PEAK DEVELOPS MICRO-PELLET TECHNOLOGY, IMPROVING ADDITIVE DISPERSION & AIDING IN MATERIAL PROCESSING

In News by AdminLeave a Comment

LEOMINSTER, MA (June 24, 2024) Due to equipment constraints and small-part configurations, manufacturing plastic components that are small in size often results in dispersion concerns and processing challenges. To mitigate these potential issues, PEAK Performance Compounding (PEAK) has developed the ability to produce high-quality micro-pellets that aid in the manufacturing of micro-sized products for a wide variety of industries and applications.

Manufacturers of micro-parts often struggle with color dispersion, additive dispersion, and product consistency, due to the size of the equipment and the small design of the parts being produced. Additionally, the use of extra-small extruders and micro-molding machines often results in material feeding challenges and equipment clogs, specifically when standard pellets (approximately 3.0mm in size) are used.

PEAK has developed a proprietary compounding and post-blending process that produces homogeneous sub-1.0mm micro-pellets to aid in feeding and dispersion. This proprietary process involves precise control over the pelletization phase, ensuring each pellet is consistently small, thereby enhancing the overall homogeneity of the final product. Unlike standard pellet production, this method includes additional steps in the material blending and screening phases to ensure uniformity in size and composition, which is crucial for small-part manufacturing.

Pellets of this size have been proven to enhance the quality of micro-sized products by improving the dispersion of pigments, radiopaque fillers, conductive additives, and lubricants. Because the pellets are smaller and more easily dispersed, the result is a more homogenous blend after additives and colors are introduced. With larger granules, sometimes the consistency can be compromised, leading to color inconsistencies and filler pockets on the surface of the part, resulting in costly rejection levels. 

PEAK has been involved in several design-of-experiments with injection molders and extrusion processors to confirm the success of these micro-pellets in a range of applications, including thin-wall medical device tubing and extra-small molded components, such as those used in electrical, consumer, and industrial products. “These micro-pellets enable automated injection molding and continuous extrusion, free from clogs,” reports Todd Marchand, President of PEAK. “Customers have reported a substantial increase in production yields and a significant reduction in rejects due to these processing improvements.” Additional improvements in filler, additive, and color were reported. These contribute to a reduction in overall production costs and manufacturing flexibility for next generation products. 

Micro-pellet manufacturing is available for virgin resins and compounds, including custom formulations. Formulation development and color-matching services are also available for specialty projects. PEAK is proud to offer development samples through large-scale production batches, with fast turnaround times, typically within 1-2 weeks.

PEAK is continually innovating and is working to offer spherical, underwater micro-pelletization in the future. Currently, strand cut is the primary offering, but customers can expect ongoing advancements in micro-pellet technology as PEAK continues to refine and expand its capabilities.

For more information on this case study or to discuss how PEAK Performance Compounding, LLC can assist with your material needs, please email info@peak-pci.com.

Leave a Comment