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Method of and apparatus for manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles meetings

Foreign code F140008014
File No. P11-032EP
Posted date Oct 31, 2014
Country EPO
Application number 12823324
Gazette No. 2732945
Gazette No. 2732945
Date of filing Jul 24, 2012
Gazette Date May 21, 2014
Gazette Date Nov 23, 2016
International application number JP2012068647
International publication number WO2013024669
Date of international filing Jul 24, 2012
Date of international publication Feb 21, 2013
Priority data
  • P2011-177370 (Aug 15, 2011) JP
  • 2012JP68647 (Jul 24, 2012) WO
Title Method of and apparatus for manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles meetings
Abstract (EP2732945)
The present invention relates to means for manufacturing micro-beads (polymer micro-particles) comprising thermoplastic polymer and having the average particle size of 10µm or less, and extending into the nano-range.
An original filament comprising a thermoplastic polymer is passed through an orifice under an air pressure (P1) and guided to a spray chamber under a pressure (P2; where P1>P2).
The original filament having passed through the orifice is heated and melted under irradiation by an infrared beam, and is sprayed in microparticulate form from the orifice by the flow of air generated by the pressure differential between P1 to P2, whereby micro-beads comprising thermoplastic polymer micro-particles having an average particle size of 10µm or less, and even less than 1µm are manufactured.
Scope of claims [claim1]
1. A method of manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34) with an average particle size of 10 micron m or smaller, comprising the steps of: a step in which an original filament (1, 22, 32, 41a, 41b, 41c, 61, 72) comprising a thermoplastic polymer is transferred under P1 pressure using a transfer means, a step in which the original filament (1, 22, 32, 41a, 41b, 41c, 61, 72) passes through an orifice (3, 24, 31, 44a, 44b, 44c, 62, 64, 65) and is lead into a spray chamber (6, 23, 45) under P2 pressure, wherein P1 is a higher pressure than P2, and a step in which the original filament (1, 22, 32, 41a, 41b, 41c, 61, 72) that passed through the orifice (3, 24, 31, 44a, 44b, 44c, 62, 64, 65) in the spray chamber (6, 23, 45) is irradiated using an infrared beam (9, 22, 33, 48, 63, 71a, 71b, 71c, 77a, 77b, 77c) to heat and fuse and is sprayed into microparticles (26, 34) using the gas flow generated by the pressure differential between P1 and P2.
[claim2]
2. The method of manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34) according to Claim 1,
wherein the micro-beads have an average particle size of less than 1micron m.
[claim3]
3. The method of manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34) according to Claim 1,
wherein the original filament (1, 22, 32, 41a, 41b, 41c, 61, 72) is heat treated while the original filament (1, 22, 32, 41a, 41b, 41c, 61, 72) is introduced into the orifice (3, 24, 31, 44a, 44b, 44c, 62, 64, 65).
[claim4]
4. The method of manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34) according to Claim 1,
wherein the original filament (1, 22, 32, 41a, 41b, 41c, 61, 72) has a degree of crystallization of at least 25% according to differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) measurements.
[claim5]
5. The method of manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34) according to Claim 1,
wherein the microparticles (26, 34) and the drawn filament obtained as a byproduct along with the microparticles (26, 34) are accumulated on a filter (28) inside a vacuum chamber.
[claim6]
6. The method of manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles(26, 34) according to Claim 5,
wherein the filter (28) is formed by a conveyer (35, 51) that circulates a filter (28).
[claim7]
7. The method of manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34) according to Claim 1,
wherein the P1 is atmospheric pressure and the aforementioned P2 is reduced pressure.
[claim8]
8. The method of manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34) according to Claim 1,
wherein the infrared beam (9, 22, 33, 48, 63, 71a, 71b, 71c, 77a, 77b, 77c) is carbon dioxide laser beam.
[claim9]
9. The method of manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34) according to Claim 1,
wherein the center of the infrared beam (9, 22, 33, 48, 63, 71a, 71b, 71c, 77a, 77b, 77c) irradiate the original filament (1, 22, 32, 41a, 41b, 41c, 61, 72) within 30 mm of the orifice exit.
[claim10]
10. The method of manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34) according to Claim 1,
wherein the infrared beam (9, 22, 33, 48, 63, 71a, 71b, 71c, 77a, 77b, 77c) irradiate the original filament center within 4 mm up and down along the filament axis direction.
[claim11]
11. The method of manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles(26, 34) according to Claim 1,
wherein the micro-beads subject to a heat treatment at a temperature at or above the softening point and yet at or below the melting point of the thermoplastic polymer.
