The Benefits of Lab-Scale Compounding

The demand for lightweight, more durable materials with low (VOC) emission or other properties has driven continual innovation within the polymer and plastics industry to develop new materials for applications across many industry sectors including aerospace, automotive, construction, consumer goods, medical devices or electronics. Compounding plays a key role in polymer material and compound development where the goal is to enhance or alter the properties such as physical, optical, aesthetic or thermal characteristics of the base material, or to produce materials with specific qualities through compounding with a range of fillers, reinforcers and additives.

Polymer development using industrial-scale compounding lines to check and verify each new compound is expensive and time consuming. Instead, laboratory-scale extrusion compounding offers an efficient approach supporting the development of new and improved materials as it can be used to generate suitable quantities of test samples quickly which can then be evaluated for mechanical properties, rheological performance, emission of volatiles or leaching or migrations studies as appropriate for the application of interest. In this way, the development of novel materials, such as the current rapid interest in biopolymers or bioplastics, can be accelerated to meet consumer and industry demands.

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