Centexbel-VKC’s pilot extrusion lines offer the industry a useful, cost and time efficient platform to:
- evaluate the spinnability of new polymer grades and recyclates
- evaluate the processability and properties of new masterbatches
- produce prototype yarns in view of further testing
- optimise the extrusion process
The extrusion lines rapidly produce samples with few materials for prototyping and testing!
Because the extrusion platform is fully integrated in Centexbel-VKC’s organisation, all material samples and prototypes can be submitted to relevant testing during each processing step. The results are then discussed with the Centexbel-VKC researchers and technological experts for subsequent improvement, valorisation and industrial upgrading.
Flexible twin screw compounder
Closely intermeshing, co-rotating twin screw extruder with multiple design possibilities
- L = 40 mm / D = 18mm
- Side extruder
- 3 feeders for powder/pellets
- Degassing: Vacuum or Atmospheric
- Waterbath + pelletizer
- Throughput: 2 to 10 kg/h
Bicomponent CF pilot line
Bicomponent fibres are made from two components distributed over the entire length of the fibre. Each component may have different physical or chemical properties. They may either belong to the same type of polymer or be totally different polymer types.
By “co-extruding” two polymers into one single fibre, the different properties of both polymers are combined to create new properties for high-end fibre applications.
The properties and applications depend on both the properties and combination of the different polymers and additives and on the specific configuration (shape) of the bicomponent fibre.
- Production output : 2 x 5 kg/h
- Maximum speed: 2000 m/min
- Great flexibility in polymers and flow rates and possibility to produce a large variation of bicomponent structures.
Tape & monofilament line
The semi-industrial tape and monofilament line is used to produce prototypes with low amounts of material (0.6 to 5 kg/h) and can be equiped with different types of spinheads (from 1 (round/tape) to 300 spinholes. The height of the water bath can be adjusted).
Extrusion and drawing conditions:
- slow haul-off (1 to 75m/min); 7 cold rolls
- heated oven (max. 200°C)
- flexible fast haul-off (10 to 200m/min) - nip roll per pair of rolls
- individually heated rolls (allows annealing)
- speed setting per roll pair (allows stretching/relaxation)
- extra fast haul-off (3 cold rolls): stabilisation/relaxation before winding
Multifilament line : SPINMASTER
The Spinmaster is a uniquely configurated multifilament pilot line designed to extrude BCF carpet yarns as well as flat CF and POY yarns.
- High temperature processing: up to 400 °C
- Speed: up to 3500 m/min
- 3-step yarn drawing
- Production output: 1 – 20 kg/h
The Centexbel-VKC composite press is perfectly suited to treat both woven and non-woven fabrics as well as unidirectional textiles. Furthermore, the polymer plates can be pressed in view of rotational rheology.
One-directional composites are generally best suited for research. The mechanical properties of these composites can be readily interpreted and it is also possible to work directly on yarn level, without having to produce a fabric first. Centexbel-VKC is able to process the polymer in both fibre as film form.
The operation procedure to produce a UD-plate (or unidirectional composite plate) includes the following steps:
- a number of layers consisting of reinforcing and matrix yarns are winded around a frame. The number of layers needed to obtain a certain thickness can be easily computed.
- the pre-form is then placed in a specially developed mould that can be opened for easy demoulding
- the fibres are cut loose from the frame. This needs to be executed very carefully to prevent fibre disorientation
- the mould is placed into the press where it is submitted to a preset press cycle. The press cycle is characterised by a set pressing pressure, temperature and duration.
Characteristics of the Centexbel-VKC LabPress:
- Max temperature: 300°C
- ΔT/Δt = max 10°C/min
- pressure: 30-600 kN (2 – 300 bar)