Blown Film Extrusion Introduction

Blown Film Extrusion Introduction
Blown film extrusion is a technology that is the most common method to make plastic films, especially for the packaging industry. The process involves extruding a tube of molten polymer through a die and inflating to several times its initial diameter to form a thin film bubble. This bubble is then collapsed and used as a lay-flat film or can be made into bags. Usually polyethylene is used with this process, and other materials can be used as blends with these polymers. A diagram of a polyethylene chain is shown in Figure 1 to the right.
Background Theory on Polymers

In the cooling step of blown film extrusion, the amorphous, transparent melt crystallizes to form a translucent, hazy, or opaque film. The point where opacity begins in the bubble is known as the frost line. 
Fig 1: Model of polytheylene chain frompolyethylene Wikipedia article.The frost line height is controlled by several parameters: the air flow, film speed, and temperature difference between the film and the surroundings. Properties of the film, such as tensile strength, flexural strength, toughness, and optical properties, drastically change depending on the orientation of the molecules. As the transverse or hoop direction properties increase, the machine or longitudinal direction properties decrease. For instance, if all the molecules were aligned in the machine direction, it would be easy to tear the film in that direction, and very difficult in the transverse direction.

The Film Blowing machine Process

Fig 2: Schematic of set-up from User:J.Chiang.

Typically, blown film extrusion is carried out vertically upwards, however horizontal and downward extrusion processes are now becoming more common. Figure 2 shows a schematic of the set-up for blown film extrusion. This procedure consists of four main steps: The polymer material starts in a pellet form, which are successively compacted and melted to form a continuous, viscous liquid. This molten plastic is then forced, or extruded, through an annular die. Air is injected through a hole in the center of the die, and the pressure causes the extruded melt to expand into a bubble. The air entering the bubble replaces air leaving it, so that even and constant pressure is maintained to ensure uniform thickness of the film. The bubble is pulled continually upwards from the die and a cooling ring blows air onto the film. The film can also be cooled from the inside using internal bubble cooling. This reduces the temperature inside the bubble, while maintaining the bubble diameter. After solidification at the frost line, the film moves into a set of nip rollers which collapse the bubble and flatten it into two flat film layers. The puller rolls pull the film onto windup rollers. The film passes through idler rolls during this process to ensure that there is uniform tension in the film. Between the nip rollers and the windup rollers, the film may pass through a treatment centre, depending on the application. During this stage, the film may be slit to form one or two films, or surface treated. Advantages Blown film generally has a better balance of mechanical properties than cast or extruded films because it is drawn in both the transverse and machine directions. Mechanical properties of the thin film include tensile and flexural strength, and toughness. The nearly uniform properties in both directions allow for maximum toughness in the film.
Blown film extrusion can be used to make one large film, two smaller ones, or tubes that can be made into bags. Also, one die can make many different widths and sizes without significant trimming. This high level of flexibility in the process leads to less scrap material and higher productivity. Blown films also require lower melting temperatures than cast extrusion. Measured at the die opening, the temperature of cast film is about 220 C, where as the temperature of blown film is about 135 C. Furthermore, the cost of the equipment is approximately 50% of a cast line.

Blown Film Extrusion Disadvantages Blown film has a less effective cooling process than flat film. Flat film cooling is done by means of chill rolls or water, which have significantly higher specific heat capacities than the air that is used in the blown film cooling process. The higher specific heat capacity allows the substance to absorb more heat with less change in the substance temperature. Compared to cast film, blown film has a more complicated and less accurate method to control film thickness; cast film has a thickness variation of 1 to 2% versus the 3 to 4% for blown film. The resins used for casting typically have a lower melt flow index, which is the amount of polymer that can be forced through a standard die in 10 minutes according to a standard procedure. The melt flow index for cast film is about 5.0 g/10 min where as for blown film it is about 1.0 g/10 min. Consequently, the production rates for cast film are higher: cast film lines can reach production rates of up to 300m/min where as blown film lines are usually less than half this value. And finally, cast film has better optical properties, including transparency, haze, and gloss.

