MeltPrep offers a gentle process to transform powdery thermoplastic materials in homogeneous specimens, without altering the source material's characteristics due to degradation. The transformation is obtained with a rapid Vacuum Compression Molding (VCM) cycle and consists of three steps:
The tool is a multi-piece construction which comprises a vacuum tight sample chamber, release foils and a piston.
The vacuum tight sample chamber is formed by the main body, ground plate and lid.
The release foils fully enclose the sample to prevent sticking issues after the preparation cycle. The sample chamber is adaptable in height, thus, its dimensions perfectly fit to the loaded amount of material and no cavities occur.
The piston is actuated due to atmospheric pressure when vacuum is applied. This smart concept enables a compact design without the need of a hydraulic or mechanical actuated press.
The VCM tool offers a variety of different geometries. The cross section is defined by the VCM tool and the height of your sample is easily adjusted by filling weight.
Dimensions from 10-25 mm in diameter and 0.2-5 mm in height
2D cross sections specified by customers
High quality samples can increase the reliability of your measurement results. VCM samples are not prone to thermal or mechanical degradation. Moreover,
almost no additional mixing occurs. The only convective term occurs during fusing and is very small compared to extrusion or injection molding.
Thus, isotropic structures or multiphase systems are preserved at the best. Selected Applications are
Rotational rheometry is applied to investigate the viscoelastic behavior of a substance.
A sample is placed in a measurement geometry and deformed under controlled conditions.
The required force is measured and of that the material characteristics are derived.
This method averages the properties for the entire sample which is loaded on to the rheometer.
Thus, in homogeneities can cause severe fluctuations within the measurements.
The animation shows typical artefacts as the can occur with poor sample preparation in comparison with sample prepared by the MeltPrep method. The polymer Soluplus® from BASF SE is prone to thermal degradation and is hygroscopic. However, the MeltPrep approach enables reliable measurements.
Check out the peer-reviewed publication
Injection molding is an emerging technology in the field of pharmaceutical technology. In many cases, the incorporation of several additives like plasticizers, pigments, taste masking agents or anti-tacking agents makes the interactions between formulation and product properties more complex. Thus, often a wide range of experimental runs are required to tailor the product properties to a certain target profile. Each experimental run requires material which is lost during the fine tuning of process parameters before the actual samples can be taken or the material losses within the processing equipment e.g. the filled sections of an extruder screw. These losses can be minimized by simplifying the way of preparation. By the reduction of processing steps and minimized volumes the losses can be significantly reduced by VCM. In addition, VCM samples can be produced with constant geometries which further eliminates fluctuations of analysis results due to varying geometries
Temperatures up to 240°C
PTFE Coated Fabrics
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CEO & Founder
Daniel studied Chemical Engineering at Graz University of Technology.
During his PhD Thesis he recognized the demand for a less harmful sample preparation approach for thermoplastics.
Pharmaceutical formulations, in particular, may show rapid thermal degradation and lead to measurements containing errors.
Daniel simplified consisting preparation approaches such as hot pressing and injection molding and reduced the design to it's essentials. Vacuum compression molding (VCM) was born in beginning of 2014. The VCM tool has grown in two years to a thought out and simple solution to prepare best-quality samples starting from powders.
MeltPrep is a cooperate spin-off of the Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH (RCPE). The spin out took place in January 2016. The RCPE is located in Graz, Austria and was founded in 2008. It has more than one hundred employees and is split into three areas:
Area III: process and manufacturing sciences
Interdisciplinary projects are the RCPE’s everyday business. This fruitful environment led to four spin-offs until 2015. For more information visit www.rcpe.at.
MeltPrep is supported by the academic business incubator, Science Park Graz GmbH. The Science Park is a non-profit organization supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit), the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) AplusB Programm and the Styrian Business Promotion Agency (SFG).