Technologies
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WARF: P130088US01

Controlling the Size and Shape of Polymer Micropellets


INVENTORS -

Tim Osswald, William Aquite

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a method to form pellets from a polymer melt using high-speed gas.
OVERVIEWPolymer-based pellets are utilized in plastics manufacturing. In particular, very small micropellets and powders are in special demand for processes like selective laser sintering (SLS), which requires particles of specific size and shape to build prototypes.

Controlling these properties is challenging. Previous approaches have been expensive, or work only for some polymers. Such problems have hindered the manufacturing and implementation of a variety of micropellet types.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a micropelletizing process for controlling the size and shape of polymer particles.

In the process, a thin melt of polymer material is extruded through a nozzle. The stream is fractured as it exits the nozzle using a blast of high-speed gas that generates drag force and breaks up the stream into droplets. The individual droplets cool and solidify into pellets. Factors like temperature, speed and extrusion rate are used to control droplet formation.
APPLICATIONS
  • Plastics processing
  • Laser sintering
  • Polymer-based parts and medical devices
KEY BENEFITS
  • Droplets have consistent size and shape.
  • Process can be tuned to control droplet properties.
  • Droplets can be repeatedly formed and solidified. 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For More Information About the Inventors
Related Intellectual Property
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at emily@warf.org or 608-960-9842.
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Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.