Blown Film Extrusion Introduction

Blown Film Extrusion Introduction
Blown film extrusion is a technology that is the most common method to make plastic films, especially for the packaging industry. The process involves extruding a tube of molten polymer through a die and inflating to several times its initial diameter to form a thin film bubble. This bubble is then collapsed and used as a lay-flat film or can be made into bags. Usually polyethylene is used with this process, and other materials can be used as blends with these polymers. A diagram of a polyethylene chain is shown in Figure 1 to the right.
Background Theory on Polymers

In the cooling step of blown film extrusion, the amorphous, transparent melt crystallizes to form a translucent, hazy, or opaque film. The point where opacity begins in the bubble is known as the frost line. 
Fig 1: Model of polytheylene chain frompolyethylene Wikipedia article.The frost line height is controlled by several parameters: the air flow, film speed, and temperature difference between the film and the surroundings. Properties of the film, such as tensile strength, flexural strength, toughness, and optical properties, drastically change depending on the orientation of the molecules. As the transverse or hoop direction properties increase, the machine or longitudinal direction properties decrease. For instance, if all the molecules were aligned in the machine direction, it would be easy to tear the film in that direction, and very difficult in the transverse direction.

The Film Blowing machine Process

Fig 2: Schematic of set-up from User:J.Chiang.

Typically, blown film extrusion is carried out vertically upwards, however horizontal and downward extrusion processes are now becoming more common. Figure 2 shows a schematic of the set-up for blown film extrusion. This procedure consists of four main steps: The polymer material starts in a pellet form, which are successively compacted and melted to form a continuous, viscous liquid. This molten plastic is then forced, or extruded, through an annular die. Air is injected through a hole in the center of the die, and the pressure causes the extruded melt to expand into a bubble. The air entering the bubble replaces air leaving it, so that even and constant pressure is maintained to ensure uniform thickness of the film. The bubble is pulled continually upwards from the die and a cooling ring blows air onto the film. The film can also be cooled from the inside using internal bubble cooling. This reduces the temperature inside the bubble, while maintaining the bubble diameter. After solidification at the frost line, the film moves into a set of nip rollers which collapse the bubble and flatten it into two flat film layers. The puller rolls pull the film onto windup rollers. The film passes through idler rolls during this process to ensure that there is uniform tension in the film. Between the nip rollers and the windup rollers, the film may pass through a treatment centre, depending on the application. During this stage, the film may be slit to form one or two films, or surface treated. Advantages Blown film generally has a better balance of mechanical properties than cast or extruded films because it is drawn in both the transverse and machine directions. Mechanical properties of the thin film include tensile and flexural strength, and toughness. The nearly uniform properties in both directions allow for maximum toughness in the film.
Blown film extrusion can be used to make one large film, two smaller ones, or tubes that can be made into bags. Also, one die can make many different widths and sizes without significant trimming. This high level of flexibility in the process leads to less scrap material and higher productivity. Blown films also require lower melting temperatures than cast extrusion. Measured at the die opening, the temperature of cast film is about 220 C, where as the temperature of blown film is about 135 C. Furthermore, the cost of the equipment is approximately 50% of a cast line.

Blown Film Extrusion Disadvantages Blown film has a less effective cooling process than flat film. Flat film cooling is done by means of chill rolls or water, which have significantly higher specific heat capacities than the air that is used in the blown film cooling process. The higher specific heat capacity allows the substance to absorb more heat with less change in the substance temperature. Compared to cast film, blown film has a more complicated and less accurate method to control film thickness; cast film has a thickness variation of 1 to 2% versus the 3 to 4% for blown film. The resins used for casting typically have a lower melt flow index, which is the amount of polymer that can be forced through a standard die in 10 minutes according to a standard procedure. The melt flow index for cast film is about 5.0 g/10 min where as for blown film it is about 1.0 g/10 min. Consequently, the production rates for cast film are higher: cast film lines can reach production rates of up to 300m/min where as blown film lines are usually less than half this value. And finally, cast film has better optical properties, including transparency, haze, and gloss.

