Melt flow testers are mainly designed and developed to determine the MFR and MVR of molten polymer. The MFR stands for melt flow rate and the MVR stands for melt volume rate. Melt volume rate multiplied by the melt density of the material in the melted state gives melt flow rate. Melt flow rate (MFR) measures the viscosity of molten thermoplastic polymer based material in definite time interval and under certain temperature and load conditions (shear stress). Thus the melt flow rate is the well-known property of thermoplastic polymer which is measure using the melt flow tester. The melt flow rate is given as the mass of thermoplastic polymer material, in grams, that is extruded in 10 minutes. Therefore, the melt flow rate is given as a mass per unit time and mass volume rate is expressed as volume per unit time. These tester provides the easy understanding of the behavior of the polymer for various processing techniques. So that they can be can be used in several standard machines under certain limitations based on the ability of flow of used material. Melt flow rate is also measure of a molecular weight. If melt flow rate is high then molecular weight is low. The melt flow tester is made up of a cylindrical container that is surrounded and wrapped by a heater coil. To reduce the loss of heat, an insulation material is applied on outer periphery of heater which can control automatically through a process control box. This testing equipment also contains a piston head, to applied standard weight and dies to deposit the materials.
This testing process includes weighing the mass of a plastic that flows from the instrument over a certain timed interval i.e. 10 min and at a fixed temperature which is about 230°C. This process can repeated for more than 3 times and the average values are then considered as melt flow rate. These testing are carried out with sustainable testing standards, such as ASTM D1238 and ISO 1133. Thermoplastic materials can be evaluated using the melt flow index method of analysis. The materials which are evaluated to determine the MFR and MVR are polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene, polycarbonate, and others.
In order to fulfill sustainable plastics processor’s quality standards, the large number of plastic processors are using melt flow tester instruments to evaluate incoming material and test finished products. Thus the melt flow rate and melt volume rate values are important for the production process and the final inspection. Furthermore, the melt volume rate provided by melt flow tester is a measure of the melt density of the material in g/cm³. Melt volume rate is an important property because its value is different than the solid-state density that is generally stated on the data sheets by the material supplier. Therefore, the melt flow tester are largely demanded by the material supplier and the product developer. Also in several countries the acceptance of ISO 1133 and ASTM D1238 standards for polymer processing is highly increased due to the strict regulations associated with it. That results in increasing demand for ISO and ASTM standard based melt flow testers. These factors can mainly drives the melt flow tester market in forecast period. And the growing demand for automated and compact melt flow testers can lead to design melt flow testers with various options that makes equipment more automatic. This will acts as an opportunity for the melt flow tester market. However, the high cost factor associated with melt flow tester equipments can hampers the market growth. In spite of this, the growing adoption of advance packaging techniques will expected to create ample opportunities for manufacturers in this market.
The melt flow tester market can be bifurcated on the basis of test parameter, mode of operation, test weight, end-user and geographical regions. By test parameter, melt flow tester market can be further divided into melt flow rate (MFR), melt volume rate (MVR), multi weight tests, and others. Melt flow rate (MFR) test parameter segment consider for the major shares of the melt flow tester market. In terms of modes of operation, the melt flow tester market can be segmented into automatic, semiautomatic, and manual. By test weight, the melt flow tester market can be segmented into 0.325 – 1.2 kg, 1.2 – 2.16 kg, 2.16 – 3.8 kg, 3.8 – 5 kg, 5 – 10 kg, 10 – 12.5 kg, 12.5 – 21.6 kg. By end-user, the melt flow tester market is fragmented into product developer, flexible packaging and films, plastics and resins, quality control, testing services, research and education. Furthermore, the melt flow tester market can also be segmented according to region into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa and South America.
The melt flow tester market is highly fragmented with number of companies operating in the segment. Players of melt flow tester market are looking forward to increase their production by designing more automatic equipments and make it available in affordable price range. Some of the key players engaged in melt flow tester market include various manufacturers such as Illinois Tool Works Inc., Ray-Ran Test Equipment Ltd., Cometech Testing Machines Co., Ltd., Saumya Machineries Pvt. Ltd., Hefei Fanyuan Instrument Co. Ltd., Aimil Ltd., Beijing Jinshengxin testing machine Co., Gotech Testing Machines Inc., Testing Machines, Inc., Kaiser Technic, and Presto Stantest Private Ltd. among others.
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