New Die Design Increases Output by 18%

by Kurt Bartosch

Many companies talk about continuous improvement processes, but do not truly use them every day. After Commodore acquired the BEC Die and Gas Injection business we were able to examine our existing dies and incorporate portions of the BEC die technology into our designs. This merging of technologies produced results that improved performance and increased the output of our extruders.

The first design change was to the die body flow channel. The flow channel's width remained the same, but the major and minor flow channel diameters were increased. This change created a lower shear flow channel that reduced melt temperature and allowed increased throughput. In testing the die on a 3.5/4.5 (100/130mm) tandem extruder with polystyrene, output rates increased from 550 pounds (225 kg) per hour to 650 pounds (295 kg) per hour while maintaining sheet quality of both closed and open cells.

Die with PS foam in red

The second design change was to the range of sheet widths the die could produce. The previously described flow channel changes yielded more space in the die body. This additional space allowed us to increase the inner die lip diameters that had previously been limited by our balanced die lip designs. As a result, the die can now produce sheet ranging from 22 inches to 54 inches wide in a single slit configuration.

As with all of Commodore's dies, the new design can run a high pressure extrusion profile that resists pre-foaming and corrugation. The die can run any hydrocarbon, Freon, carbon dioxide, or nitrogen blowing agent. Besides polystyrene, the base die can be configured to run polyolefins as well. The die can be retrofitted on to any existing Commodore extruder as well as most other manufacturers' extrusion lines.

Technicians replacing an upgraded die

We have now installed this new die on all our extruders in the foam plant. Jeff Clark – Extrusion Supervisor stated "With these new dies I have been able increase my output with minimal capital investment while maintaining the same manufacturing footprint". We are offering this solution to our customers so they can increase the performance of their current systems.

For more information about our dies and extruders, Click Here to download our brochure.