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Biodegradable solutions for packaging of liquid dairy products


Type of information: NEWS

In this section, you can access to the latest technical information related to the BIOBOTTLE project topic.

New PLA plasticizing system improves productivity, product quality and tooling life

Nordson Corp. (New Castle, PA) has introduced a plasticizing system optimized for processing polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastics. The product is designed to improve productivity and product quality compared with standard screw and barrel systems while resisting the corrosive and abrasive effects of PLA compounds. Packages with screws tailored for extrusion or injection molding are available.

Based on technology developed in cooperation with producers of PLA resins, the new Xaloy PLA screw and barrel package incorporates three key elements:

  1. screw geometries designed specifically for PLA that increase throughput while minimizing shear and controlling melt temperature;
  2. mixing segments that deliver a homogenized melt; and 
  3. screw and barrel materials that resist the mildly corrosive effects of PLA and the abrasion caused by compound ingredients.

For all PLA applications, barrels in the new package system are lined with Xaloy X-800 inlay, a nickel-based alloy with tungsten carbide that is more wear-resistant than iron, iron-chromium and nickel-cobalt alloys, providing enhanced abrasion and corrosion resistance. Screws consist of 17-4 ph stainless steel with Xaloy X-183 hardfacing.

Screw designs are provided in accordance with the process. For extrusion, the Xaloy Efficient barrier screw (pictured above on the left) with patented Xaloy Stratablend II mixer provides chaotic and distributive mixing and homogenized melt temperatures for enhanced quality and productivity. The Xaloy EasyMelt screw (pictured on the right) for injection molding can be tailored to a specific PLA resin grade to provide optimal temperature control and rapid recovery. When mixing is required, the Xaloy Z-Mixer can be added, and it is particularly valuable for applications requiring high clarity.  

In addition to productivity and product quality benefits, the package provides a longer working life than standard plasticizing components, according to Mark Colella, Global Product Manager. “Because our technology is optimized for PLA, we can deliver a working system to our customers that minimizes start-up nuisances and is ready to meet production targets out-of-the-box, with no guesswork involved,” said Colella.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, technological development and demonstration (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [606350].

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