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LightManufacturing developed solar-powered solution for heating rotational molds

October 10/2011

(PlasticsToday) -- The company LightManufacturing (San Luis Obipo, CA) predicts its "Solar Rotational Molding" (SRM) systems, launched in June 2011, will "transform rotational molding from a smokestack industry that emits over 3.6 billion lb of greenhouse gasses a year into a sustainability model citizen - and one with unusual economic advantages."

The company has trademarked the name of the SRM process and says it has filed U.S. and global patents on the technology. SRM relies on concentrated solar thermal energy to replace the fossil fuel heat sources used in traditional rotational molding. A bank of computer-controlled mirrors reflects sunlight onto a rotating hollow mold, which heats to several hundred degrees in seconds, says the company, and melts the plastic inside. The mirrors adjust their positions as the sun moves across the sky, moving from mold to mold.

LightManufacturing will sell turnkey SRM systems to rotomolders and license its technology to other companies and development agencies, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The firm targets the solution for both the developed world and emerging markets where energy resources are limited and economic development is a challenge.

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