Common Problems Air entrapment between film layers and rollers – this may cause film scratching or wrinkling, or processing problems when winding up the film due to reduced friction. Possible solutions to this is using a vacuum to remove entrapped air or by using winding rolls with a diamond shaped groove in the rubber cover to increase surface area and decrease amount of entrapped air in the film. Large output fluctuations from the die – this causes thickness variations, and can be prevented by keeping the extruder clean and by using more consistently shaped pellets in the extruder. Melt fractures – these appear as roughness or wavy lines on the film surface, and can be eliminated by lowering the viscosity of the polymer melt. This can be done by increasing the melting temperature or by adding an internal lubricant to the material composition. Thickness variations in the film – this can be avoided by centering the die in the extrusion line before every run, adjusting the air speed of the cooling system, or by using heated die lips. Die lines on the surface of the film – this defect reduces the aesthetic appeal of the film, reduces optical properties, and weakens mechanical properties such as tear strength. This can usually be avoided by routinely cleaning the inner surfaces of the die and by refinishing scratched or roughened flow surfaces. Gels – these defects are small, hard globules encapsulated in the film or stuck on the film surface and reduce the aesthetic appeal of the film and cause stress concentration points which may result in premature failure. These are caused by overheating to the point of polymer degradation in the die, and can therefore be avoided by cleaning the inner surfaces of the die on a regular basis. Optimization of the Process Coextrusion One way to improve the line efficiency of blown film extrusion is to implement coextrusion. This is the process of extruding two or more materials simultaneously through a single die. The orifices in the die are arranged such that the layers merge together before cooling. This process saves time because it extrudes two or more layers at the same time, and it provides a method with fewer steps to produce multilayer films. The production rate for a coextruded multilayer film of three layers is about 65m/min, and the production rate for a single layer of blown film is about 130m/min. Thus, in order to produce 10 000m of a three layer multilayer film, it would take almost 4 hours using a single layer blown film process, and only 2 and a half hours using the coextrusion process. Furthermore, the film produced from the single layer process would require an extra step to glue the layers together using some sort of adhesive. Coextrusion is the least expensive means of producing layered films and the coextrusion system is capable of quick changeovers to minimize production line down time.

Minimizing the Melt Temperature
The efficiency of blown film extrusion can be improved by minimizing the temperature of the polymer melt. Reduction of the melt temperature causes the melt to require less heating in the extruder. Normal extrusion conditions have a melting temperature at about 190 C despite the fact that the temperature of the melt only needs to be about 135 C. However, it is not always practical to decrease the melting temperature by that much. By decreasing the melt temperature 2 to 20 C, the motor load can be decreased by about 1 to 10%. Furthermore, reduction of the melt temperature causes less need for cooling, so there is a reduced use of the cooling system. Moreover, removing heat from the bubble is usually the rate-limiting factor in this extrusion process, so by having less heat in the polymer to remove, the rate of the process can be increased, thus yielding higher productivity. A way to maintain the melt temperature at a minimum is to choose an extruder that is matched to the specific processing conditions, such as the material of the melt, pressure, and throughput.

Heated Extrusion Die Lips
Typically, solutions to melt fractures involve decreasing the output or increasing the melt temperature to decrease the shear stress in the extruder. Both of these methods are not ideal because they both reduce the efficiency of the blown film line. Heated extrusion die lips can solve this problem. This targeted heating method allows for film extruders to be run at higher production rates with narrower die gaps while eliminating melt fractures. Direct heat is applied to the surface of the polymer melt as it exits the die so that viscosity is reduced. Therefore, melt fractures, which are caused when trying to extrude too much of the polymer at one time, will no longer act as a limiting factor to increasing the production rate. Furthermore, heated die lips use less energy than increasing the melting temperature because only the surface of the melt is heated and not the bulk of the liquid. Another benefit of using heated die lips is that thickness variations can be controlled by adding heat to certain areas along the die circumference to make the film at that position thinner. This would ensure that no excess material is used.
Determine how much energy each of these processes can save per given volume of material. 

Above article from www.appropedia.org

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How Yoga and Meditation Reduces Depression and Other Mental Health Issues

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that disciplines the mind and body through a series of poses known as asanas. Each asana is held for a period of time with the aim of strengthening the mind as well as the body, due to the concentration required to hold the pose. Fans of yoga have found that they are able to transfer this skill to other areas of their life, particularly when they are feeling anxious because they are able to slow down their breathing and also their heart rate.

