Purging Compounds for Film Extrusion

Blown film extrusion & cast film extrusion are two of the most challenging processes.  With the volume of resins used in cast and blown film, contamination issues add up in a hurry leading to large amounts of scrap. Whether you’re making bubble wrap, battery separators for automotive, or plastic bags, Asaclean® has a high-quality purging compound designed for your specific needs.  

Here’s why Asaclean® Purging Compounds are the preferred choice for the best cast and blown film extruders worldwide.

Film Extrusion

Why Asaclean® is the Best Choice for Blown & Cast Film Extruders

When we hear from film extruders, they usually are asking for help with a handful of different processing issues. If you’re reading this section, then you’ve probably experienced some of these struggles firsthand:  

  • You struggle to hold a bubble while purging.
  • You have black specks or gels ruining product after changeovers.
  • You struggle displacing your purge or previous production resin. 
  • You likely have trouble cleaning the edges of the die, and battle to keep your melt pumps & static mixers free of contamination.  
  • Your changeovers are taking too long, and scrap rates are creeping higher.
  • Your clear applications have streaking near the edges of the die.
  • You must tear down and manually clean sections of your extrusion lines.

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You have complicated setups that often have multiple extruders and frequently process difficult resins like HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, PMMA, Nylon, mPE, EVOH, etc. with multiple layers, and various additives and colorants.  These factors compound the contamination issue.  

Many blown and cast film extruders reluctantly accept these headaches as inevitable and just part of the job. 

We have good news. It doesn’t have to be that way.

53%

On average, Asaclean®’s blown film extrusion customers save 53% on reduced scrap & downtime.


1. Asaclean®’s Products Will Solve Your Issue

Blown film and cast film processors don’t need to experience contamination and lengthy changeovers. We offer Mechanical Purging CompoundsChemical Purging Compounds, and Purging Concentrates designed to tackle your unique set of processing challenges.

Our PLUS Grade Concentrate & Chemical Purging Compounds excel in your most difficult blown & cast film extrusion applications.

“Teardowns are not a big deal anymore since we started using Asaclean®.  It has drastically reduced the screw pull and replace time.  Asaclean® cut our screw push time from 12 hrs to 4 hrs and reduced our costs by 60%.”
Ron , Production Manager, Blown Film Extruder, Packaging, Southeast

Once we identify your needs, we will help you choose the best grade of Asaclean® for you.

For film extrusion, Asaclean® grades:

  • Hold a bubble while purging
  • Effectively clean the edges of the die
  • Excel in tight clearances
  • Perform in clear applications without haze or streaking
  • Are easily displaced without gels or residue
  • Remove carbon contamination & black specks 
  • Clean the screw & barrel thoroughly
  • Minimize the need to manually tear down and clean
  • Easily purge resins like HDPE, LLDPE, LDPE, PMMA, EVOH, Nylon, etc.
  • Dramatically reduce scrap and defect rates
  • Achieve faster and easier color and material changes
  • Facilitate easier screw pushes
  • Clean multiple lines
  • Seal your machine during shutdowns to promote easier start-ups

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With the world-class R&D team of Asahi Kasei in Japan, Asaclean® offers incredible cleaning performance coupled with expert technical & product support. 

For most extrusion applications, we usually recommend Asaclean®’s N-Series line of Chemical Purging Compounds or PLUS Grade Purging Concentrate. 

Asaclean®’s Chemical Purging Compounds are blended products that also match your processing temperatures, your resins, your MFR’s, and your processing needs.  But unlike Mechanical Purging Compounds, they clean using a heat-activated chemical reaction that performs best in low-flow and low-pressure environments.  Chemical Grades are usually recommended for extrusion because they foam and expand to effectively clean dies or other areas where contamination can hang up.  If you experience color streaking, these are a great option for you.

Our PLUS Grade Purging Concentrate is a cleaning masterbatch that super-charges your own production resin.  It is easily displaced because it matches your production resins’ MFR, does not require changing processing temperatures, and its loading ratio can be adjusted to optimize your cleaning power.  PLUS also effectively cleans out dies and has been very successful across a variety of extrusion applications.

For screw pushes, sealing, color/material changes, and black speck/carbon removal, there are different solutions.  Work with your Asaclean® Purging Expert to find the best solution for you.

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“My company switched to Asaclean®about 3 or 4 years ago. It literally cut the cleaning time of our extruders in half!”
April P. , Master Trainer, Extrusion, Medical, Wisconsin

2. Our Team Understands the Needs of Film Extruders

Asaclean® Technical Service Representative offer a unique level of service not found in other areas of the industry.  Many of our Purging Experts used Asaclean® as customers themselves before joining our team. 

Your point-of-contact isn’t a salesperson. They are a processor.

With over 200 years of combined processing experience, we understand your issue and can offer solutions.  We’ve seen it all and are here to help you.

When you work with Asaclean®, you have access to free ongoing consultations with a subject matter expert.

