A new process is emerging that promises to reduce the cost and speed of oil-molded resin molders by up to 70 per cent.
It’s called invisalign and it is being pioneered by Canadian company Altec Moulds, and it’s expected to be available in the near future.
The company, which has offices in London and Vancouver, says its new method is superior to the current resin-based method because it uses a solvent to remove water, a solvent that can leach into the molding material and degrade it over time.
Invisalign was developed in collaboration with the oil and gas company BP Canada, which is developing a similar process for petroleum products.
According to Altec, the process produces higher quality resin than existing processes because the solvent is designed to be diluted to a lower concentration than the oil, which allows the resin to be kept at a higher temperature for longer.
Altec has been working with BP Canada since 2009 and is currently working with two Canadian companies: Nexen and LyondellBasell.
“This new process does not require the removal of oil or water, and therefore is ideal for the oil-free, oil- and gas-free resin market,” said Altec founder and CEO David J. O’Connor in a news release.
“Invisalign can be used on oil-and-gas-free and petroleum-free material.”
The company says invisaligned processes can be applied on oil, oil sands, and natural gas resin, as well as polymers, plastics, and composites.
It can also be used to make polymers for industrial applications.
The process uses a process called in-situ solvent separation, which removes the water and other impurities from the resin.
It has been in development since 2010, but the process is still in its infancy.
Altekas company hopes to release a commercial version of invis align in 2019, but its initial test batches are not yet in production.
In the meantime, O’Brien says Altec is working on another process that can be incorporated into existing oil and natural-gas resin production lines.
The Canadian company says it has already developed in-process systems for oils and gases.
“Our processes are extremely cost-effective and can reduce the total cost of the product significantly,” said O’Leary.
“These new processes can also reduce costs by up a factor of 10 compared to the traditional method.”
Altec says its technology has already been incorporated into production lines for oil, gas, and coal, and O’Reilly says in the oil industry, in addition to in-silos, the company is developing in-field systems for oil and petroleum products, which can be integrated into existing manufacturing lines.
Altexas technology also appears to be in play in the auto industry.
In a statement, Altec said it has applied for a patent for its in-site systems.
The firm says it expects to be selling its technology by the end of 2018.
“We are confident that in-plant inversion is an industry-leading approach that will improve the productivity and profitability of in-line process technology for oil products and will enable us to accelerate the production of oil products from our in-house oilsands facilities,” said Kevin Poulsen, president and chief executive officer of Altec.
“With in-stage technology we are making progress on our own oilsands platform, which will enable the company to provide our clients with cost-competitive oil products in the future.”
Alteks first in-product process, the Invis Align System, is already in use in a number of facilities in Alberta, including a plant in Fort McMurray that is now producing oil sands tar sands.
Altecs InvisAlign System is a three-step process that combines a solvent extraction, in-place solvent separation and thermal control to remove oil and water from the finished product.
It works well on oilsands, where it can remove as much as 70 per Cent by volume of water, according to Alteqs website.
“The system is an advanced, cost-efficient and efficient way of extracting oil from tar sands and other unconventional oil sands sources, including natural gas,” said Jim Ritchie, vice-president of sales and marketing at Altec Canada.
“It is also highly versatile, enabling a wide range of applications, including in the petrochemical industry.”
In the next few years, Altec says it will be offering the in-office systems to other companies, including other Canadian companies.
Altech, which also uses in-ship processes to process its oilsands product, is also in the process of using its in situ technology to produce more oil.
It is in the final stages of developing its inorganic solvent-based in situ process.
In that process, it uses solvents such as hydrogen peroxide and ethanol