Kuraray’s EVAL group announced it will install a Davis-Standard 7-layer cast coextrusion film and sheet lab line with a Cloeren NanoLayer feedblock and die at its Kuraray Research and Technical Center in Pasadena, Texas. The lab line will provide leaders and innovators in industries as diverse as food and medical packaging, agricultural films, and building and construction with access to pilot scale lines as they seek ever-higher performance and cost efficiencies through the use of specialty materials.

The result of an investment of more than $1,000,000, the lab line will be equipped with five extruders and will be capable of producing cast film and sheet in thicknesses ranging from 1 mil (25 microns) to 60 mil (1,524 microns) in configurations of seven to 21 layers. The line will also have full gravimetric control through a Davis Standard EPIC III control system. Installation will begin in December 2010, and the line will be available for external trials in April 2011.

As a result of this new capability, Kuraray EVAL's existing and potential customers will gain access to innovative process technology and a pilot scale line tailored to produce model film and sheet structures for lab or field application testing. With Kuraray’s support during the design, development and validation process, film and sheet producers will be able to create coextruded composites and measure critical performance barrier properties under a broad set of conditions.

"Our customers will be able to determine the true value and performance of new multiple-layer feedblock designs and save significant amounts of development time and cost for conventional structures," says Robert Armstrong, Kuraray’s director of EVAL technical service.

The new line will complement Kuraray's ability to produce 7-layer blown film and multilayer PET/EVAL barrier containers.

"Our customers will enjoy the convenience of visiting one location that offers both blown and cast coextrusion pilot lab lines," Armstrong says. "They will be able to complete tests of many different materials effectively and efficiently, with confidence in using process data from trials during scale-up. They will also benefit from the barrier and performance testing capabilities we have collocated with our process lab in Pasadena.

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