Common Problems Air entrapment between film layers and rollers – this may cause film scratching or wrinkling, or processing problems when winding up the film due to reduced friction. Possible solutions to this is using a vacuum to remove entrapped air or by using winding rolls with a diamond shaped groove in the rubber cover to increase surface area and decrease amount of entrapped air in the film. Large output fluctuations from the die – this causes thickness variations, and can be prevented by keeping the extruder clean and by using more consistently shaped pellets in the extruder. Melt fractures – these appear as roughness or wavy lines on the film surface, and can be eliminated by lowering the viscosity of the polymer melt. This can be done by increasing the melting temperature or by adding an internal lubricant to the material composition. Thickness variations in the film – this can be avoided by centering the die in the extrusion line before every run, adjusting the air speed of the cooling system, or by using heated die lips. Die lines on the surface of the film – this defect reduces the aesthetic appeal of the film, reduces optical properties, and weakens mechanical properties such as tear strength. This can usually be avoided by routinely cleaning the inner surfaces of the die and by refinishing scratched or roughened flow surfaces. Gels – these defects are small, hard globules encapsulated in the film or stuck on the film surface and reduce the aesthetic appeal of the film and cause stress concentration points which may result in premature failure. These are caused by overheating to the point of polymer degradation in the die, and can therefore be avoided by cleaning the inner surfaces of the die on a regular basis. Optimization of the Process Coextrusion One way to improve the line efficiency of blown film extrusion is to implement coextrusion. This is the process of extruding two or more materials simultaneously through a single die. The orifices in the die are arranged such that the layers merge together before cooling. This process saves time because it extrudes two or more layers at the same time, and it provides a method with fewer steps to produce multilayer films. The production rate for a coextruded multilayer film of three layers is about 65m/min, and the production rate for a single layer of blown film is about 130m/min. Thus, in order to produce 10 000m of a three layer multilayer film, it would take almost 4 hours using a single layer blown film process, and only 2 and a half hours using the coextrusion process. Furthermore, the film produced from the single layer process would require an extra step to glue the layers together using some sort of adhesive. Coextrusion is the least expensive means of producing layered films and the coextrusion system is capable of quick changeovers to minimize production line down time.

Minimizing the Melt Temperature
The efficiency of blown film extrusion can be improved by minimizing the temperature of the polymer melt. Reduction of the melt temperature causes the melt to require less heating in the extruder. Normal extrusion conditions have a melting temperature at about 190 C despite the fact that the temperature of the melt only needs to be about 135 C. However, it is not always practical to decrease the melting temperature by that much. By decreasing the melt temperature 2 to 20 C, the motor load can be decreased by about 1 to 10%. Furthermore, reduction of the melt temperature causes less need for cooling, so there is a reduced use of the cooling system. Moreover, removing heat from the bubble is usually the rate-limiting factor in this extrusion process, so by having less heat in the polymer to remove, the rate of the process can be increased, thus yielding higher productivity. A way to maintain the melt temperature at a minimum is to choose an extruder that is matched to the specific processing conditions, such as the material of the melt, pressure, and throughput.

Heated Extrusion Die Lips
Typically, solutions to melt fractures involve decreasing the output or increasing the melt temperature to decrease the shear stress in the extruder. Both of these methods are not ideal because they both reduce the efficiency of the blown film line. Heated extrusion die lips can solve this problem. This targeted heating method allows for film extruders to be run at higher production rates with narrower die gaps while eliminating melt fractures. Direct heat is applied to the surface of the polymer melt as it exits the die so that viscosity is reduced. Therefore, melt fractures, which are caused when trying to extrude too much of the polymer at one time, will no longer act as a limiting factor to increasing the production rate. Furthermore, heated die lips use less energy than increasing the melting temperature because only the surface of the melt is heated and not the bulk of the liquid. Another benefit of using heated die lips is that thickness variations can be controlled by adding heat to certain areas along the die circumference to make the film at that position thinner. This would ensure that no excess material is used.
Determine how much energy each of these processes can save per given volume of material. 

Above article from www.appropedia.org

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Utilize The Stock Market To Achieve Research To Help Broaden Your Company

Organizations must ensure they take some time to be able to do marketing research routinely and, most of all, anytime they will wish to broaden the business. Carrying out the right research might help the organization recognize more about the present marketplace along with precisely what consumers are trying to find as well as precisely what they are ready to buy. This can help them to determine whether a new idea they have will probably be lucrative, or if it’s something that they should skip over for a brand-new notion.

