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European debut of a new highest performance twin-screw extruder

News 07.02.2018
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Ultra-compact version of the TEX34αIII extruder

Following introduction of its new compact TEX34αIII high-performance compounding extruder at the October 2017 IPF International Plastics Fair in Tokyo, JSW now announces the TEX34αIII debut in the European market too, as an extruder for various applications such as compounding, chemical reaction, dewatering, devolatilizing and so on.

The TEX34αIII model replaces the slightly smaller TEX30α small-lot extruder, and its screw diameter is 36 mm. The extruder's exceptionally high torque density (18.2 Nm/cm3) enables effective yet gentle compounding at low screw speed and optimally low temperature, but without detriment to throughput. Should torque rise to an unacceptably high level, a torque limiting function protects the machine by disengaging the drive motor and gearbox, so that the screw stops rotating.

Throughput typically reaches up to 500 kg/h in talc-filled polypropylene, 250 kg/h in masterbatch compounding and 150 kg/h with polymer blends such as ABS and ABS/PC, etc., a worldwide highest performance level for such a compact compounding extruder of this size.

The TEX34αIII also excels with its conventional yet convenient EZ easy-change tie-bar system, which makes changing barrels easier than in the past.

Depending on customer needs, JSW offers the TEX34αIII with a choice of the standard version model and an ultra-compact version with its control cabinet built-in within the footprint of the machine frame, saving space and installation time. The very small footprint TEX34αIII-52.5BW-2V model with its integrated control system has the following approximate dimensions and weight: 4,250 mm length, 1,250 mm width (incl. the inverter panel), 1,200 mm center height and 3,500 kg weight.

While the ultra-compact version does not easily lend itself to customization for individual needs, the standard model can be easily customized, e.g. by provision of a multiple number of vents, adjustment of L/D ratio with screws of different lengths and increasing screw speed by choosing to use one of three drive motors with different performance levels, or even modification to permit explosion-proof operation in hazardous environments.

JSW also has many lineups of original developed special devices to increase the capability of TEX34αIII. 

JSW's NIC (Nikko Intensive Cylinder) mixing barrels have longitudinal grooves on the inside of each barrel, which benefits mixing performance by allowing more polymer to pass through the larger gap between the depth of the grooves and the screw. The associated lower shear rate enables lower temperature mixing and avoids local heat build-up, to the benefit of compound quality and reducing energy consumption by 10-20% compared with standard non-grooved barrels.

The special JSW screw element is the TKD (Twist Kneading Disc), with twisted instead of conventional straight flights, which results in less pressure on the flights and achieves good dispersive mixing with low screw wear, which is an important attribute when compounding abrasive materials. The TKD elements can achieve either higher mixing capability or higher conveying capability, depending on the direction of their rotation. As mixing can take place at around 10% lower temperature than with conventional mixing elements and with less demand on the drive motor, there is corresponding 10% lower energy consumption with TKD elements.

Side feeding is usually applied to introduce fillers such as talc or carbon black or reinforcement fibers into the polymer melt in extruder mixing sections. It is here that JSW offers a SFD (Side Feed Deaerator) in its DGC (De-Gassing Cylinder) technology to exhaust volatile substances, air and moisture via a vacuum pump, so that throughput increases due to an improvement of conveying efficiency by densifying bulky powder material such as Talc, CaCO3, fine polymer powder and so on.

The effectiveness of the SFD fitted on JSW extruders has been demonstrated in trials showing 57% throughput increase when compounding 30-wt% talc filled elastomer-modified PP, 31% increase with PPO/PS blend (80wt%/20wt%) and 58% increase with 30% carbon black filled PBT.

JSW also offers the software packages for simulation of process conditions, screw design, as well as for screw element management.

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Improvements made to the JSW 64-bit EXANET control system's 15-inch color LCD control panel on both model versions have resulted in more comfortable and faster extruder operation, through for example better visibility of the touch-screen display and its icons, which enables easier triggering of specific functions. Aside from the extruder, the control system can integrate optional auxiliary equipment such as gravimetric feeders, side feeders, pelletizers. Customers can however choose to use a PLC (programmable logical control) system of their own choice, instead of the JSW EXANET system.

Other detailed improvements to the control panel include enhanced I/O (input/output) capability for greater flexibility and easier integration of the extruder with the control system, as well as upgrading of the EXANET system's external interface by inclusion of operational conditions data management via USB connection. This is in an addition to the existing Ethernet LAN (local area network) port, with its NET 100 data logging system allowing simultaneous monitoring of up to 100 extruders.

Monitoring can take place via a web browser on desktop PCs, from which processing conditions can be adjusted via the network. Data can be directly printed, or exported as CSV format files for opening with standard office spreadsheet software, typically involving one Gigabyte of data for 300 days operation. Screen shots can also be made of the control panel display screen.

About JSW

Tokyo, Japan headquartered machinery producer The Japan Steel Works, Ltd. (represented in Europe by its Düsseldorf subsidiary) is one of the global leading manufacturers of extrusion equipment. Founded in 1907 as a steel mill, it produces injection & blow molding machines, cast and stretch film lines, reactor vessels, power plant & oil refinery components, wind turbine systems and compressors. JSW started single screw extruder production in the 1950's, counter-rotating twin-screw extruders in 1979 and co-rotating twin-screw extruders (TEX) in 1985, now the main extruder type, produced in Hiroshima. JSW has supplied more than 2,000 TEX co rotating Twin-screw Extruders, with screw diameters ranging up to 443 mm, including a TEX400α believed to be the world's largest twin-screw devolatilization extruder.

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