Yoga is also about connecting with yourself buy dibutylone insight into your inner self. When depression strikes, it is said that the person has lost the connection to themselves. Devotees of yoga claim that it has amazing inner healing powers and because of this, yogis (those who practice yoga) are able to deal with depression and other mental health problems better than those who do not practice the discipline. Yoga and meditation go hand in hand, and aside from their numerous health benefits, they are a viable alternative to drugs for those people who suffer from depression and other mental health problems.

Studies have found that yoga is helpful in cases of depression, anxiety, stress, bipolar conditions and other mental health problems. In the UK, yoga is being offered as a form of alternative therapy on the NHS. In New York, yoga is offered as a treatment by psychiatrists to their patients. Meditation is an excellent way to help calm and focus the mind as well as deal with negativity and replace them with positive thoughts and a happier mindset. Research has found meditation to be highly effective in treating depression and preventing severe bouts of depression from returning.

Because of the side effects of many mental health drugs, yoga is increasingly being seen as a popular alternative to harsh drugs. For example, yoga is deemed an effective treatment for those suffering from schizophrenia. Yoga works to calm the body and hence the mind due to the steady and controlled breathing that is required in order bath salts drug for sale the postures. This notion of being completely at one with yourself is seen as one of the keys to being truly happy from within.

Meditation is one of the practices of yoga, and involves using controlled breathing together with inner reflection and focusing on an object or a particular set of thoughts. Meditation that is geared towards helping mental health problems involves dealing with negative thoughts and feelings which can affect a person’s confidence and self-esteem. They also use meditation as a means to reach within themselves and attain inner peace and harmony, so that they are essentially at one with themselves. 

7 Ways To Save When Shopping Outlet Stores

I read something the other day that I thought was very simple but very profound. It was that there are only two ways to get rich. It was that you could either earn more money or save more money. Of course, there are many ways to do both. For example, if you want to earn more money you could do something to sharpen your skills such as getting a degree or an advanced degree or you could take on a second job. There are also numerous ways to save money and one of them is to shop at outlet stores. However, before you jump in your car and drive off to one of them, there are some things that you need to know. For example, there are some retailers who actually manufacture items specifically for their outlet stores and these may be of lower quality than what you would find in their regular stores.

Take a good look at the goods

According to one study I read recently, about 82% of products that are sold at outlets were manufactured exclusively to be sold there. This means that clothing and goods can vary a lot in quality so be sure to examine them carefully. In some cases, items might have tags saying “outlet” or “factory line.” It may be more difficult to spot others. Before you buy, check to see if the item feels lighter or seems to be of a lower quality

Check out prices before you shop

Once you’ve chosen an online store where you want to shop, go on the retailer’s website and look at the prices listed there. Outlet stores try to make their discounts seem as good as possible with signs suggesting that prices are maybe 65% off. However, according to Consumer Reports the average savings are nearer to 38%. If you compare the prices listed on the retailer’s website to what you see at the outlet store, you’ll have a much better understanding of how much you’re really saving.

Shop off-peak times

If you shop at off-peak times such as Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can avoid congestion and shelves that have been picked over. You should also shop early in the day. If you can’t do this, then avoid early afternoon shopping and wait until after dinnertime.

Checkout their retail stores first

If there are sales going on in your local mall or if you have some special coupons, shop it before you go to the outlet stores. You might find that you can pay about the same at a mall store as you would at the outlet store but get better quality

Look for outlet center circulars and coupons

Go online or call your outlet center to see if there are any coupons or circulars that would make for additional savings. You might also find that senior and military discounts are available.

Don’t be afraid to leave without buying anything

Outlet malls tend to be placed in locations that are not close to metropolitan areas. For example, our outlet mall is about 40 miles from our downtown. This means that going to the outlet mall could be a full-day trip for you. In this case, there is always the temptation to buy something just to justify the time, energy and gas you spent coming and going from the outlet mall. This can lead to buying stuff you don’t really need or spending more money than you would otherwise. Don’t buy something or spend more money just to justify the trip.

Shop off-season

You can often get the best deals at outlet stores by shopping off-season. Buy your winter clothing in the summer and summer items in the winter. This can save you even more. And be sure to understand the store’s return policy. If you don’t want to have to make another 20 or 30 mile drive back to the store, be sure to ask about its return policy. Many of the regular stores won’t take returns from outlet stores so it’s important to know if this is the case.

