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26 Sept 2001

VTT and Conenor boost plastic production

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Markku Vilkki and Jaakko Raukola
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The mechanical and physical properties of plastic pipes, sheeting, cables and numerous other plastic products will be improved and production lead times will be greatly speeded up thanks to new extrusion technology developed by VTT and Conenor Oy. The unique mixing capacity of the conical extruder is based on its enormous number of cutting surfaces, which effectively grind and mix melted plastic material to be processed in the extruder.

Thanks to the special geometric structure of the cone extruder, the plastic material is in a melted state for notably less time than in a traditional extruder. According to Markku Vilkki, Managing Director of Conenor Oy, this means that the polymer does not undergo thermic decomposition during processing, which means that its excellent properties are retained in the final product.

The other major advantage is that the material exchange in the new cone extruder only takes about 15 minutes. This means that down time and waste are fundamentally reduced in producing different kinds of plastic products and that short production series can be run cost-effectively.

According to Dr. Jaakko Raukola, manager of the plastic materials technology group at VTT Chemical Technology, the special structure of the conical extruder enables it to produce multilayer products without any need for a complex, expensive multilayer nozzle or side extruders.

On-line processes like compounding, foaming, injection of liquids, orientation of discontionous fibres or LCP etc. are already available and others are under further development.

The method has been developed with joint funding from Finnish industry and Tekes, while Conenor Oy has designed a production method for tubes, cables and sheeting, etc. Conenor has consistently outsourced its product development and research work to VTT Chemical Technology in Tampere.

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For further information please contact:
Jaakko Raukola
VTT Chemical Technology
Tel: +358 (0)3 316 3568




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