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New head aiming for footwear, filters

By David Reed, UT EditorLondon-CTM UK Ltd, Barnsley, UK-based supplier of high-pressure meter/mix equipment, is testing the first production model of its new mixhead which, it suggests, could change current methods for shoe sole manufacture as well as meeting the original requirements for making seals in filter systems.The new head uses a concept of Shane Wootton, CTM’s founder and current director, and was made by the firm’s Korean partner DUT Korea Co. Ltd. The high-pressure unit offers self-cleaning performance combined with low output, and could change shoe-sole production methods, Wootton said, adding that Nike has “expressed an interest in the CTM/DUT approach.” The new unit-designated the Micro-Macro high-pressure head-is presently being tested at CTM’s factory in Barnsley, UK, fitted to one of its Varithane S50 high-pressure metering units. It is processing urethane systems supplied by Elastogran UK Ltd to make filter seals for a Canadian firm to evaluate, said Dave Anderson, who is responsible for CTM’s sales and marketing. Although reluctant to name the firm, he said the filter maker wants “to participate in the development of our novel dispense technology,” indicating that the firm plans to visit CTM “to gain first-hand knowledge of this.”The head is 440 mm long and 100 mm wide, and weighs 15kg, Anderson continued; it offers an output range from less than 1g up to 100g at ratios between 1:5 and 5:1, he added. The unit already incorporates some changes from the original one shown by the firm, he continued. Most notably, “the shape of the dispense piston has changed … and provides improved flow which, in combination with an inner coating, prevents build-up of any polyurethane foam. “These features, in combination with the re-designed extruder plate, allows the mixing head to inject reacting polyurethane under controlled conditions at pressures of several hundred bar,” Anderson added.Tests of the first production head have already resulted in “useful information which has been fed back to DUT in Korea,” the sales specialist continued, adding that, following CTM’s planned visit to the DUT plant in Korea at the end of August/early Sept, a further head will be manufactured.”

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