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Processing aids and lubricants expand role and increase efficiency

SpecialChem / Apr 16, 2003

Eliminating melt fracture in polyolefin blown film, cast film and thin-walled extrusions has been the main role of polymer processing aids. However, their role is expanding in new resins and markets. While in terms of lubricants, there is also a trend towards their greater use for both increased output rates and filler or additive dispersion. Jennifer Markarian reports for Plastics Additives & Compounding. luoropolymer polymer processing aids (PPA) have traditionally been used to eliminate melt fracture in polyolefin blown film, cast film and thin-walled extrusions. Conventional fluoroelastomers and fluoroplastics used as PPAs are copolymers of vinylidene fluoride (VDF) and hexafluoropropylene (HFP). The PPA particles coat the inside of the die, preventing the flow instability that causes the rough surface appearance called melt fracture. PPAs are also used to reduce or eliminate die build-up, in which material accumulates at the die lip, necessitating shut-downs to clean the die lip.

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