By Liz White, UT staffMidland, Michigan-Dow Chemical Co. has upgraded its facilities for development of thermoplastic polyurethane. The chemicals group has added a new mini-line in Freeport, Texas and also introduced a new programme for production-scale development using its manufacturing assets in LaPorte, Texas. Transition to these new facilities is underway and will be completed by the first quarter of 2006, permitting “broader and faster TPU development,” said a Dow statement. For example, the mini-line increases productivity and flexibility when compared to previous systems, Dow’s statement continued. This line will also be used “to develop and confirm the fundamentals of new technology and product platforms,” the firm added According to Dow, the sample size from this small-scale line is adequate for customer testing. Final scale-up for large customer samples will be carried out on the production lines. “This improvement in our scale-up process allows new formulations to be predictable and consistent, yielding higher value for Dow and its customers,” said Kirk Anderson, senior research & development leader for Dow’s Specialty Copolymers business, in the Dow statement. “
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