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#12(118), 2012
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New plastometers from CEAST  #12(118), 2012

The CEAST company, affiliated to Instron group, since 1953 is developing and manufacturing equipment for measuring  physical and mechanical rheological properties of the polymeric materials. Recently the company has upgraded and redesigned its popular line of plastometers

CEAST has developed its first plastometer in 1960. Since then radical (if not to say revolutionary) changes affected all the levels of plastics processing and, correspondingly, the CEAST product range. Being at the peak of solutions, challenging the research laboratories around the world, the company has got additional powerful leap in its development in 2008, after it was acquired by Instron - world-known leader in development of testing machines for various materials, and complemented the Instron’s product portfolio with the CEAST well-known line of Plastics Testing Instruments. Now experts in instrument engineering of already Instron® CEAST persistently work to stay at the cutting edge of plastics processing and production technologies.

Thus, quite recently the company announced the release of the upgraded line of plastometers. The changes mainly affected thermal stability and temperature distribution inside the furnace of plastometer channel, that now comply with the stringent requirements of the new testing standard ISO 1133-2 (2011) for materials sensitive to time-temperature history and/or moisture.
This standard prescribes the maximum temperature deviation from the set value of ± 1 °C with a tolerance along the channel of ± 0.3 °C. Due to the stricter requirements imposed by ISO
1133-2, the devices became more precise, hence reliability and validity of melt flow rate (MFR) and volumetric flow rate (VFR) measurements increased.

Previously there existed quite a long list of the CEAST plastometer models. Many of them differed only by the presence or absence of certain options. Now the manufacturer has optimized the plastometer range and assigned the following models notation:
 - MF10 – the entry level (most simple) model to measure MFR;
 - MF20 – versatile model, suitable both for research and development, measures MFR and VFR;
 - MF30 – a more advanced (as compared with MF20) model, which intrinsic (built-in) features are either optional for MF20, or unavailable. The latter include, for instance, a high resolution
load cell for controlled compacting of the material prior to the start of the test, with a maximum force of 750 N. Besides, depending on the application in hand, both models can be extended with additional modules, including a die plugging device to prevent material flowing during pre-heating, a nitrogen blanket device for testing hygroscopic materials, an acid-resistant version for chemically aggressive materials and the CEAST VisualMelt Software for storage, analysis and graphical presentation of results.
 - MF50 - the state of the art in terms of melt flow testers for MFR and MVR procedures, with single-weight and multi-weight testing capabilities. Outstanding features include titling oven for easy inspection and cleaning, pre-installed set of masses with automatic selection, user friendly touch-screen display with PC-embedded electronics and on-board software. 

All the new plastometers are designed in more stringent, light gray, noble colors and have an attractive appearance.

For models MF20 (option) and MF30 (standard) the so-called integrated Manual Mass Selector
simplifies configuration and testing, and ensures outstanding operator safety. With minimal physical effort (via special stud-bolt), there is no heavy mass handling required and the configuration of the machine always remains the same. The standard set of masses enables the following test conditions: 0,325 (mass of piston) – 1,2 – 2,16 – 3,8 – 5 – 10 – 12,5 – 21,6 kg (masses tolerance ± 0,5% according to international standards). Masses handling requires weight lifter - option for MF20, standard for MF30. Special sets of masses are available on request.

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