Anytime a business is ready to achieve research into potential products or perhaps into a new industry they will wish to expand to, one of the main approaches to accomplish this would be to evaluate the different stock market shares that are offered right now. They’re going to wish to have a look at organizations that are currently in the business they will plan to extend to, or perhaps within the identical industry they are if perhaps they are intending to just broaden within the exact same industry. The data they can get from the stock market as well as the original site might help them to determine if there may be any room for them to be able to extend in this industry or if perhaps there’s any way they are able to top the competitors through their particular items. They can receive a feeling for if it’s likely to be monetarily a good idea to go through with the plan as it presently stands.

The company will almost certainly want to do some other research as well, however this is likely to be able to provide them with a feeling for the financial situation needed in case they do expand to the new industry or more in their particular industry. Considering the opposition and their own stocks at that time may supply them with a much better concept of precisely what the consumers are usually willing to purchase and also exactly what they are trying to find. They’ll want to look at this site to understand much more concerning what other types of research could assist them.

In case a company would like to discover far more regarding just how using the stock market could assist them with their particular research into a new industry or even expanding inside the present industry, they desire to take a look at my site today. They’re able to also browse the official site to be able to discover more with regards to exactly what to expect when they are needing to see what they need to look for to obtain the information they will need anytime they may be collecting info for the expansion.

Roulette platforms and guidelines: American compared to Western european vs French