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“We use Asaclean® and I’ve never seen anything quite like it—it removes everything we want to remove and doesn’t stay behind to contaminate our next run.”
Robert R. , Director of Material Development, Extruder, General Industrial, California
58%

On average, Asaclean®’s cast film extrusion customers save 58% on reduced scrap & downtime.


3. We Will Train Your Processors to Be Asaclean® Purging Experts

Asaclean® Purging Compounds are incredibly easy to use, but you will only see your best results when you follow our recommended purging procedures.  Cast and blown film extrusion offer unique challenges, but the correct purging procedures can easily help standardize your changeover times and cleaning.

When it comes to purging compounds, less is more.  

We do not want you to use more Asaclean® than is necessary to achieve your best performance.  If you use more than we recommend, your cost savings will drop.  

We want you to get the absolute best performance using the least amount of Asaclean®.  That is why we place such a premium on training your team.  

All molders are dealing with slightly different challenges, so it’s important that you follow the correct instructions.  

That’s where we come in.

When you select Asaclean®, we will diagnose your issues, build out a free Purge Program, and train your shifts on how to use Asaclean® to get the best results.

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We will help you trial our product, provide in-person or virtual training, answer any questions, and be available however necessary to help your team succeed.

Sometimes keeping good labor can be difficult.

Don't worry. As you find new hires, we'll train them as well.

“Asaclean® support goes over and above. Training is a part of that. it's great to have our rep in front of people giving training, because if five pounds works, ten pounds is not better. Training is key when you're using these products, and I feel that if I called my Asaclean® rep for help at midnight he would probably answer.”
John S. , Manufacturing Manager, Medical Molder, Northwest

4 Easy Purging Tips for Film Extrusion

1. Use a Grade of Asaclean® That Can Hold a Bubble in Blown Film

If you’re a blown film processor, you understand the importance of maintaining a bubble on your lines.  Many plants avoid purging during changeovers because losing a bubble can be costly and time-consuming.

Blown film extruders who go from color to color without purging can lose hundreds or thousands of pounds of scrapped resin on every changeover and experience changeovers lasting between 4 and 12 hours.  Even if your resin cost is low, this is still making a huge impact on your plant’s efficiency, output, and profitability.

Asaclean® offers products like UF2 Grade that hold the bubble extremely well for on-the-fly purging.  Investing in a good purge will drastically reduce your waste, allowing you to not only cover the cost of the purge, but also increase your production capabilities and output.  As a bonus, Asaclean® cleans your machine without needing to change process conditions. 

2. Don’t Use Production Resin for Changeovers or to Purge Your Extruder

Many cast film extruders that we talk to look at the price of the production resin and tell us that they’re okay taking a little longer on changeovers because the cost of resin is cheap. Over time you will have contamination issues that will bring production to a screeching halt.  Production resins are not designed to clean machines and are not a substitute for commercial purging compounds. 

“Asaclean® is working exactly the way we hoped it would. We have been able to cut down our scrap by 30 percentage on one job alone. The techs seem to like it for the color changes. Your product has given great value to our organization.”
Steve W. , Production Supervisor, Extrusion, General Industrial, WI

Purging your extruder with the next resin or regrind is time-consuming, wasteful, and ineffective at removing color and carbon contamination.  While you might think you’re running good product, a few things are happening that will cause much bigger headaches down the road.

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First, although you don’t see it happening, your resins are layering within your screw, barrel, and die.  Eventually those layers will break off and cause contamination issues that will require a teardown. 

Second, your output will decrease.  Many processors call our team looking for answers about why their output dropped.  Usually, this has to do with conditions changing within the screw and barrel. 

Third, you are unnecessarily wasting time on changeovers, and production resins are too expensive to justify hundreds or thousands of pounds of scrap.

The cost of production resin isn’t so cheap anymore, and supply-chain issues make commodity and engineering resins much harder to come by.  You can’t afford to waste production material. It’s scarce and costly.

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3. Seal Your Machine with Asaclean® During Every Shutdown

Aside from regular and preventative purging, use a heat-stable purging compound like Asaclean NCR Grade for temporary or extended shutdowns and sealing, especially over weekends or holidays.

During a shutdown without purge, oxidation occurs which causes contamination, delaying startups and resulting in extended machine down. NCR creates an “air-tight” time and scrap environment in the barrel and promotes further cleaning during the shutdown.

4. If You Have to Push Screws, Use EX Grade to Reduce Downtime

Removing your screw from your machine without a purge requires great effort, and the cleaning itself takes hours of manual, tedious scrubbing. You must remove the layers of resins or contaminants that have accumulated around the screw. This excessive downtime is certainly affecting your company’s bottom line. If you’re running until failure or running until you experience severe contamination, EX Grade is a solution that can make your life much easier in a hurry. 

HubSpot Video
“EX Grade is an unbelievable product for pulling screws for our maintenance department.  It helps us get back up and running in a matter of minutes.”
Vincent Zirkle , Blue Ridge Molding, Plant Manager, Consumer Goods

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