Innovation Takes Root is the bi-annual biopolymers event hosted by NatureWorks, developers of the Ingeo PLA bioresin. More specifically, the 3-day event is billed as a "collaborative biopolymers forum for the Ingeo community." We like the sound of that: we're big on collaborative partnerships to further the art and science of thermoforming. This year, CMT has been invited by NatureWorks to participate in a key workshop titled, "Tools for Ingeo Users." The session will be led by Dr. Jim Nangeroni, Ph.D. In addition to CMT, speakers will present papers on single screw and twin-screw extruder design, melt pump and screen changer design, proper additives, and testing protocols for gaining compost certification.
HYTAC plugs are used around the world for production of thermoformed PLA parts. Though PLA is similar in some ways to PET, it requires careful consideration in both the extrusion and thermoforming process, particularly with regard to how it crystallizes. Crystallization depends on the rate of cooling and since PLA has very low crystallinity and crystallizes very slowly, we assume heat transfer may be more important. Because syntactic foam exhibits low thermal conductivity and low CTE, HYTAC plugs are already optimized for performance. Secondary levels of examination, however, reveal that crystallization needs further study to understand how plug-related variables affect part quality attributes such as stiffness and impact resistance. This is an area of study for CMT.
Innovation Takes Root takes place in San Diego, California from September 10-12. f you are planning to attend ITR, Conor Carlin of CMT will be speaking on Day 2.