5 questions on BioPlastics with Zenith Sales Representative - Peter Yeoung
What are bio-plastics?
You have likely seen some a bio-plastic in use on consumer products located on your grocery store shelf. The most likely is the biodegradable potato chip bag from Frito Lay. This product led to a major campaign and effort to educate consumers about the contents of packaging material. Other companies like Proctor and Gamble and Papermate also use bioplastics in their packaging.
In the article, “Consumers Push Plastics Industry to Find Bio-Based Solutions”, analyst Kurt Furst of The Freedonia Group forecasts this market to grow at 35% and exceed $5B by 2018. This however, remains at just a tiny fraction or 0.1% of the total global plastic demand
By definition: A bioplastic or organic plastics are a form of plastics derived from renewable biomass source, such as vegetable oil, corn starch, pea starch rather than fossil fuel plastics which are derived from petroleum. Some, but not all, bioplastics are biodegradable.
Describe the Colfax Fluid Handling application?
In a bioplastics application, the Zenith PEP pump function is generally described as an extrusion pump located after the extruder and filter. The pump supports the extrusion process metering additional bioplastic to the extruded material to ensure a consistent repeatable thickness throughout.
Manufacturers use the Zenith pump to ensure very accurate thickness. If the material is not extruded uniformly, you will negative downstream effects in the thermal forming process resulting in lost product and money.
What should a design / process engineer consider when evaluating pumps for this application?
There are three considerations. The first and most important is the accuracy of the pump. The more accurate the pump the more consistent thickness the material will be in the process. The second is the dynamics of the process. Placing a Zenith PEP pump after the extruder will allow the pump to build pressure in the system instead of the extruder. When the process builds pressure through the pump there is less stress on the bearing generating longer operating life for the extruder. Finally, the differential pressure of the extruder has been reduced and this enables greater output at the same speed.
What models do you typically sell into this application?
PEP II 100cc per revolution and 175cc per revolution
Who are some of the OEMs that you have worked with?
My customer base and focus is primarily Chinese OEMs – examples include ShanTou Kica, Dongguan HongHao, Davis Standard (major oem for plastic extrusion) and American Leistritz