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New PTFE Production Process for High Value Applications

Periodic Reporting for period 4 - ProPApp (New PTFE Production Process for High Value Applications)

Período documentado: 2017-11-01 hasta 2018-10-31

PropApp (New PTFE PROduction Process for High Value APPlications) is our new project for the construction of a complete extrusion plant for expanded PTFE tape (so called E-PTFE). We have developed a Prototype of Paste Extrusion Equipment and we are building a complete line for the production of E-PTFE films and tapes. The plant will include all the machineries for the complete process from the preparation station of powder to make the pre-forms, to the paste extruder, stretching and sintering machine, cutting machine for tapes and take up of the final product.
As well as the improvement in the machinery designed for the production line, the development of process control will be based on the concept of Industry 4.0 consequently, it is expected an improvement in the power consumption efficiency and up to 50% decrease in materials cost, as 50% less material will be needed for the same final surface. Our new product will benefit existing markets and allows penetration into additional markets – aerospace/automotive, medical and petro-chemical. In addition, an increase of the number of employees is expected so as to increase the E-PTFE production
During the project we have work on the development and design of machinery, and in the manufacturing and assembling in the workshop. About publicity and dissemination of the project, we conducted operations to bring knowledge of the project to our existing customers. Was made a market screening for potential customers and potential development of the project. Thanks to the market screening at the fairs we attended, we have expanded our customer base.
In addition, during the second period it was tested another P.T.F.E. sample (Chemours), and our technical office focused on the study and design of pilot plant parts. The pilot plant parts built in the second period were:
- RAM extruction
- Drying -vaporizing
- Biaxial stretching and sintering oven
- Cutting area and packaging

The production plant itself, following the various improvements implemented during the project, demonstrates very high production capacities. The computerized control of the process allows remote management of all the production and automates the programmability of the procurement and production / delivery times. The studies made to be able to intervene remotely allow us to give immediate feedback to the customer in order to have the plant as soon as possible and not waste important time for production.
As for the ProPApp PTFE tapes, they had a good performance, compared with standard PTFE tapes, in terms of mechanical and dimensional stability and from manufacturing point of view, they represent a possible improvement for increasing productivity. Most of the cables taped with PTFE showed a high quality after laboratory tests and showed a possible ability to be proposed on the market and to compete with material already on the market.

On the other hand, the implementation of the commercialization plan has shown to be a great opportunity for the entire MS team involved at various levels in its preparation. It allowed us to record the work done and to plan in detail the communication-marketing actions that MS intends to carry out for the commercial launch of PropApp.
Concerning dissemination activities, the feedback received from the various fairs and exhibitions and from various customers we have interfaced with during the project has been very positive. We are also very satisfied with the machinery that has enabled us to conclude the first sale of a bi-extrusion head, thus creating a new component specifically designed for the client thanks to the experimentation carried out with the ProPApp project. We will certainly continue in this direction by updating the customers involved in the PTFE with the new developments certain to achieve the goals set in the coming years.
Many of the impacts that we believe to get, coincide with objectives to be achieved. The state of technology, at this time, leads us to think to begin production from mid-2017.
In a socio-economic level, there are definitely positive impacts, particularly in the four listed fields (aerospace/automotive, medical and petro-chemical). These will benefit the industry and the final user.
RAM Extruder
Propapp department
Preparation of PropAPpp preform