How Reebok Outlet Stores Drive Sales High

Have you been to Reebok outlets lately? Wow! You have no idea what you are missing out on. Reebok designers are at their best at coming up with trendy fashion designs so as to keep up with the needs of their customers. Three words describe their latest releases: “amazing footwear collection.” Rebook International Limited, a subsidiary of German sportswear giant Adidas, also produces apparel, and accessories. But, in this article we focus more on how they are making huge sales of shoes.

Reebok outlet stores have a unique way of marketing their footwear. There are the Zigtech outlets and the easy tone outlets. Each of the two types distribute a distinct collection of shoes. The zigtech outlets distribute shoes of the zigtech design. The unique feature of these shoes is that they all have a zigzag shaped sole.

On the other hand, the easy tone outlets sell footwear designed by EasyTone technology. According to reebok.com, designing two balance pods under the heel and forefoot of the shoe creates a natural instability with every step, which forces the muscles to adapt and develop tone, hence the term “easy tone”

Reebok Shoe Company has cut a niche for itself online too. To make it easier for you to find out where to buy your favorite sneakers, Reebok has an online application with all Reebok outlet stores countrywide. Yes, all you have to do is go to http://www.rbkoutlet.com, give your location or zip code then you will get the names and addresses of Reebok outlet stores in that area. Let’s say you are new in Texas and you feel you just can’t go hiking without a pair of Reebok sneakers. At http://www.rbkoutlet.com, select TX as your region and hit enter. You will get a list of outlets such as Tanger outlet center on 301 Tanger Drive or Katy Mill Mall, 5000 Katy Mills Circle. This feature has been improved on Reebok’s official website reebok.com where one gets to even select the distance that he or she would like the service to find the store.

Reeboks online store has an online application called yourReebok. It lets you get to create your own customized design of your Reebok shoe. Reebok also promises to deliver your customized shoes in two weeks! Pretty cool stuff, don’t you think?

Nothing seems to detract this multibillion shoe company from expanding even across the Atlantic. In 2008 Reebok opened up an online store in UK and France and guess what? Next year, they were in Germany, home to Adidas, the same company that helped start Reebok! Because of this huge number of outlet stores, both on physical and online outlets, as well as the increasing popularity of its brands, it’s undoubted that Reebok may soon become the top shoe manufacturing company in the world.

All About Birkenstock Outlet Stores

There are many different locations of Birkenstock Outlet Stores. Birkenstock foot wear has been around since the 1980’s. Birkenstock has a wide variety of styles to choose from. Each outlet mall offer various price ranges for this brand. There are different ways to locate these outlet shopping centers.

Birkenstock outlets are located in different cities and countries. They are found in every state around the United States. Birkenstock is also popular in Germany where the brand originated from and are used as house slippers.

This brand offers things like arch supports, sandals, socks, boots, shoes and clogs. They can be classified as casual wear and also come in business wear. One can find footwear protect-ant specifically created for this brand at the outlet locations. The outlets offer availability in many different colors as well. Some of the colors include blue, black, green, white, red and the traditional beige. They stores offer shoes to fit women, men and children of all shapes and sizes.

If the foot wear has a cork foot bed then it is necessary to keep the shoe away from extreme heat that stem from direct sunlight, fire and radiators. When or if the shoes get wet, let them air dry away from any direct heat. Foot bed replacement is available at various outlets.

The prices man vary on this product in each outlet shopping locations. Some locations may offer deals of the day. One can save from fifteen percent all the way to ninety percent by shopping at the outlet locations. To save even more money, there are also clearance racks available at outlet stores. On the website outlets, deals of the day are another option to pinch pennies. At any rate, the sole purpose for shopping at these locations is to save and saving is what one will be able to do.

Outlets stores are constantly updating their inventory and stock. There are always new and older items to be found when trying to save money through an outlet location. Their is a wide variety of inventory to hunt and peck through.

An array of Birkenstock outlet stores are located online. Some of these sites even offer free shipping and handling on specific styles of shoes. Just type in the key words and begin to surf. One may also find entries in the local yellow pages on this brand. Several local outlet malls that are located within driving distance contain an outlet store.