I’m able to bet you don’t know the gap between your U . s . the European and also the French online roulette tables ( check out  this site). You may think you are doing however, you will not. It’s not your problem. For the reason that it’s unlikely that any told you about, as most of live dealer roulette freelance writers around, have imperfect familiarity with the game and confuse the different online roulette added wheels using the various live roulette furniture along with the diverse live dealer roulette principles. The bottom line is, the problem is that normally when we recommend the kind of live roulette, as an alternative to talking about the rules, they often reference the controls, which is technically wrong and results in distress. It can be fascinating that a good few gambling establishments refer to their personal games together with the completely wrong terminology. They certainly it, with the idea to mix up players or because they don’t comprehend the variations or because they do not need to mix up the members so that they illustrate their video games determined by most gamer’s flawed assumptions. In any case, I will obvious things up for you for good. You’ll also find the ability to offer you are aware a thing most “roulette experts” skip. Roulette trolley wheels There are only two kinds of live dealer roulette wheels: United states and Western european in fact it is really an easy task to separate forwards and backwards. The key variations are: The National has 2 zeroes (, 00) and the Western has only 1 actually zero (very easy to distinguish them) They have got distinct layouts the quantities have reached different positions National compared to Western european tyre American vs European tyre Due to both compared to one no, the United states tyre includes a 5,3Percent house benefit as the Western tyre is way better for your person, with a decreased property benefit of only 2,7Per cent. If you wish to see the common sense of live dealer roulette wheels we have an outstanding article you must go through. Live roulette platforms Professional online roulette platforms have a very quadratique and therefore are usually created from timber. The national boundaries along the side of the players is normally created from buckskin, finished wooden or Alcantara and often contains ashtrays and beverage cases. An impartial composition is used to aid and stabilize the live roulette wheel. Exactly what is the National roulette desk? The American live dealer roulette table typical dimensions are 2.9mx1.7m. Her controls about the quick facet, a single vendor is ranking on the side beside the wheel and also the people sit on the other half two facets: contrary to the steering wheel and reverse on the dealer. United states live dealer roulette stand National online roulette desk with Western european controls and race track gamble design Exactly what is the France online roulette kitchen table? The French live dealer roulette desk normal sizing is 3.3mx1.8m. Two croupiers (French for retailers) holding a 60cm croupier’s ” rake ” are chilling out the tyre around the small side on the table. Behind the wheel and so on a heightened seat, rests the desk-umpire. The members lay on these other sides on the table. There’s also some lengthy France online roulette furniture (dual size) which may have the steering wheel in the heart and 2 desk wagering designs, a single on each side with the wheel. French live dealer roulette table with croupiers This particular language online roulette kitchen table. Far back you can view the two women croupiers and the table-supervisor at the heightened chair. Typically, the game is faster with an United states desk than you are on a People from france stand. Increase This particular language controls Dual French live dealer roulette with one controls and two gambling dining tables. Stand gambling Templates Considering that the host to the croupiers and gamers differs from the others in American and This particular language dining tables, the bets styles will vary. Specially in the American model all exterior bets are for a passing fancy (long) aspect of the table, throughout french tables, the outdoors gamble are divided backward and forward lengthy factors. United states versus This particular language stand structure National compared to France kitchen table structure Race track table bets Unlike its identify, the United states platforms have become frequent across The european countries. A single variation one may discover is in Europe, in the American platforms betting design, there is additionally a race track that represents the tyre. This racetrack is used for putting wagers on Orphelins, Levels, Voisin du zero, Zero perform and neighbors table bets. These are also known as “called bets” because only the croupier are able to place them following your training of the people. online roulette racetrack bets Roulette track for Sections, Orphelins, Voisins and neighbors table bets Live dealer roulette guidelines This is where it starts to get challenging simply because surprisingly, the online roulette principles do not have anything about both the wheel or kitchen table. The tyre and also the desk are bodily objects the principles are intangible and have nothing at all regarding them. Why things a lot more complicated would be that the principles are written on the signal positioned within the live roulette desk. So you can actually not understand the indication together with the principles of “American roulette” because the description on the table is not. The truth is there are only two traditional sets of rules for live roulette: National and French. Of course, although there is a eu controls, officially there is no these kinds of issue as Western european regulations and thus there isn’t any “European roulette” as being a online game. United states rules Based on the National roulette rules, when no arrives, then all outside table bets (Unusual, Even, Crimson, African american, Substantial, Reduced) are misplaced fully. French guidelines Based on the This particular language roulette, when 0’s occurs (People from france online roulette is usually enjoyed on a European steering wheel), then all outdoors gamble (Odd, Even, Crimson, Dark-colored, Substantial, Low) are NOT dropped fully. As an alternative, among the two pursuing rules does apply – so there are actually two variants: A The penitentiary guideline: It indicates “in jail”. In this instance, your money is just not missing along with your wager continues (“is jailed” as we say) on the same exterior wager for one more rewrite. If no will come an additional straight time you drop your gamble. Or else the gamble is the winner or will lose since it would normally do. Chicago Partage tip: It indicates busting. In this case you shed 50 percent your gamble. The remaining 50 % is given back to you and you will guess typically in the next whirl. Whichever rule is result, the main benefit for the player is mathematically the same, so Durante Penitentiary and La Partage are every bit as beneficial to you. Total, the very best problems a roulette gamer will find inside a internet casino are: a This particular language live roulette guidelines on a Eu wheel. Such video games are extremely rare and generally accessible in brick and mortar Western european gambling houses. Needless to say in online casinos one will discover a great variation of online roulette online games, from small live dealer roulette to no no live dealer roulette (roulette without no). But online flash games are away from scope of this article. Finish It is clear now why there is a lot misunderstandings. You’ll be able to possess a European controls with an National desk and use France regulations. Or have a French stand with Western wheel and United states principles. Next time you pick up or find out about Eu, American or People from france live dealer roulette, you must ask yourself is it talking about the policies, the steering wheel or the stand.

Make Certain You Will Find Out Exactly What Your Clients Are Saying

Business people have to be worried about what their own clients say. While in the past word of mouth may spread quickly, it couldn’t have quite as much of a reach and nearly as much of an impact as it does with modern day technologies. Instead of simply telling a few pals about their particular experience, a buyer could submit a review online for virtually any prospective purchaser to locate and, whenever the review is actually negative, it may influence a prospective buyer’s determination in order to pick the business for their particular needs.

A business owner who really wants to keep an eye on the reviews submitted regarding them online will certainly need to take full advantage of a review management platform. It is a way for them to easily be notified when there is a brand new review regarding them, bad or good, to enable them to read and respond. Rapid answers show that the company is serious about caring for their particular consumers and is actually a good indication for prospective shoppers. A business owner can post a “thank you” for great reviews as well as attempt to remedy the issue for any bad reviews they could have to be able to make an effort to change them into a beneficial experience for the unsatisfied client.

Via working with a reputation management platform, the company owner has an opportunity to get out their particular side of the tale, attempt to remedy virtually any poor reviews, and make certain possible buyers are likely to read positive things regarding their business. This could make it much more likely that a potential purchaser who finds the reviews will probably be willing to pick the company since they will note that great reviews are usually acknowledged and also that the company attempts to correct the matter for just about any negative reviews in order to ensure their buyers are satisfied with the organization.

