Barrel shroud offers 50% energy savings

May 2, 2016

A new heater/cooler barrel shroud design from Davis-Standard LLC, Pawcatuck, Conn., increases the energy efficiency of single- screw extruders' temperature-control systems as much as 50 percent, according to a patent issued to the company.

 "We have essentially created a thermal blanket designed with top or side venting to reduce convective and radiant heat loss," said John Christiano, Davis-Standard's VP of technology. "The shroud fits right over the barrel to create a thermal layer, preventing radiant heat losses, while a valve system that is pressure-activated prevents convective losses."

Insulating material is enclosed within steel. Interestingly, the patent discloses that composite plastics could be used in place of steel.

The invention is described as particularly beneficial for high-heat applications such as extrusion coating, cast film and tubing processes. Less energy is required to maintain the barrel setpoint, resulting in significant cost savings.

The shroud is available on new extruders as well as retrofits. Sections of the shroud fit over each barrel zone and are attached with a stainless steel adjustable fastener.

Davis-Standard LLC, 860-599-1010,

Patent No. 9,266,274; issued Feb. 23.

Other patent news:

Low-pressure molding. Hamilton, Ohio-based iMFLUX Inc. filed a patent application for a controller that can be retrofitted on injection molding machines, allowing production of plastic parts at lower pressures. According to the patent, "operating at lower pressures uses less energy, reduces stress on mechanical components, and increases the safety factor for the machine." The company, which is a unit of Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, has been awarded five U.S. patents since December 2014 for its technology, which targets thin-wall molding.

iMFLUX, 513-488-1017,

Patent Application No. 20160082637; published March 24.

Valve-gate pin. Polyshot Corp., West Henrietta, N.Y., has developed a new approach to in-line valve-gate pin actuation that aims to provide improved pin force for both highly filled and unfilled commodity resins. A dual-sided piston operates within an apparatus comprising upper and lower annular cylinder bodies. A valve-gate pin is attached to a cross beam on the piston.

Polyshot Corp., 585-292-5010,

Patent No. 9,302,416; issued April 5.

Melt filter. Maag Automatik, Grossostheim, Germany, received a patent for a filter using a flexible, elastic screen that can be clamped onto the filter base body without the use of fasteners. The goal is to make screen changes fast and easy. Other filters use mat-like screen materials that are attached with separate fasteners, according to the patent.

Maag Automatik Inc., Charlotte, N.C.,704-716-9000,

Patent No. 9,295,930; issued March 29.

Decorative film. Benecke-Kaliko AG, Hanover, Germany, received a patent for a new approach to producing plastic film with a three-dimensionally structured and colored surface. Steps in the process include: 1) shaping a 3-D surface; 2) determining the provided topography of the film surface via a scanning process; and 3) applying coloring to the surface via a digital inkjet printer that adapts to topological data. The invention is described in the patent as less expensive than systems typically used to produce films for automotive interiors.

Benecke-Kaliko AG,+49 511 6302-0,

Patent No. 9,266,296; issued Feb. 23.

Hot-runner nozzle. Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., Bolton, Ontario, received a patent for a hot-runner nozzle needle with a small cross-section. The reduced mass requires a lower capping force, allowing a smaller drive for the needle. The hot-runner nozzle can be replaced without taking out the mold, according to the patent. The technology eliminates the need for disassembly, which is sometimes required due to a damaged nozzle. The inventor of the technology is Willi Manz of Schöttli AG, Diessenhofen, Switzerland. Husky acquired Schöttli in 2013.

Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd.,800-465-4875,

Patent No. 9,296,141; issued March 29.

Doug Smock, senior correspondent

[email protected]

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