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IBC valve lets more air in the bubble.

A new valve for internal bubble-cooling systems from D.R. Joseph of Arlington, Texas, (previously reported in PT, Dec. '92, p. 14) has already resulted in some impressive benefits for its first customer, a major film processor.

This new valve has worked so well, in fact, that the processor declined to be named for fear of tipping off its competitors.

Intended as a replacement for the butterfly and rotary valves that normally control air flow into an IBC system, the new "bladder valve" relies on a series of steel-encased bladders that resemble airfoils fixed in a horizontal arrangement.

The bladders inflate in order to restrict air flow, but they remain untilted to promote a stable air flow. This way, explains company president Dan Joseph, the valve can still control cooling air flow while in a relatively open position. The new system works with the help of a computer-controlled proportional valve, which inflates the bladders as needed.

The plant manager at the valve's "beta site" installation is already seeing some impressive results from the valve it installed two months ago. A three-layer coextrusion line that formerly was able to produce between 850 and 900 lb/hr using a Joseph IBC system with a rotary valve now runs 1100 lb/hr.

All the other process variables, such as layflat width and film thickness, stayed the same, making the switch a good measure of the valve's performance. The manager of the plant attributes the higher throughput to the valve's ability to increase the IBC's air-exchange capabilities--by as much as 30-35% in this specific case. Film properties, a critical consideration in this application, were unchanged.

So far, the D.R. Joseph's bladder valve is sized for die diameters of 24 in. and larger, but the company plans to extend the range to include smaller dies too.
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Title Annotation:Technology News; internal bubble-cooling
Author:Ogando, Joseph
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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