Your Experienced Resource for Polymer Devolatilization
NFM is your best resource for reliable polymer devolatilization technology and equipment. Championing 40 years of proven twin screw polymer devolatilization technology, NFM continues to pursue advancements in residuals minimization, contained & recoverable waste streams, and broadening the breadth of successfully devolatilized polymers and rubbers. In the field of polymer devolatilization, NFM holds an impressive array of experience and accomplishments that includes:
- Patented multi-stage venting
- Rear venting
- Counter-current and co-current stripping
NFM’s new polymer devolatilization products include:
- Streamlined preconcentration systems that maximize output and quality of solution polymers
- Large-scale processing techniques for extrusion drying of elastomer solutions
More than 40 years ago, NFM was the first manufacturer to commercialize twin-screw polymer devolatilization of reactor solutions with 6-inch lines for devolatilizing acrylic and styrenic polymers from 50 percent solids. Utilizing our world class pilot facility, NFM is constantly engaged in the development of new generations of polymer devolatilization equipment and process advancement.
The Advantages of Twin-Screw Polymer Devolatilization
- Capable of Handling Many Viscosities
- Contained and Recoverable Waste Systems
- Short Residence Time
- Fast Changeovers
- Minimal Thermal History
- Efficient Heat Transfer
- Narrow Residence Time Distribution
- Efficient Surface Renewal
The Advantages of an NFM Twin-Screw Extruder
Proprietary Two-Stage Heat Transfer System: Dual-stage heat transfer system prior to the flash stage allows a single flash to be used for solutions with <30% solids and maximum process temperatures of <140°C.
Large Free Volume Contains Foaming Melts: NFM’s WE Series counter-rotating, non-intermeshing screw design has the largest free volume capabilities of any twin-screw extruder manufacturer for containing foaming melts (typical of 30- to 50-percent solvent concentrations). This extra free volume also means that we can provide longer residence time under each vent reducing tendencies for vent flow and overall better performance and operability.
Large Vents Up to 6 D Long by 1 D Wide: Our extruder design offers longer, wider vents, allowing vapor velocity to be lowered and the entrainment of the polymer to be reduced accordingly. Larger vents also mean higher vapor removal capability, due to low velocity when removing large amounts of solvent and extra residence time under vacuum removal of the final parts per million of solvent.
Downward Screw Rotation Resists Vent Fouling/Flow: Our design allows the barrel to be open for a vent over a full diameter directly over the center of the screws (and wider in some cases). The screws’ rotation acts to pull polymers down in the vents, thus resisting vent fouling or flow.
- Viscosity Range: 5,000-5,000,000 centipoise @ 100 reciprocal seconds, 20-80 Mooney
- Free Solids Content: 30 percent and higher to the extruder
- Temperature Control: Temperature is controlled by screw design, screw speed and barrel temperature. The use of water stripping may also provide some cooling capacity.
NFM Machine Capacities
Process Development & Pilot Facilities
NFM has taken a comprehensive approach to the devolatilization process in order to assure performance in each stage of the process from the reactor to the finished pellet or crumb. NFM has in house expertise in concentration systems, twin screw extruders, and specialty pelletizing systems for elastomers.
A world class pilot facility is an essential part of the technology development.
NFM has a Class 1 Div 2 pilot plant in which to demonstrate the solution devolatilization of polymers with feed concentrations between 6% and 70%. Feeding rates of up to 400 kg/hr have been demonstrated from 25% solids.
The Pilot plant has been continuously upgraded since its opening in 2004 and includes capabilities which are truly unique in North America. The pilot plant is of sufficient size that it is about the largest scale that would be used for piloting the solution devolatilization process. At the conclusion of a trial, the process is ready for scale up.
Examples of Major Process Development Projects:
Put NFM to work on your next polymer devolatilization challenge. Call us at 330-837-3868, or initiate a quote today.