Principal investigator: John Coulter

University: Lehigh University

Industry partners: Noortek LLC

Noortek LLC has been a Pennsylvania based company since 2008, with an interest in becoming a manufacturer. Noortek is interested in collaborating with Lehigh University to develop an innovative mechanism to allow an extrusion machine to extrude multi-profiles of different volumetric geometries simultaneously. This will reduce the number of machines required to manufacture different extrusion products and save on production costs, time, raw materials, and energy consumption. Also, this system will enhance production while maintaining the same operating costs, which will lead to a lower product cost. The successful development of this system will lead to the start of a manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania to produce and sell this technology to all extrusion machines makers. This will add approximately 25 new high quality manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania.

A similar technology for cold-runner injection molding (modular melt modulation system) was developed by the owner of Noortek, Dr. Majed Alsarheed, as part of his doctoral studies at Lehigh University several years ago. This technology was verified and validated through testing with a number of polymers. The goal of this partnership is to expand this technology into extrusion, which is a bigger market with more significant benefits.

Professor John Coulter will partner with Dr. Alsarheed to lead the project, with a full-time graduate student included as the primary Pennsylvania Manufacturing Fellow. In addition, two undergraduate students will be involved each semester. The project will involve the complete design, analysis, development, testing, and optimization of this new technology.