As the main sponsor, battenfeld-cincinnati impressed the international visitors from 24 countries again this year with its live demonstration during the successful WPC conference organized by Applied Market Information Ltd. (AMI), Bristol, UK.
110 visitors came to Vienna to gather information about the latest developments in the wood-plastic composites sector from presentations, exhibits and the demonstration of a WPC line at the technical lab of battenfeld-cincinnati Austria. They were not disappointed. This year, the main focus lay on the topical subject of “WPC profile production for temporary housing”. A “Simply Housing” model house from TechWood International, UK, was showcased, and an H profile extruded, which is used as a connecting element in the house construction.
With its line demonstration, battenfeld-cincinnati Austria asserted once again its market leadership in the WPC extrusion sector. The pioneer in this technology and specialist in the design of customized extrusion equipment to meet the special requirements of wood-plastic composites presented its latest machine size of the fiberEX series this year, the fiberEX 93. This parallel twin screw extruder with a 34D processing length and a maximum output of 420 kg/h is equipped with an optimized degassing system. The specially adapted geometry of the gas outlet valve and the screw prevents leakage of melt particles from the processing chamber and ensures a high degassing performance with easy access to the degassing aperture during operation.
The complete line was demonstrated in cooperation with system partners for tooling (Beologic, Belgium), material conveyance (EMDE, Germany) and the gravimetric dosing system (ConPro, Germany). A 160 x 30 mm H profile was manufactured, which is used as a connecting element in assembling a house made of WPC profiles. In this context, the formulation of the compound used, with a low bulk density of 270g/l and consisting of 72% wood fibers and 28% PP with additives, deserves special attention. The material was processed as an agglomerate that was produced in a heating/cooling-mixer system. This solution constitutes a particularly cost-efficient compounding alternative, especially since the agglomerate was fed into the extruder without using a dosing unit, simply by using the material’s hydrostatic pressure.
A special advantage of the compound used in this case is its high wood content, which ensures a pleasant, well-balanced indoor climate in its final application for building houses in regions of varying climatic conditions. Thanks to their high wood content and because PP, which is based exclusively on hydrocarbons, is used, the profiles also fall under the Waste Wood Ordinance, which means that thermal disposal is permitted. If the WPC profiles are used to build hospitals, antibacterial additives can be blended into the agglomerate to minimize bacterial growth.
A house consisting of such WPC profiles can be built for a price starting at 200 EUR per square meter and is therefore very cost-efficient. With the extrusion line demonstrated, units of about 60 m² can be produced in less than one day. Thanks to an easy-click system, the assembly of such a house is very simple and does not require expert personnel. Therefore the profiles are ideally suited for use in temporary housing or for hospitals in crisis areas, and so they provide answers to many geopolitical issues.
“That we have addressed a highly topical issue with our line demonstration has been confirmed not only by the participants of the AMI conference, but also by the fact that both customers and investors have shown very lively interest after the conference, and several test runs have been carried out as well”, Sonja Kahr, WPC Product Manager, comments the positive response with pleasure.
The battenfeld-cincinnati group with production facilities in Germany, Austria, China and the USA is a leading manufacturer of energy-efficient, high-performance extruders and complete extrusion lines. battenfeld-cincinnati offers tailor-made solutions for a wide range of applications in the areas of pipe, profile, sheet, thermoforming sheet and pelletizing. These solutions are created from our large portfolio of single, twin screw and planetary roller extruders, tooling, downstream equipment, calenders and calender feeding equipment. battenfeld-cincinnati customers benefit from the group’s worldwide sales and service network.