By Liz White, UT staffDow Chemical Co. has developed an improved drying and packaging process its Pellethane thermoplastic polyurethanes which it said can "significantly reduce customer cycle times and product colour shifts." The group has invested in a new desiccant dryer for pre-treating transfer air for the drying system at it's TPU plant in LaPorte, Texas. "By allowing TPU pellets to transfer from product dryers to packaging and blending systems in desiccated air, Dow is able to reduce the moisture content of finished pellets by as much as seventy to eighty percent," said Tom Spicer, TPU production leader for Dow, in a company statement. Dow has also converted to new foil packaging for TPUs in bags, and a foil liner for boxed TPUs. The low moisture vapour transmission rate of these new packagings "minimises the rate at which DOW TPU pellets can absorb moisture during storage," the company said. These enhancements may provide significant benefits for Dow's TPU customers: one user reported a new drying cycle time of 3-4 hours, down from 3-4 days, said Dow. Other TPU users with colour-sensitive applications have seen colour changes reduced because of quicker drying."Across our entire portfolio, including TPUs, we are focused on the delivery of product innovations and technology solutions that matter to our Elastomer customers," said Julie Fasone Holder, vice president, Dow Specialty Plastics and Elastomers, in the Dow statement. "The investments we are making in our TPU business are but one demonstration of our flexibility to apply specialized resources to help customers grow their markets."