In case you might be serious about keeping track of your reputation online, a reputation and local seo management platform can help you do that. Take the time in order to have a look at Chatmeter right now to be able to discover far more about precisely how this platform functions as well as in order to go ahead and begin right now. You’re going to be pleased you decided to do this as it may help boost your organization as well as ensure potential buyers learn you will be able to aid them.

The Pros And Cons Of Payday Cash Loans

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All of us need some assistance at sometime within their lives. In case your finances get really constrained and you realize that merely a quickly infusion of cash will remedy your issues, taking out a cash advance may be worth thinking about. Some may possibly disagree, but payday loans can be one thing beneficial you should do. Read on to find out more.

When considering a payday advance, though it can be attractive make certain to not obtain over you really can afford to repay. For example, when they enable you to acquire $1000 and place your automobile as equity, however you only require $200, borrowing too much can result in the decline of your car in case you are struggling to pay back the whole bank loan.

Understand that you will be offering the payday advance access to your own business banking information and facts. That may be excellent once you see the loan put in! Even so, they is likewise creating withdrawals through your accounts. Make sure you feel comfortable by using a business experiencing that sort of entry to your checking account. Know should be expected that they may use that accessibility.

Realize that payday loan ripoffs are present. Some businesses declare they may be a real payday advance firm however, they might be telling lies to you personally to enable them to take your cash. After you have a particular loan provider at heart for your bank loan, appear them up on the BBB (Much better Company Bureau) site well before talking to them.

Before you take out that cash advance, be sure you have zero other options available. Payday loans may cost you a lot in service fees, so every other choice could be a far better answer for your personal all round financial circumstances. Look to your pals, household and even your bank and lending institution to find out if you can find every other potential choices you may make.

If you decide to obtain a payday advance, ensure that you make use of a reputable firm. Some people only imagine to be the pay day loan company to enable them to rob your banking accounts information and facts. If you’re interested in a certain comapny, look at the BBB’s website.

A fantastic tip for anyone looking to get a cash advance is to avoid offering your data to financial institution corresponding sites. Some cash advance web sites match you with loan companies by revealing your details. This could be rather risky as well as lead to numerous junk e-mail and unwanted cell phone calls.

Whenever feasible, consider to have a payday advance from the financial institution face-to-face as opposed to on the web. There are lots of suspect on the internet cash advance loan providers who might just be stealing your cash or private information. Genuine live creditors are far more trustworthy and must offer a less dangerous transaction to suit your needs.

The easiest method to handle pay day loans is to not have to consider them. Do your best to save a bit money every week, so that you have a something to fall rear on in desperate situations. Whenever you can help save the funds to have an emergency, you are going to eliminate the requirement for by using a payday loan support.

A payday advance may possibly cause more financial debt. The worst achievable action you can take is utilize one financial loan to cover one more. Understand that the period may have to be damaged, pay attention to this. This routine is easy to have caught up in. You are able to end up paying out a ton of money because of this.

Despite the fact that everyone goes through the same method when attempting to secure a payday advance, you don’t have to work like the standard consumer. Usually do not think twice to ask for to talk with a manager to enable you to work out better conditions. They’ll would like company, so they’ll give you a bargain.

Whenever you are completing a software for the pay day loan, it is recommended to look for some form of creating that says your information is definitely not sold or given to any individual. Some pay day financing internet sites will give information out including your address, social safety number, and so forth. so be sure you prevent these firms.

Do you want a payday advance? It might be the best solution while you are brief on funds. This short article will supply you with the info you need to make a good choice. Don’t allow your money troubles enable you to get lower. Apply for a payday loan, alternatively!

The Real Truth About Online Payday Loans – Issues You Need To Understand

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A fast payday loan will be your closest friend or your most awful foe. It may be an ideal answer to suit your needs should you fully know the approach and what it really requires. You’re going to read through sound advice in relation to payday loans that can help you make your experience a good one.

Pay day loans will be helpful in an emergency, but comprehend that you may be incurred finance expenses that could equate to almost fifty percent curiosity. This massive rate of interest will make repaying these financial loans impossible. The cash will probably be subtracted from your paycheck and might force you appropriate into the payday loan office for further funds.

