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ENGEL : Coinjection revolution

Petrochemical industry | 24 Jun 2021 IST | Polymerupdate.com
The new coinjection process, which ENGEL developed together with Top Grade Molds, enables a high proportion of recycled material to be completely enclosed in new goods in the manufacture of buckets and is therefore superior to conventional processes for sandwich injection molding. The advantages of the new process are shown to the full in the production of 5-gallon buckets during the ENGEL live e-symposium 2021 from June 22nd to 24th. In combination with the new ENGEL duo speed injection molding machine, very short cycle times are achieved.

Political pressure to use recycled plastic materials is growing worldwide. Various countries are already stipulating a minimum proportion of recycled material for certain products. In the western United States, for example, some market areas for buckets require a 25 percent share. In addition, there is the requirement that the dark recycled material is not visible at the injection point either. These trends drove the development of the newCoinjection processAhead. With a share of more than 30 percent recycled material, the 5-gallon buckets produced during the ENGEL live e-symposium clearly surpass the very strict American requirements by international standards.

Very short cycle times
ENGEL's development partner is the toolmaker Top Grade Molds in Mississauga, Canada, which specializes in packaging applications. The bucket tool for the world premiere is provided by the US bucket manufacturer M&M Industries (Chattanooga, Tennessee). It runs on oneENGEL duo speed injection molding machine, which ENGEL developed specifically for the requirements of the producers of buckets as well as storage and transport containers. This new type of large machine combines productivity and efficiency with short cycle times. Coinjection ensures just as short cycle times as the production of the buckets in conventional one-component injection molding.

Coinjection enables the processed material to be concentrated in the component core and completely enclosed in a layer of new material. In order to be able to recycle the sandwich products at the end of their useful life, new goods and recycled material are made of the same plastic. For the 5-gallon buckets, HDPE is processed, with the recyclate coming from post-consumer collections.

Highest product quality
The greatest challenge in sandwich injection molding is to achieve a high proportion of recycled material without sacrificing product quality and performance. One development focus was therefore on merging the two plastic melts in the mold without mixing them in the melt flow beforehand. As a result, close to the cavity, directly at the injection point, a valve gate system is used to switch from recycled material to new material.

5-gallon buckets are used universally in North America for a wide variety of products. Since the two material fractions - core and skin material - are strictly separated from each other in the manufacturing process and the recyclate is also completely enclosed by new material at the injection point, the new coinjection process is also of interest to the food industry.

With the introduction of the new coinjection process, ENGEL is further strengthening its competence in the production of sandwich products with a core made from recycled material. While the ENGEL skinmelt process presented at K2019 is mainly used for the production of technical parts as well as logistics boxes and pallets, the co-injection developed with Top Grade Molds meets the requirements of manufacturers of buckets and other smaller packaging products and is also suitable for the use of multi-cavity molds suitable.

Increasing the use of recycled material is one of the essential prerequisites for building a recycling economy for plastics, which ENGEL is intensively promoting together with its partner companies.

Note: This story has not been edited by The Polymerupdate Editorial team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.

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