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Linde advances gas injection moulding with the help of carbon dioxide

26 January 2016

The Linde Group has announced the results of its first plastics series production using the novel Plastinum GIM C gas injection moulding system.

Plastic door handles for refrigerators made using Plastinum GIM C system at Engel Fromenbau

Plastinum GIM C gas injection moulding (GIM) technology uses carbon dioxide (CO2) instead of the more commonly used nitrogen (N2) to deliver significantly improved cooling capacity. The system was jointly developed by Linde’s Gases Division and German high pressure equipment specialist, Maximator.

Following a pilot installation at moulded part manufacturer, Engel Formenbau und Spritzguss GmbH, for the series production of high quality plastic parts, the technology has been shown to reduce cycle times by up to 36 percent.

Increasingly demanding efficiencies in plastics production has prompted the search for quicker cooling in the manufacturing process. With CO2’s higher density, greater thermal capacity and expansion cooling ability during de-pressurisation as against N2, it allows the manufactured part to cool much more quickly, delivering substantially better efficiency.

The core of the new technology is a CO2 compressor control module for precise pressure regulation and a dedicated injector optimised for CO2.

“The combined gas technology expertise of Linde and Maximator allowed us to actually convert an existing N2-based GIM process to handle the CO2 with minimum modifications” says Andreas Praller, a senior application expert at Linde Gases Division. “It resulted in the process switchover taking less than four weeks, resulting in minimum downtime for the customer.”

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