Stretch Your Wallet By Shopping In Outlet Stores

Fall officially starts today and with that comes the thought of starting the school year. If you find yourself needing to upgrade your wardrobe, but have limited budget, you might be interested to know that you can get new clothes for yourself or your kids without having to spend more than your planned budget. The answer simply lies in the fact that one should know where and when to shop and if you are not a “fashionista” but prefer comfortable clothes, then shopping in an outlet store can stretch your money more than visiting a regular brick and mortar shop.

Best Places to Buy Clothes

If you are really on a tight budget and cannot afford to spend much, then one place that you can visit is the dollar store where everything costs about a dollar or more. You can check out clothes, especially kid’s clothes, which can be cheaper than going into a retail store in the mall. Outlet stores or warehouse outlets are one of the best places to head to if you are looking for affordable and yet quality clothes. More often than not, clothes being sold in these stores are from last season’s line and since they are no longer in season, one can get them at a reduced rate.

Some clothes may also be damaged or have not passed the quality standard, which reduces its value and thus are removed from the retail stores. Some damages might not be visible to the naked eyes such as loose threads or excess buttons or misalignment that can be remedied by manual repair. Some pieces might also be one-piece items left and the company wants to sell it at a reduced price.

These outlet stores are available in several locations; however, if you are far away and don’t want to spend on gas and travel miscellaneous, then you can also opt to shop online. Some companies also set up virtual storefronts that sell products at a reduced price. Additionally, one can avail of free shipping if the buyer has reached a certain amount indicated by the store in orders.

These are just some of the best places to shop for one’s clothes at these times of the year. Shopping from these places might require more time than usual as one might have to examine the clothes closely for any damages or not be able to find one’s size, but overall, there are plenty of clothes to choose from and so stretching one’s budget is a breeze and one can get more clothes for the same prices compared to buying regular priced items.

Chicos Outlet Stores

Chicos is a fantastic women’s clothing store which is at the forefront of stylish chic fashion. The brand tirelessly keeps up with emerging trends and styles in an ever changing world of fashion.

In a world of many brands the Chicos name stands out by not following every current style but instead injecting their own style and ideas but still in keeping with a fresh and unique look.

The brand was founded in 1983 in Sanibel Island, Florida, which is relatively new considering the foothold in the market it now enjoys. Chicos stores can be found in 48 US states as well as Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands.

If you are visiting a Chicos Outlet store then you can find the same great styles and experience that you would in a regular store. The quality is the same and you can even find additional lines that are not in the regular stores.

Of the 600 Chicos stores in the world around 60 are outlet stores. Before visiting an outlet mall check that they have a Chicos store. It is also worth checking to see if they have a sale on, meaning even bigger bargains on top of the outlet prices.

Outlet stores are seeing a huge rise in popularity due to the current economic climate. Buying online is great and convenient however shopping at an outlet mall means that everything is in one place and you can try on clothing before you buy.

There are many outlets all over the country, many small boutique stores and several large ones like miromar outlets in Florida which has over 100 stores!

Look out for your nearest Chicos store and get stylish chic fashion for less.

How to Find Makeup Outlet Stores

Makeup Outlet Stores can be fabulous places to find makeup bargains. Yet cosmetics companies don’t seem to do much to advertise or market these sources for discontinued cosmetics and overstock makeup.

Cosmetics Company Outlet or CCO Outlet

This is the outlet store that gets the most people talking. It’s more widely known than most other brands. CCO Outlet is owned by Estee Lauder and that company owns most of the make up brands that many of us adore when we visit specialty stores like Sephora and Ulta. In fact, Estee Lauder owns MAC Cosmetics in addition to others like Clinique, Bobbi Brown and Smashbox, and has owned Stila and some other high end luxury cosmetic brands.

If you’re looking for a MAC makeup outlet, CCO is your place. They have a decent selection of discontinued MAC products, and are often a source for limited editions that you may have missed out on the first time around. The Cosmetics Company Store also carries a wide variety of hair and body care products in addition to fragrances and colognes. Estee Lauder also owns Bumble and Bumble, Tommy Hilfiger, and they even own La Mer though I’ve never seen that at any CCO!

Look to outletbound.com to see if there is a CCO in your region.

