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Managing Editor  | June 2017

UMass Lowell researchers receive funding to improve quality of plastic products

Professor David Kazmer from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell Department of Plastics Engineering was one of three teachers to be awarded funding from the Technology Development Fund to continue a research project and bring it closer to market, according to a report on the school website.



Prof. David Kazmer’s new stainless steel plastics extrusion screw
measures 3.5 feet long and 1.5 inches in diameter. (Edwin L. Aguirre)


Kazmer has designed a new extrusion screw that has the potential to improve product consistency and energy efficiency in plastics manufacturing.


The report explained, “Unlike a conventional screw design, in which the resin pellets melt slowly in the screw’s deep and widely spaced channels, the screw that Kazmer and his graduate student, Clemens Grosskopf, have developed, called a ‘fractal screw,’ divides the melt into narrow channels, cutting and mixing the materials for increased throughput and consistency.”


The stainless steel screw is 3-1/2 feet long and 1-1/2 inches in diameter. The funding will help Kazmer study the commercial feasibility of the design.


“With these technology development awards, we are recognizing innovation across our five campuses and investing in discoveries with the potential to contribute to the economy and change lives,” UMass President Marty Meehan said. “These awards highlight faculty excellence and underscore the role of a public research university to advance knowledge and spur entrepreneurship and economic development.”


Faculty members from the UMass campuses in Boston, Amherst, and Worcester also received awards from the fund.

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