[claim12]
12. An apparatus for manufacturing micro-beads according to the method of claim 1, comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34), comprising: an original filament supply chamber (4) under P1 pressure containing an original filament transfer means, an orifice (3) positioned in the original filament supply chamber (4) and through which the original filament passes, a spray chamber (6, 23, 45) connected to the original filament supply chamber (4) by the orifice (3, 24, 31, 44a, 44b, 44c, 62, 64, 65) wherein the original filament passing through the orifice is (3) heated and fused using an infrared light beam (9, 22, 33, 48, 63, 71a, 71b, 71c, 77a, 77b, 77c) and is sprayed into microparticles (26, 34) using the gas flow generated by the pressure differential between P1 and P2, a conveyer (35, 51) inside the spray chamber (6, 23, 45) that accumulates the micro-particles(26, 34) accumulated on the conveyer (35, 51), a scraper (36) that separates micro-particles (26, 34) on the conveyer (35, 51) from the conveyer (35, 51) and gathers in a collection vessel, and an infrared irradiation device that radiates the infrared light beam (9, 22, 33, 48, 63, 71a, 71b, 71c, 77a, 77b, 77c).
[claim13]
13. An apparatus for manufacturing micro-beads according to the method of claim 1, comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34), comprising: an original filament supply chamber (4) under P1 pressure containing an original filament transfer means, an orifice (3, 24, 31, 44a, 44b, 44c, 62, 64, 65) positioned in the original filament supply chamber (4) and through which the original filament (1, 22, 32, 41a, 41b, 41c, 61, 72) passes, a spray chamber (6, 23, 45) connected to the original filament supply chamber (4) by the orifice (3, 24, 31, 44a, 44b, 44c, 62, 64, 65) wherein the original filament passing through the orifice (3, 24, 31, 44a, 44b, 44c, 62, 64, 65) is heated and fused using an infrared light beam (9, 22, 33, 48, 63, 71a, 71b, 71c, 77a, 77b, 77c) and is sprayed into micro-particles (26, 34) using the gas flow generated by the pressure differential between P1 and P2, a filter (28) inside the spray chamber (6, 23, 45) that accumulates the microparticles (26, 34) and the drawn filaments formed as a byproduct along with the microparticles (26, 34), and an infrared irradiation device that radiates the infrared light beam (9, 22, 33, 48, 63, 71a, 71b, 71c, 77a, 77b, 77c).
[claim14]
14. The apparatus for manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34), according to Claim 13, wherein the filter (28) contains a vibrator (52).
[claim15]
15. The apparatus for manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34), according to Claim 13, wherein the filter (28) forms a conveyer (35, 51).
[claim16]
16. The apparatus for manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34), according to Claim 12 or Claim 13, wherein the original filament supply chamber (4) is able to work under atmospheric pressure and the spraying chamber (6, 23, 45) is able to work under reduced pressure.
[claim17]
17. The apparatus for manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34), according to Claim 12 or Claim 13, wherein the infrared irradiation device contains mirrors (73, 74, 75, 76) that reflect the same light beam to irradiate the original filament (1, 22, 32, 41a, 41b, 41c, 61, 72) from multiple locations on the original filament (1, 22, 32, 41a, 41b, 41c, 61, 72).
[claim18]
18. The apparatus for manufacturing micro-beads comprising thermoplastic micro-particles (26, 34), according to Claim 12 or Claim 13, wherein the infrared irradiation device contains multiple light sources that irradiate the original filament (1, 22, 32, 41a, 41b, 41c, 61, 72) from multiple locations.
[claim19]
19. Poly(ethylene terephthalate) micro-beads of an original filament , the micro-beads as manufactured by the method of Claim 1, comprising a poly(ethylene terephthalate) type polymer while a degree of crystallinity of the original filament (1, 22, 32, 41a, 41b, 41c, 61, 72) has at least 30% and the average particle size of the micro-beads formed is less than 1 micron m.
[claim20]
20. Poly-L-lactic acid micro-beads of an original filament, the micro-beads as manufactured by the method of Claim 1,
wherein poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) has a degree of crystallinity of the original filament (1, 22, 32, 41a, 41b, 41c, 61, 72) has at least 45% and the average particle size of the micro-beads formed is less than 1 micron m.
[claim21]
21. High density polyethylene micro-beads of an original filament, the micro-beads as manufactured by the method of Claim 1, wherein high density polyethylene has a degree of crystallinity of the original filament (1) is at least 40% and the average particle size of the micro-beads formed is less than 10 micron m.
[claim22]
22. PFA micro-beads of an original filament, the micro-beads as manufactured by the method of Claim 1, wherein PFA (tetrafluoroethylene perfluoroalkyl vinyl ether copolymer) has the degree of crystallization of the original filament of at least 15% and the average particle size of the micro-beads formed is less than 1 micron m.
  • Applicant
  • UNIVERSITY OF YAMANASHI
  • Inventor
  • SUZUKI AKIHIRO
IPC(International Patent Classification)
Specified countries (EP2732945)
Contracting States: AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
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