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Polymer Processing Aids - Processing Troubleshooters and Money Savers

SpecialChem / May 31, 2010

'Energy savings', 'waste reduction' and 'cost savings' are three main requirements concerning the plastics industry. Saving energy decreases pollution and fuel consumption, thus saving money and taking care of the environment. Processing of industrial polymers consumes energy at each step. Especially molding and extrusion need a high energy for plasticization, pressure increase, heating and cooling, and mechanical work. Energy consumption depends on rheology, temperatures, pressures, and the output of injected or extruded polymers. Wastes generated are the result of molding and extrusion defects such as melt fracture, 'sharkskin', 'flashes', die build up… Lowering of raw material viscosities reduces energy consumption due to a lower processing work, pressure and/or temperature. Lowering of raw material viscosities eases processing, reduces waste and energy consumption due to restrained processing work, pressure and/or temperature.

Polymeric Processing Aids improve the flow behaviour, the energy efficiency, the end product quality, and the productivity contributing to solve three main technical, economical and environmental requirements concerning the plastics industry: cost saving, energy saving and waste reduction. Innovative PPAs are new and developing ways using Fluoropolymers, Siloxane or silicone masterbatches or powders, low viscosity polymers such as CBT or LCP and others, Hyperbranched processing aids (HBPAs), polymeric esters. Conventional PPAs have been used for a very long time, including among others Polyethylene waxes, Modified polyethylenes, Polypropylenes, Metallocene polyolefins, Liquid polymers… In addition, Polymer Processing Aids are not easily removable and, very often have interesting collateral effects such as ease of release, lower friction coefficients, plasticizing effects, impact enhancement…

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