BAYER INTRODUCES RECYCLING PROCESSES

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Bayer Corp. of Pittsburgh and its Hennecke Machinery unit recently introduced two recycling-related polyurethane technologies to North America. Hennecke, based in Lawrence, Pa., chose the SPI Polyurethane Division's Expo '96 in Las Vegas in late October to roll out its RemoTec process for producing molded parts from polyurethane foam scrap. The automated process, developed jointly with German foamer Greiner Schaumstofftechnik, offers an alternative to the co nventional method of cutting shapes out of slab stock foam to make contoured products such as automotive headrests, said Richard L. Kirschner, Hennecke's slab stock business team leader. The foam material is shredded to flakes and mixed with a prepolymer adhesive. Specially designed metering equipment then fills this mixture into molds installed on a conveying system, with filling quantities determined separately for every mold. The technique helps to ensure an optimum flake and density distribution, according to firm. The key involved designing the molds to allow them to fill completely, Kirschner said in an interview at Bayer's booth at the expo. One company in Europe already uses t he process commercially, running two machines, he said. Hennecke and Bayer also promoted their GrindFlex foams at the Las Vegas show. The GrindFlex process, developed in conjunction with Germany's Metzeler Schaum GmbH, grinds into a fine powder the cuttings resulting from trimming slab stock buns. This powder — reduced to particle sizes of 2 microns — then can be reintroduced to the production process by adding it to the polyol stream in quantities of up t o 30 percent.Tel. (412) 777-2000, fax (412) 777-4889.