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Plastic strips are fabricated in a continuous process into specific shapes based on application. Generally any long, narrow, solid plastic shape is likely to be considered a strip. Strips are found in new re-sealable applications every day from sandwich bags, chips, and many others. Moisture control is critical prior to wind up because moisture impacts proper winding and binding characteristics to other materials at the end converter. Improper moisture levels will cause expansion and contraction of the product roll which will then cause problems in the end user’s unit operations or unraveling.
A Near Infrared Moisture Transmitter is often complemented with a Thermal Imaging System to completely characterize the process. The Near IR Moisture Transmitter communicates with a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and outputs data history to an archiving PC. The PLC controls strip moisture via an air blower. Moisture ranges from 0.2 to 0.6% with targets usually around 0.4 to 0.5%.
PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) is better known as Teflon. PTFE is a high molecular weight fluorocarbon compound that is hydrophobic and commonly used to provide a non-stick coating on cookware. It has many other applications as a lubricant and coating. Teflon PTFE is so slippery that it is even used as a coating that most insects can’t climb. And as with many great discoveries it was discovered by accident while an engineer working for DuPont (Roy Plunkett, Kinetic Chemicals, 1938, DuPont and GM founded company) was looking to develop a better refrigerant. Application development took only a few more years.
After polymerization in the reaction chamber and draining, the stringy Teflon PTFE is dried and pulverized into a flour like consistency. Moisture measurement and control is critical at this stage in maintaining Teflon PTFE performance characteristics when applied to down the line applications such as fry pans and lubricants. Process Sensors MCT Series of moisture transmitters provide immediate non-contacting moisture measurement and display, analog and digital outputs.
Hot Melt measurements on film are typically measured with Near Infrared (NIR) transmitters that provide a digital display in engineering units, analog outputs and a digital interface. The NIR non-contacting Hot Melt measurement is extremely accurate and stable with no regulatory requirements. The measurement can be fixed point or scan across the web to provide a cross direction web profile.
The Guardian Web Profile System provides a Cross Direction profile on a large flat panel LCD in an economical and attractive enclosure. The Guardian is fully automated with recipes for web width, scan speed, zone average, and data logging digital outputs. This is a complete system to provide the highest value performance to cost ratio. The system can supply CD Web Profiles and MD Trends for hot melt thickness, moisture and temperature. Multiple measurements can be displayed on a single screen. The MCT Series of NIR transmitters can also measure hot melt thickness on film in a fixed position.
Columnated Beam Assemblies for Narrow Webs and Web Edge measurements are becoming an increasingly important tool for packaging material suppliers in the food, pharmaceutical and other industries. Typically these applications require a much smaller spot size to avoid the irregularity on the body of the web which may contain intentional voids or reception spots for capsules, pills, vitamins etc. In these cases there is usually a continuous band of hot melt coating on the narrow web edge for both lab and process measurements.
There are two common methods to narrow spot size. Masking the light beam essentially blocks light energy into a smaller profile using less light and decreasing the signal to noise ratio. Optical lens size reduction maintains energy and a strong signal to noise ratio. Sometimes a combination of the two techniques are employed to best optimize spot size and shape for narrow webs. Please contact Process Sensors to discuss your application at 508.473-9901.