PORTLAND, ORE. - Ken and Carl Goehner of Portland have developed the ReCyclotron machine, which they describe as ``a whole new approach to densifying foams and films.'' Some densifiers, like me-chanical compactors, use brute force. But, Ken Goehner said, the elastic properties of rigid expanded polystyrene foam can resist compression to the point of damaging a compactor. In any case, the average compactor can pro-cess only about 300 pounds of EPS an hour. And the energy used by a larger ram can make the process uneconomical.
Also, ReCyclotron avoids problems with potentially flammable blowing agents like butane, since a thermal material-handling system inside the system takes the gas out through a momentary application of heat to plastic particles that have been ground before being fed into it. In the process, the ReCyclotron re-duces the foam to less than 7 percent of its original volume.
``More than 15 trucks full of foam can be processed to fit into one truck,'' Ken Goehner said.
The Goehners now have only a laboratory prototype. They plan to enlist a fabricating firm to make units for sale.