Dry Silane for XLPE

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Overview

Dry silane is a modified one-step technology for crosslinking polyethylene; it utilizes the porous PE carrier to absorb the vinyl silane cocktail to get the dry, pellet form vinyl silane crosslinking agent masterbatch. One major concern of the conventional one-step liquid process is the necessity of having 1) a precise injection system for the liquid silane blend. and 2) a long extruder (L/D = 30). This equipment is expensive and has high cost of maintenance. Furthermore, the handling of liquid silane mixtures needs care to assure safety.

 1

Dry silane technology was developed to allow the use of conventional extrusion equipment with a solid silane masterbatch. The heart of this technology is the use of porous polymers as carriers for the silane blends. Producers of wire and cable, pipes, film, sheet and injection-molded parts can thus blend dry silane masterbatch with polyolefin pellets. Dry silane masterbatch must be metered through a suitable gravimetric feeding system in order to ensure an accurate dosing of the silane masterbatch. Ideally the feeder should be equipped with separate feeding sections for color masterbatch and base resin. The blend can then be extruded with a conventional extruder, molded or formed, and allowed to moisture-cure.

 2

Benefits to the user of dry silane masterbatch are:

Existed extruder (L/D =24) can be used,

Masterbatch allows use of local base resins, 

Easy to use,

Faster start-up (shorter down-time),

More consistent dispersion,

Flexible, easily tailored for end application,

Larger diameter XLPE extrusions are feasible,

Lower silane consumption can be achieved,

Elimination of screw-slip (no liquid in barrel),

Less scrap.

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