Dr.Babu Padmanabhan phd
Babu

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Interview of Dr. Babu Padmanabhan with Mr. Sandeep Nadkarni of Modern Plastic      Polymers during the month of Oct-07

What is the current scenario of plastics compounding industry in India?

It is unavoidable for India to increase its per capita consumption of plastics
from the current levels to about 12 kg by 2010. This means a growth of more than 200 per cent, which would benefit the automotive, electronics, appliance and packaging sector.

Roughly, one half of plastics consumption is in the form of compounded material. These are long lasting high-performance plastics that are generally recycled. Currently, the largest contributor to plastics consumption is the packaging and commodity goods sector. Therefore, there is a big change in applications of these plastics. This change in the pattern of consumption will bring advanced manufacturing that offers greater reliability in the field of plastics compounding. Plastics compounding will grow from an existing base of about 1,200 processing equipment to about 2,000 processing equipment by 2010.

Brief us on your product portfolio in twin-screw extruders and elements for plastics compounding.

Co-rotating twin-screw extruders are versatile mixing devices. The task of compounding involves melting (or softening) the material ahead of mixing in various ingredients such as colourants, additives, fillers, modifiers and reinforcements. The extruder performs the task of mixing by shearing, stretching, raiding and compressing the melt with its other constituents. The co-rotating twin-screw extruder offers the ability to do these tasks precisely - that is to put in the right amount and kind of work for the right amount of time. Control over time and nature of work (or energy) is important since the macromolecules that form the backbone of any plastics are not very stable at processing temperatures.

Twin-screw extruders manufactured by STEER offer generation-next technology for plastics processing. The best comparison would be a typical personal computer (PC). Similar to the increase in process capability of PCs with the number of bits (32 to 64), single to dual or quad processors, the process capability of a co-rotating extruder is measured by its specific torque (increasing power) and diameter ratio (increasing flight depth and thereby' improving efficiency, mixing and melting ability). In STEER's OMEGA extruders, greater diameter ratios are realised without sacrificing torque carrying capacity of the shafts.

The heart of a twin-screw extruder is the processing zone. The design of elements that perform the work becomes vital. STEER has breakthrough designs (either patented or patent pending) such as fractional lobed elements and SFV intake elements that support its high performance twin-screw extruders. STEER has also supported the twin- screw equipment of other makes with its innovative design, resulting in performance improvement.

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