| July 18, 2023
When it comes to thermoplastics, it's essential to understand that most of these kinds of materials are initially wet before they undergo processing, molding, and forming. While some thermoplastics may exhibit surface moisture, others can absorb moisture at the molecular level, which is often invisible to the naked eye. In this article, we will explore the significance of pre-drying thermoplastics, shedding light on the vocabulary and basic principles of which processors should be aware. By properly drying thermoplastics, manufacturers can help eliminate aesthetic defects, prevent chemical attacks, and ensure the overall quality of their products.
Addressing Moisture-Related Challenges:
Correctly drying thermoplastics plays a crucial role in the efforts to avoid aesthetic defects caused by the presence of water. Moisture can originate from within the pellet or condense on the surface of non-hygroscopic resins, leading to potential issues during processing. By implementing proper drying techniques, manufacturers can help prevent cosmetic problems and even chemical reactions, such as hydrolysis, where water molecules break chemical bonds within the polymer. It is important to note that some non-hygroscopic materials may still require drying due to the presence of additives. For instance, impact-modified Polyoxymethylene (POM) typically does not require drying, but when an impact modifier (e.g., polyurethane derivatives) is added, pre-drying becomes necessary.
In Nexeo Plastics' extensive product line card, approximately 90% of the materials offered require proper drying before processing. This statistic highlights both the widespread relevance and the importance of understanding the drying process for thermoplastics.
Key Elements in the Drying Process:
The drying process involves four key elements: heat, airflow, dew point, and drying time. Each element plays a fundamental role in achieving effective drying of the material and in helping to maintain product quality.
By following proper drying procedures for thermoplastics, manufacturers can often enjoy several key benefits:
Properly drying thermoplastics is essential for helping to maintain product quality, prevent defects, and maximize efficiency in manufacturing processes. By understanding the principles of drying thermoplastics and implementing the necessary steps, manufacturers can help eliminate potential issues caused by moisture and be better positioned to ensure the overall success of their thermoplastic projects.
Danial Kilinski | Technical Service Engineer
As a Technical Service Engineer, Danial assists customers with their sample reviews, process optimizations, troubleshooting, and quality concern situations. After being in the industry for 4 years, all of which in distribution, Danial has experience in all 5 major thermoplastic processing methods along with a history of part and tool design. Danial comes to us with a Bachelor of Science degree in Plastics Engineering Technology, and he is also a designated RJG Master Molder.
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