Like Boxers all Starts with Training at our GYM
Like Boxers all Starts with Training at our GYM: Like a boxer who constantly trains very hard to beat opponents, also a technologist needs to train constantly and be ready to tolerate respectfully with the limits set by the market laws. For example, in the sectors of synthetic materials and bio-materials, these limits are periodically overcame by new products, which are firstly tested in the laboratory, and then produced and spread to the market for granting better life conditions. This and a lot more would be show cased at “K 2016” by F.lli Maris.
It is curious to know that behind these incredible materials evolution there is a sole machine: the co-rotating twin-screw extruder, an efficient dynamic continuous mixer, flexible and adaptable to different types of processes, which foresees the continuous and constant materials’ feeding.
Of course, with the aim to keep aligned with the market in constant evolution, it is necessary to have mental agility and be fast in creating new solutions for the problems arising day-by-day.
As the boxer cannot imagine getting on the ring without training, in the same way an extruder manufacturer cannot put on the market an equipment without testing its performances on different applications. That is why we have created our own “gym”, the place where we train to solve process problems together with our Customers, testing their own materials: MARIS Technological Centre, an R& D department divided in two areas; the Testing Area and the Characterization Laboratory.
The Testing Area, besides being the company showroom, is the heart of the R&D process. Here inside the Centre there are four complete extrusion lines, two laboratory-scale (models TM 20HT and TM30HF) and two production-scale (models TM41HS and TM 58HF), permanently installed and at disposal of our staff to allow the correct setting of the complete lines for each type of process. In addition to that, our extrusion lines include all the upstream and downstream auxiliary devices, which will permit to simulate exactly the most different extrusion processes.
The Characterization Laboratory allows the Real-Time checking of the properties of the materials produced under the same roof, i.e., our Testing Area. These features, compared with a reference sample brought by the Customer, allow discriminating the effects of different process variables on the material quality and give the guidelines to the Testing Area to continue the compounding tests.
How does the work of the Technological Centre originate and develop?
It all starts from the need of a Customer, who asks us to test its formulations in the Technological laboratory.
The technicians discuss the eventual problems linked to the material feeding or to process (thermal profile, screw profile, filling grade of the screw), than we start making the tests on the pilot plant (TM 20HT and TM30HF) with small amounts of materials, in order to produce a sufficient number of samples. The Characterization Laboratory analyses the products with internal methods, specially designed to be quick and similar to the real production window, in order to obtain a very fast answer on the material’s quality. At the end of the tests, we await also for the qualitative feedback from the Customer, confirming the analysis carried out at our Centre, so that we can cross the analytical results. In this way, we can define the conditions to test on industrial scale productions by means of higher size extruders (TM41HS and TM 58HF). This passage is fundamental both to produce lots of material to be tested by the Customer, and to get enough information to give guarantees during the scale-up phase, allowing in this way to design a machine according to the Customer’s requirements and expectations.
The natural tendency to the technological development brought us to decide to offer the “Extrusion Time”, concept, an assisted rental of the laboratory extruder, a MARIS TM20HT, open to everybody, but intended in particular to research centers and universities to which convenient rates will be granted. Thanks to this machine, it will be not only makes it possible to produce little quantities of common materials like compounds or masterbatches, but also to produce adhesives, reactive extrusion, recycling of vulcanized elastomers, polymerization and also trying to utilize all the processes which are normally produced in batch forms, but here in a continuous way. For Customers who will apply the “Extrusion Time” plan, it will also be possible to use, always assisted by our staff, the characterization laboratory, which is able to make mechanical investigation (in the centre there is also a small injection press which allows to print samples), rheological, morphologic and optical microscope.
Case Study: Rubber de-vulcanization Process
In order to give our contribution to the environmental safety, we have developed a vulcanized rubber recycling process, which produces a plastic material that could be re-entered in the production processes like a new products. After many laboratory and industrial tests, the machine has been fine-tuned in a way that, by just modifying the process variables, it permits to obtain plastics material for different types of elastomers, such as NR, IR, EPDM, SBR, FKM, NBR, Buthilic, Silicone, and Acrylic, which come from technical items, tires, production and post-production scraps. Several plants are already operating worldwide.