CLINTON, TENN., Feb. 1, 2021 -– Converters who blow mold bottles know only too well how making a resin formulation or color change can hamper productivity. It can easily take several hours and hundreds of wasted bottles to adequately purge the melt flow channels, rendering the blow molding machine effectively useless until the task is completed.
That is why Techmer PM, LLC, a polymer compounder and materials design firm based in Clinton, Tenn., has developed a new purging agent called PFM117632, which is designed to make such changes more efficient by purging out melt flow channels quickly. It also reduces waste and enhances sustainability by saving energy and water and significantly reducing scrap and labor.
Techmer PM has seen the product drastically reduce purging time for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from several hours to a fraction of that for such color changes. Results can vary based on factors such as the type of equipment, the color, the processing parameters, and the usage rate.
“This technology is a game changer,” according to Steve Smith, Techmer PM’s rigid packaging market manager, “especially considering it only takes a couple of pounds of our masterbatch compared to other compounds on the market. We set out to develop an FDA-grade purge system specifically for extrusion blow molding equipment because those machines are notoriously difficult to clean out.”
A major packaging blow molder has experimented extensively with this new concentrated product. Using a Bekum H-121 blow molder, the converter added just two pounds of PFM117632 at the machine, at a let-down ratio of just 5 percent, while purging purple HDPE resin to a clean, natural color. It slashed its purging time to just 12 minutes.
The company says it ran purging tests with six additional colors, and all had similar results. The product is designed for maximum processing temperatures of 500°F (260°C). Techmer PM says that PFM117632 can be used on polypropylene lines as well as polyethylene.
About Techmer PM
Founded in 1981, Clinton, Tenn.-based Techmer PM, LLC, is a materials design company that specializes in modifying and fine-tuning the properties of technical polymers. The company thrives on partnering and collaborating with plastics processors, fabricators, designers, specifiers, and brand owners. Drawing on a broad portfolio of resins –– from polyolefins to PEEK –– Techmer PM helps manufacturers enhance product function and appearance in scores of end-use markets. The award-winning firm operates seven North American plants and has extensive expertise in virtually every plastics- and fiber-related process, from additive manufacturing and blown film to nonwovens, injection molding, and sheet extrusion. Techmer PM was recognized by Plastics News on its “Best Places to Work” list in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020. Learn more by visiting www.techmerpm.com.