ICE Europe 2023 – Continuous film casting with high-precision drying system

16.02.2023 As a manufacturer of industrial process systems, IPCO Germany GmbH (Fellbach, Germany), will present the production and quality benefits of its steel belt-based film casting systems and its Venturi drying system at ICE Europe 2023.

An IPCO film casting machine.
© Photo: IPCO
An IPCO film casting machine.

The IPCO film casting process uses a steel belt to transport a layer of liquid product through a series of carefully controlled sections. This involves heat and mass transfer in the evaporation process or a controlled phase separation process in a precipitation section.

Highly efficient, continuous production

Once these processes have been completed, the solid formed or transformed product is removed from the belt. At this stage the product will be either in final or intermediate form; the latter requiring further processing such as post drying, leaching or stretching. Key benefits include ultra-efficient continuous production and the ability to cast very thin films to fine tolerances or producing microporous membranes of a quality unattainable by any other method.

High-precision Venturi drying technology

Specifically designed for film casting applications, IPCO’s innovative Venturi drying system delivers significant improvements in product quality while also enhancing production efficiency. A slot die applies the liquid product on the steel belt. The solvent – aqueous or organic – is evaporated quickly, leaving the end product almost free of tension. Drying starts right after casting the liquid on the steel belt, minimising skin formation. Evaporation is induced by heating the steel belt and the solvent vapours are removed without the drying air touching the sensitive product surface. This technology is most beneficial for low boiling solvents and slow-moving conveyors.

Pilot plant for system assessment and product development

At the IPCO Productivity Center in Fellbach near Stuttgart, a film casting line with a Venturi dryer module and a conventional impingement dryer section is available for customer trials. Water- or solvent-based casting solutions can be processed on a width of up to 500mm on this system, which also has a winding and unwinding unit.