profiles. IPPI says that its Innovative Cooling Technology


Above: Rehau has invested in a new window profile recycling facility in the UK

The company already supplies a number of

materials – including recycled PVC – in this area. However, it is now ramping this up with further grades. Later this year, for instance, it expects to add a brand recyclate-derived grade to its ProVinyl range of PVC compounds. Its acquisition of some of Celanese operations in

Italy earlier this year has added the prospect of polyolefin-PVC innovation within window profiles. These new polymers are expected to be intro- duced in the medium-to-long term. Its new polyolefin-based materials – marketed

under its Xtended range – include several TPE lines used in footwear that could be repurposed into seals and linings in the building sector. It also has a range of self-extinguishing polyamide resins – mainly used in the automotive business – that could complement its PVC compounds for the window profiles.

UK investment Window profile manufacturer Rehau has invested £10 million (US$14m) in its PVCR recycling subsidi- ary in the UK – setting up a new facility in Runcorn in the north of England. PVCR claims to be the largest U-PVC recycler in

the region, collecting and processing 1,000 tonnes/month of post-consumer polymer windows and doors. The company aims to recycle 24,000 tonnes/year of old PVC window frames by 2024 – which is twice the amount it currently handles. “The UK public is becoming more familiar with the benefits of PVC windows, but more work needs to be done to raise awareness of recyclability beyond single-use plastic,” said Martin Hitchin, CEO of Rehau in the UK.

Cool technology US-based Innovative Plastic Products Inc (IPPI)

50 PIPE & PROFILE EXTRUSION | September 2021

(ICT) can overcome cooling limitation problems and increase line speed. It is particularly useful for complex PVC window lineals and requires only minimal modification to existing tooling – and no extra equipment, utilities or manpower. “ICT is fundamentally different from other cooling methods used today,” said Randy Brown, president of IPPI. Until recently, cooling technologies used the metal ridges in the calibrator to freeze the extrud- ed plastic part, while maintaining the necessary calibrations. The various channels on PVC window lineals – such as those for the glazing bead and weather strip – are the most difficult to cool, so they control the overall cooling rate of the line. To solve this, ICT’s calibrator design allows for more efficient sizing of complex extruded shapes by applying cooling exactly where it is needed. Metal ridges in the sizing calibrator are replaced with cooling passages that use high velocity cooling fluid. This improves heat transfer from the hot PVC (or other plastic) – freezing the interior of the channel into the desired shape earlier in the process, while maintaining critical gaps and calibration. This technology can improve line speeds by an

average of 25% when calibration is the limiting factor, which helps to increase yields and profits. ICT enables quicker string-ups, allowing less experienced operators to get the line started quickly and easily. Because there are fewer metal ridges to create drag in the calibrator, ICT puts less stress on the parts and causes fewer jams in the system. It is also less sensitive to process variability and gives higher yields without having to invest in additional equipment, says IPPI. “With ICT, the method of cooling in the calibra- tor can be selectively changed – increasing cooling where it is needed most in complex plastic pro- files,” said Brown. “This gives manufacturers complete control over the calibration process – in- cluding shrinkage rate and final part dimensions.” The technology – which is patent-pending – has

already been proven in a plastic slot wall product and several other complex profiles. ICT is available through IPPI or Bryan Hauger Consulting.


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