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News

Rapra to improve the industrial plastics extrusion process by the use of supercritical CO2

Rapra Technology Limited : 06 September, 2006  (New Product)
Rapra Technology, Europe's leading polymer research and test house, has secured 1.4 Million Euros of EU funding together with a 14 strong European consortium to improve the industrial plastics extrusion process by the use of supercritical CO2.
Rapra Technology, Europe's leading polymer research and test house, has secured 1.4 Million Euros of EU funding together with a 14 strong European consortium to improve the industrial plastics extrusion process by the use of supercritical CO2.

The project is entitled FreeFlow and the aims of the work are to increase output extrusion rates, reduce processing temperatures and reduce energy consumption in the plastics extrusion process. The research project is being part financed by the European Commission under the sixth framework programme as a Collective Research supporting the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises and industrial associations in European research.

A team of companies, trade associations and research partners from the development consortium, spread across the EU, recently met in Brussels in order to map out the plan of activity for the next three years.

In addition to Rapra, the partners include UK company, Presearch. The project will also be supported by researchers from Queen’s University Belfast and Aimplas from Spain. Turkish company Yelkenicilier is also involved, as are, AGOR from Germany, Cesap from Italy and the Spanish companies Plastire and Reboca. These organisations and the EU will commit a total of 2.51 million Euros to the project.

The results of the work will be communicated through EU bodies that are members of the consortium such as the European Plastic Converters in Belgium, Promaplast in Italy, AVEP in Spain, PAGEV in Turkey and the British Plastics Federation in the UK.

The main technical goals of the FreeFlow project are to:

Develop a prototype extruder that will allow full industrial, commercial development of the process.
Develop the process on an industrial scale for SMEs with different production requirements.
Demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of the process on full industrial scale.
During the initial stages of the project, work will be undertaken to determine the general process requirements. The result of this analysis will allow the selection of the most appropriate polymers and processing equipment to permit maximum plasticization and achieve acceptable final product performance.

Richard Walton, Rapra Technology Marketing Services Manager says ‘the FreeFlow project is but one of several new European collaborative research and technical projects that have come on stream at Rapra Technology throughout this year. We are clearly delighted to be leading a number of key areas in European polymer-based research and development and there is more to come in 2006. Most of all perhaps, we see this research making a direct contribution to the future health and prosperity of the industry.’
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