You must know there are outcomes for low settlement You may take the bank loan with the best of intentions, however, if one particular crisis compelled you into a payday advance, one more can derail you paying out it back again. The small print will provide you with a concept of the past due charges that you simply will incur. Payday loans normally have extremely high penalty costs.

If you are taking out a cash advance, be sure that you are able to afford to cover it back again in 1 to 2 months. Payday loans should be utilized only in urgent matters, whenever you truly have zero other options. If you remove a cash advance, and are not able to spend it again without delay, two things occur. Initial, you need to pay a fee to keep re-stretching your loan until you can pay it back. Secondly, you retain getting charged a growing number of fascination.

Overview every available option. Do the analysis and evaluate charges and charges so that you receive the best rate and conditions. Your previous credit history will come into perform in addition to the amount of money you will need. Doing analysis will help save you lots.

Before getting a payday advance, it is vital that you discover of the different types of offered so that you know, what are the good for you. A number of pay day loans have distinct plans or needs than others, so seem on the net to understand what one meets your needs.

Service fees which can be associated with online payday loans consist of numerous sorts of fees. You will need to learn the interest volume, penalty charges of course, if you will find application and processing fees. These charges may vary in between diverse lenders, so make sure you consider various loan companies prior to signing any deals.

Take into account all of the payday loan possibilities prior to choosing a cash advance. While many creditors require repayment in 14 days and nights, there are a few creditors who now give you a thirty day term which may fit your needs better. Distinct cash advance lenders might also provide various pay back choices, so pick one that suits you.

Tend not to use the services of a pay day loan business unless you have fatigued all of your other available choices. When you do take out the financing, be sure you could have funds available to repay the borrowed funds when it is expected, otherwise you may end up spending very high curiosity and charges.

Seek out distinct financial loan applications that could be more effective for your personal private circumstance. Because pay day loans are becoming more popular, creditors are saying to offer a bit more flexibility with their financial loan programs. Some firms supply 30-working day repayments as opposed to one or two weeks, and you may be eligible for a a staggered repayment schedule that can create the financial loan easier to pay back.

Be extremely aware about what the rates of interest have payday loans. Some loan companies will inform individuals of those more expenses however, other people will conceal this information. If you think about that loan offer you, remember the genuine interest rate and discover if it seems sensible to accept the financing.

When dealing with a payday loan company, take into account how snugly regulated these are. Interest levels are often officially capped at diverse level’s express by express. Understand what duties they have got and what personal legal rights that you may have being a consumer. Hold the information for regulating govt office buildings convenient.

You must certainly be totally well informed about payday cash loans and just how they could possibly help you out of your own economic woes rapidly. Understanding your options, specially if they are limited, will help you create the right options to obtain away from your combine and on to better financial soil.

The Way Moms And Dads Position Their Kids To Be Successful

Parents generally would like the best for kids. It begins your day they determine to have a child and persists during their child’s life. Even when the little one is a grownup, mothers and fathers often would like to assist them as much as possible. If at all possible, the kid will have the tools that they need for success prior to they attain maturity. There are some things a parent is capable of doing to make sure their children has the very best everyday living. Dads and moms usually opt to nurture their young children in good communities. Estate agents had been requested regarding the best locations to nurture youngsters and here are the findings. Great communities for households provide outstanding instructional possibilities, plenty of things to do for kids and a warm and friendly atmosphere where by all young children feel safe. A single dad’s or mom’s view on what is perfect for their young children typically differs from the following. However, there are numerous parallels that can make adoring parents interact with each other over a much deeper degree. These mothers and fathers find options for his or her children and connect with various other similar adults to guarantee their young children experience every little thing they need in order to be successful. They are fully aware they are unable to do everything by themselves, therefore they take advantage of the support open to them and give anything help to others they’re able to.

Athens – What To See And How To See It

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There are so many aspects of current civilization that were birthed in ancient Athens. Among these are theatre, philosophy, democracy, classical art and even the Olympic games. Athens is located on the southern coast of Greece and has existed for over 7,000 years providing a rich culture expressed in a diverse setting. The term diverse fits as you will find ancient relics and sites in some of the same areas where there are trendy boutiques and sidewalk cafes all mixed in together. This mixture of the very old and the new create a very unique experience provided nowhere in the world like it is provided in the ancient city of Athens. You will need to be sure your passport is up to day so if you need to add passport pages, be sure to go online and access a passport site to help you with this so you can be on you way.