Bare Escentuals Makeup Outlet Store

I was recently out at a Premiere Outlet store in Las Vegas, NV. Much to my surprise, I saw a Bare Escentuals Outlet Store! I didn’t even know such things existed. The selection was small and the discounts weren’t anything to get too excited about. But a bit of research shows that there are 3 more of these makeup outlet stores in the USA. Find more information at outletspotter.com. These seem to be located in Indiana, Texas and Virginia.

Neutrogena Cosmetic Company Outlet

I’m not sure if this exists anymore. I’m told there was one of these near the Los Angeles Airport but when i tried to track it down further, I couldn’t find it. I can’t seem to find it using Google either.

Lancome The Company Outlet

Lancome doesn’t get nearly as much press for their outlet store as Estee Lauder does. But if you can find one, Lancome’s outlet store tends to have better prices and steeper discounts than The Cosmetics Company Outlet. L’Oreal owns Lancome, and something like 500 more brands, but you won’t find drug store brands at the Lancome Outlet. I’ve seen Kiehl’s and some other products that didn’t capture my attention too carefully. But the outlethas fabulous prices on Lancome.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in your own region, there are many online makeup outlet stores that carry Estee Lauder, Lancome Urban Decay, Stila, Smashbox, and many other brands you love.

Coach Outlet Store – How to Buy a Discount Handbag

There are several ways to buy a handbag with affordable pricing, with keeping in mind that leather handbags are so much more expensive that a consumer is most of the time afraid of to pay that price for such a small item.

Although it’s not that important to pay a high price for accessories like handbags or purses, due to the same reason most of consumers prefer to pay less for a minor defected hand bag or purse, this helps them in saving a good amount of money. Apart from that there are hundreds of consumers who love to pay more for perfect and quality accessories. And due to this reason you will always observe a high sell of leather handbags and purses at all outlet stores.

Now the answer to the question How to buy a Purse from an outlet store is that first find out what you want to buy, and what interests you. Before buying the highly expensive product, just check out the interior and exterior and satisfy your self, as it will help you not to be sucked in after buying the expensive item. Moreover if you are buying the product online, then don’t forget the use of Coach Outlet Coupons which helps in saving a good amount of money. Similarly never go for a single outlet store but first have a look of the available stores, then go for comparing their products and prices, and then finally buy the product. With this long route you will be satisfied with what you have bought. Suppose you are moved towards the short cut, like go to a store, and buy a product, yes surely this will save your time at the moment but contrary you pay more, second you are not sure of the product you paid for, because you didn’t compared any other product with your own product. Thus you get in trouble, so short cut gives you un-satisfaction.

Last but not the least; choose a product that suits your personality. Color of the hand bag must be a contrast of your personality. Dress matching colors are mostly preferred, so before buying a purse, keep in mind that which color of dress you mostly wear, and which color suites you.

A human body is actually a decoration piece, now it’s upon you, how you decorate it. For females, handbag is what can play a vital role in giving a fashionable and stylish look.

Why an Outlet Store Is Better Than the Internet

The Internet is great right? We can find everything we want at a click of a button and these days we take that for granted. It’s all there, type in your favorite online store or do a Google search, perhaps try eBay and you will find hundreds of potential places to spend your hard earned money. Many stores have sales and get you to give them your email address so that they can get your business again and again.

So far so good, right? So why am I about to tell you that Outlet Stores are a better place to shop than the web?

Lets start with some of the bad points about the web: The biggest has to be the fact that you cannot try anything on. Receive the items in the mail after trusting a photograph and simply hope that the clothes fit. If not then its a trip to the post office to mail that package back.

Another problem is security, sure i can trust big sites like amazon etc but what about smaller sites, do they have a secure connection? are they legit? where are they based?

There are many scam stores or stores that sell fake goods, when dealing with somebody remotely how can you actually trust them?

Now compare all this to the humble factory outlet. You can walk in and try clothing on, see if it fits, flip through the rails and find hidden items. You can certainly trust the store and trust the brand, everything is accountable and you can certainly take things back if you have a problem. You have help in the form of a sales assistant and a human face to speak to.

Sure there are some bad points like older lines but all these factors make outlets a great place to shop.

Both outlet stores and online stores have sales yet an outlet store is usually on sale all year round.