World travel requires a passport but computers have simplified all passport needs. Even if you have to get an emergency passport, an online passport is available to help you. No one plans to have their travel documents lost or stolen but if this happens, help is as close as the nearest computer.

Athens is a city that contains many sites that make history come alive so this is certainly the ideal place for lovers of history to visit. High on top of the Acropolis you will find the Parthenon. This famous sight has earned the honor of being named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Investigating these ruins takes you back to sights names in Greek Mythology related to gods and goddesses, the titans and many other mythological characters. Admission to this site also opens the Theatre of Dionysus, the Roman Agora and the Temple of Olympian Zeus to the traveler.

Being the birthplace of the performing arts, it is no wonder that the arts and culture are very important to the Athenians. While the National Gallery is certainly large and well known, many smaller art galleries populate the city. Athens is also host to approximately 148 theatres so if you are in the mood for a show, the difficult part will be which performance to see. Among the theatres is the famous Herodes Atticus Theatre.

Using a bike or even walking around this city is a wonderful way to see the sights. Green space is always welcome when you travel to big cities and the National Garden of Athens provides an exceptional treat. Within it can be found a small zoo, ponds with ducks, colorful flowers and beautiful landscape with no shortage of a shady tree to relax under and consider the sights of the day.

For those who would like to shop till your drop, your experience will be a little different in Athens. Rather than large malls and strip centers, you will find street vendors selling custom crafts rather than name brand items. Some of the most visited markets are found on Plaka, Kolonaki and Ermou Street. You will find endless selections of shoes, purses and jewelry if you visit here and the quality will certainly not disappoint you.

Authentic cuisine is always interesting in a foreign city and Athens is no exception to this rule. Known for their souvlaki, which is comprised of grilled meat, veggies and a special yogurt sauce, this Athenian staple is considered a treat by all who try it.

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Athens – Church of Agioi Theodoroi

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Crossing Odos Dragatsaniou, in the end stands the attractive medieval church of Agioi Theodoroi (St. Theodore), built on the site of a church founded in the ninth century, but in its present form dating from between 1050 and 1075. This small cruciform church with its high narrow dome, multiple roofs that lend it an air of rhythmic grace, narrow mullioned windows and decorated central door surmounted by arches, is a precious gem of eleventh century Byzantine architecture.

The earliest form of Byzantine churches was that of the basilica, a long rectangle divided by two or four ranges of columns into three or five naves. Later, during the 11th and 12th centuries, the plan changed to that of a Greek cross within a square, dominated by a dome constructed in brick and often combined with one or more subsidiary domes. The exterior walls consist of square-cut stone with thin brick surrounds and are enriched by bands of decoration, carving and the use of color. Few of these churches were large. Apart from St. Theodore, typical examples are the churches of Kapnikarea and St. Eleutherios.

The glory of the Byzantine church lies not so much in the architecture as to the ethereal beauty of its mosaics or frescoes. From the center of the principal dome Christ looks down upon the faithful and below Him are the Apostles. The Virgin appears in the half dome, while around the sanctuary are symbolic figures and emblems connected with the Eucharist. On the West wall opposite the chancel is the Last Judgement. Colored marble and similar material in the lower walls add to the resplendent beauty of the interior.

The liturgy of the Greek Orthodox Church requires separation of the altar from the laity. The altar is placed in a chancel screened from the congregation by the iconostasis, i.e. the screen dividing the sanctuary from the church proper. This is adorned with pictures of Christ, the Virgin, and Saints, and generally has three doors, the curtains of which are lowered while Mass is being celebrated. The chancel is flanked by the Prothesis, where the bread and wine for the Eucharist are prepared, and by the Diakonikon, or vestry.

In St. Theodore one can also notice the influence of the East on Byzantine art, which was prominent in the period from the mid-9th to mid-11th centuries, when Byzantine artists used a variety of Oriental motifs in their designs. It is probable that the design of pseudo-kufic characters (the script perfected during the 7th century by calligraphers in the city of Kafa, in present-day Iraq) that decorate the terracotta panel below the windows of the facade was inspired by the work of Arab craftsmen.

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